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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quick Takes: New Halloween Traditions

Halloween seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year.  Gone seem to be the days of simple costumes, trick or treats, and UNICEF boxes.  It you are looking for a Halloween tradition to begin or switch to, here are three that have gained popularity lately... some even as community or charity fund raisers.

Costume Sale-  Get together with a group of parents, or friends and hold a Halloween costume sale early or mid-October.  Publicize it to the local elementary schools and parent groups.  Maybe talk to a local theater group about donating some of their costume department's cast offs. Perhaps to gain publicity [and new fans?] their makeup people would come and do an afternoon clinic on Halloween makeup ideas?  Over my parenting years I have gahtered not one but FIVE tubs of costumes and costume ingredients for any number of ages and interest. No longer needing them, they will be going to my local church's October rummage sale to start a "Halloween Room" of goodies.

Trunk or Treat- A new approach to trick or treating, some neighborhoods or communities are creating safe zones by lining the local school or church parking lot with parked cars.  The cars [or even just the trunks and hatchbacks] are decorated to the nines.  Children go from trunk to trunk trick or treating with no busy roads to cross in the dark, no stranger's homes, etc.  And with a parent at each trunk and the cars forming a makeshift "neighborhood block" even the youngest children can enjoy this twist on traditional trick or treating.  Perhaps the older teens in the area can sponsor a cider or doughnut table too? For decorating ideas try googling "trunk or treat" images and be inspired!

Halloween Scarecrows- Hold a scarecrow decorating contest in town. Charge a minimal amount for the two cross stakes and challenge families and businesses or organizations to decorate and post their themed scarecrow out front for two weeks. Have clear rules about gore or violence.Hold a judging and award prizes or certificates in categories. This makes a great addition to a fall festival or Halloween week and offers the chance to move beyond doorbell ringing and candy for those who want.

Note: As you can see our October Quick Takes this year will all focus on Halloween ideas for Food, Costumes, Teens and Families. We will go back to our usual Quick Take offerings in November.

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