How to Avoid the Halloween Hangover
yourLDSneighborhood News for Wednesday, 19 October, 2011
How do you have good, clean fun this Halloween and still have energy for November and December?
Read on for our best tips, then share yours in the comments.
Well, it’s time to start right and take control. Sit down today and list what each family member wants to be for Halloween, how much time can be spent finishing up the costumes, and what the budget will allow for each costume.
This list will alert you to difficult or expensive costumes and allow you to negotiate to a more practical level. If at all possible, try to encourage simpler costumes that can be saved for re-use year to year by other family members.
Decorate and Carve
Hopefully, Halloween decorations are easy to find and get out. As you begin to decorate, remember that Christmas is just around the corner and too much time, effort, and money spent now will exhaust your energy and interest for a full-blown decorating session in a few weeks.
As soon as the pumpkins have been purchased, select a mutually agreeable night for carving. Sharp knives, an inexpensive plastic tablecloth to protect your working surface, and older clothes for all participants make for a fun time together.
Pumpkin seeds can be separated from the mess, washed thoroughly, and then roasted. Put retrieved seeds in a solution of one quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt for 24 hours. Drain completely. Roast at 200 degrees for one hour on a greased cookie sheet, stirring every 15 minutes. Eating seeds from the pumpkins you have carved makes the holiday doubly delicious.
Begin immediately to work with each child, starting with the youngest, to complete his or her costume
Keep the costumes as simple and classic as possible, always designing, purchasing or making them with the goal to store them for use again and again. As each costume is finished, work with another child of your family. These tasks must become a priority to avoid the last-day, last minute rush.
Choose Classic Costumes
Classical costumes for yourself and your spouse, ones that can be brought out year-to-year without much hassle, add to your annual Halloween ease.
For example, my good friend is a green-faced witch each Halloween, complete with pointed hat, a false chin mole, a flowing black robe, and miniature broomstick hanging from a flashy belt. Her supplies fit nicely in a sturdy box for storage year to year. Her spouse is a bearded wizard with funky hat and a star-studded robe that also nicely fits into the same storage box.
No matter what other pressures the day might bring, simple additions of makeup, props, and robes transform them easily and simply into new Halloween creatures. They can join their children in the fun because they have learned to keep Halloween easy. Their friends and neighbors look forward with repetitive delight to their uniquely grotesque looks.
Make similar decisions about the treats for doorbell ringers, the dinner menu, and the overflow of collected candy.
Add “Halloween candy” to this week’s grocery purchases and get that job done. Choose candies that would be suitable for Thanksgiving and December/January holidays (just in case there are some leftovers). If candy doesn’t suit you, try giving out quarters, small packages of kleenex, a toothbrush, or another child’s tool.
Serve thick, hot soup with freshly baked bread twisted into “bones” from shaped refrigerator bread dough. Or, added food coloring to scrambled eggs and have “green eggs and ham.” Whatever the menu, repeat the same meal year to year to establish a treasured Halloween dinner tradition.
Decide together as a family how to handle leftover, collected candy. One wise mother lets her children eat at
When Halloween is over, pack away the costumes as neatly as possible in storage containers on the morning after the big day.
Purchased masks will last many years if kept in their own personal box inside the larger container during storage months. Putting clothing for each costume together in sealed, labeled two-gallon Ziploc bags makes retrieving the complete costume a cinch. Label the Halloween decoration and costume container(s) and put them away for another year’s fun next October.
Remember, Halloween hangovers won’t happen if you plan thoroughly now, make preparations early, and clean up completely when the fun is done!
Photos from sxc.hu. Used with permission of thadz, claudmey, and madmaven.
Marie Ricks is an experienced professional organizer. She loves to conquer clutter and is a nationally recognized author, motivational speaker, and TV/radio guest. An hour with her can improve your skills, giving you 10% more time every day of your life!See houseoforder.com for more great help.
How do you avoid the Halloween hangover? We welcome your comments.