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Sunday, August 7, 2022

A 5 Step Guide That Will Help You Prepare For Halloween

Not Sponsored: Halloween is only 85 days away! I know! I know! So close! Don't panic or scream, YET! If you're a fan of this spooky holiday (like I am) and haven't started planning, then this guide should help you get going.

Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels

1. Halloween Brainstorm

The first thing you need to do, is ask yourself (and/or family) what would you or they like to do for Halloween? Do a quick brainstorm and then jot those ideas down. Be as simple or elaborate as you like. Jot everything down! One of my Halloween dreams is spending a week at various Disney Resort locations (Florida, California and Paris) for Halloween. It's something I'm writing down as a future Halloween goal. During this brainstorm, decide whether you will be spending Halloween at home, with friends, traveling or going out that night. Did you decide? Great! Let's Plan.

2. Halloween At Home

If you're going to stay at home for Halloween, it doesn't have to be boring. I have a blast for Halloween at my home each and every year. Create your own private Halloween party. It can be lots of fun. Let me give you some ideas:

Decorate the inside of your home. Put yourself in the mood for Halloween, by decorating the inside of your home. Start early, so you can enjoy your decorations. I start putting up my inside Halloween decorations during the month of September. I do that because, it gives me a chance to enjoy the holiday. Decorating the inside of your home can be as simple as buying some Fall or Halloween scented candles from Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candle or Pier 1 to getting spooky decor from Party City, Michael's Craft Store, Home Goods, Kirklands, Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel.

Meal prep. What are you going to eat Halloween night or weekend? Are you going to prepare food? Order from Grubhub, Uber Eats, Waitr (new name ASAP) or Door Dash? Or put in a small catering order? Now is the time to decide, not only about the things you want to eat, but who will prepare them? This year, Halloween falls on a Monday. I will be celebrating all weekend, so I plan on doing a little of everything. I'm going to cook one day, order food from my favorite restaurants via food delivery for two days and then get pre-made party food from my local grocer.

Pass out candy ... leave candy for trick or treaters ... or no candy + WHAT to pass out!?! When you're home on Halloween night, you must decide whether you're going to pass out candy etc., leave a candy bowl out filled with treats for your trick-or-treaters or not pass candy out. If you're not passing out candy, then front porch-lights off. Whether you pass out treats or leave them out, then WHAT are you going to give those little ghouls or goblins? Depending on your budget, you can pass out candy (of course), Frito-Lay snack packs, small bottles of water, bubbles, anti-bacterial pocket-bacs, face masks, activity pads, novelty Halloween glasses, Halloween Play-Doh, mini key chain flashlights, glow sticks, Halloween pen or pencils, Halloween themed necklaces, puzzle cubes etc. I promise you, if you pass any of those things out, you will be a hit with the trick or treaters. Now's the time to catch those things on sale.

Watch spooky movies. I love staying at home, eating my favorite foods and watching spooky movies for Halloween (Well not so spooky! I'm more of a classic/vintage scary movie girl HaHaHa). I now DVR all of my favorite movies (throughout the year) and instead of trying to watch them all in one night (impossible), I have a two-month spooky marathon (where I watch 1-2 movies a night). Check out my blog post that lists ALL my favorite Halloween movies

Play spooky music. Halloween themed music is another great way to get into the holiday spirit. Play popular movie soundtracks from Harry Potter, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Corpse's Bride, Phantom of the Opera, Beetlejuice, Halloween (movie) and Ghostbusters. Incorporate newer soundtracks like Stranger Things. Put together a mix of Halloween hits from Michael Jackson (Thriller), Rockwell (Somebody's Watching Me), Bobby Boris Pickett (Monster Mash) etc.

3. Host A Halloween Party At Home

Search for Halloween ideas on Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram. So you've decided to host a Halloween party at your home. Need some inspiration? Visuals are the best. Log onto Pinterest, Etsy and Instagram to find some of the coolest ideas and visuals for your party. They are excellent resources for both inspiration and shopping. There are so many creative people on those sites. Group those ideas together to form your own. Now, let's get to planning!

Visit (or Shop Online) your local party stores (ex. Party City), craft stores (Michael's, Hobby Lobby) and smaller stores (Home Goods, Kirkland's, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, Grandin Road) for decoration inspiration. Items from these stores should help you decorate both the inside and outside of your home, which you need to do if you plan on having a party. Halloween decor is out NOW (August)! For the best selection and for your sanity, shop early.

Hire a cleaning & yard cutting team (or DIY). Will your party be inside or outside? Maybe both? Don't wait until the last minute to do everything. Start getting rid of clutter now (or maybe the clutter will work with your Halloween decor HaHaHa). The easiest thing to do is to hire a house cleaning & yard cutting service, to clean your home and cut your yard prior to the party. However, if you plan on doing all of this yourself,  map out days (clean only 1-2 rooms a day, so you don't get burned out) on your calendar (in advance) to get it all done. 

What's on the menu? What drinks and food do you plan on serving your guest? Do any of your guests have dietary restrictions? Do you order the food, prepare it yourself or have it catered? How many people are attending? You don't want to run out of food or drinks. What will they eat on (plates, utensils, napkins)? What will they drink out of (cups, etc)? These are all very important questions. An assortment of food is always a good idea. 

Entertainment. How do you plan on entertaining your guests during your Halloween party? Music is always a good choice (but please be respectful of your neighbors and local laws when playing music). You can have hourly raffles, where your guests win prizes (gift baskets, restaurant gift certificates, gift cards etc). You can do a 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Halloween costume contest. Blindfold some of your guests and have them guess what popular Halloween candy they're eating (Snickers, Twix, Hershey's etc.) Whatever you do, make it FUN!

Send out email invites. So you're ready to have a party! Send out Halloween e-invitations. There are a number of websites that offer this service and keep track of your RSVP's (who's coming). Be sure to tell your guest to wear a costume.

4. Halloween With Friends

Get a cool costume from your favorite local costume shop or buy online. After looking at ALL the things you have to do to plan a Halloween party, celebrating Halloween with friends, is pretty EASY. HaHaHa So, put all your effort into finding a really cool costume. You might as well go all out! Bypass getting something ahem basic. Visit a local costume shop and rent one. Get your creative juices flowing, gather the materials and make one. Think outside the box and let current events & topics dictate what you are going to wear. You will be the topic of discussion at the party.

Bring something. No matter what party you go to, it's always nice to bring something to the host. Look at all they went through for their guests. Whether it's wine, beer, drinks, bottled water, a tray of sandwiches or dessert, it will be appreciated.

5. Halloween Vacation

Where would you like to go? So, you're going to take-off for Halloween. Where are we, I mean you going? Are you going somewhere within the United States? Internationally? So many places now are celebrating Halloween and having Halloween themed parties. Make a list of all the places you would like to go. I bet you will come up with many. Research and write down the Halloween activities that will happen at each place. What appeals to you?

What is your budget? What will be the length of your stay? Do you have enough vacation time? These are important questions as well. Write down the cost of your hotel stay (hotel, airbnb, vrbo etc) or can you stay with friends. You need to budget for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Will your stay be for the weekend or an entire week? If working, do you have enough vacation time to take this trip. These are all important factors that need to be considered. Estimate the cost for every place you would like to go for Halloween and from your list pick a place within your budget you would like to go. You want your trip to be a treat! 

Traveling by car or plane? If your stay is drive-able, hop in your car and drive there. If not, try to book a direct flight to your destination (to avoid mix-ups and mess-ups). Take out insurance (hotel, flight) to protect yourself against cancellations. Pack lightly. 

Have fun! Enjoy yourself! Once you arrive at your destination, enjoy all it has to offer. Ask trustworthy locals (hotel etc) about other events happening in the area. They may suggest something that you might have missed. Always keep handy, the telephone number and address of the nearest police station near your stay. It's sad, but in these times necessary.

I hope this guide got your brain juices flowing! 

If you have any tips, please leave them in the comments below. 

Have A Happy Halloween!


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