An Altered Halloween

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Like everything else this year, Halloween looked very different for our family. 

The kids’ school didn’t hold their annual costume parade, and we didn’t visit any pumpkin patches or take any hayrides. Still, despite the pandemic, we managed to have a fabulous Halloween. This year, 14yo decided she was too old for costumes and trick-or-treating, but I wanted to make sure the younger two still had some kind of trick-or-treat experience. I have the skills to be crafty, but not the time, so we ordered some Amazon costumes. A few days before Halloween, instead of walking our neighborhood, we drove to the homes of a handful of family members who had bags of candy ready for us. 

One blessing this year was that Halloween fell on a Saturday, making it an all-day event. We started the day by filling bags with candy to give out to any children who still planned to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. The kids set up an assembly line and quickly filled about 50 bags. With the pandemic, we had no idea how many bags to fill. In past years, we would have packed at least 100, but I figured 50 would be plenty. Many people would be opting out of the trick-or-treat experience altogether or going to some safer options offered in our community, like trunk-or-treats or reverse candy parades. 

Once the candy was ready, the kids went out to the yard to grab their favorite pumpkin for carving. 14yo helped the younger two look for online templates to print out. They got to work cleaning out their pumpkins, and we saved some seeds to give to Pop-pop so he could grow more pumpkins next year. 14yo and 8yo did all of the carving themselves, while I helped 5yo. All three of the pumpkins turn out great, and the kids were very proud of their hard work.

In the evening, we set up a table with decorations and spread out the candy bags so children could grab them without close contact. Then, we started a fire in our fire pit and waited for them to start arriving. As expected, the turn-out was pretty low, with only 20-25 children stopping by. In the meantime, we enjoyed sitting by the fire while the kids played in the yard. 


2020 has taught us we don’t always have to do things the same way to have a good experience. From Easter through summer, and now to Halloween, we’ve managed to celebrate safely and still enjoy the holiday. With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I am optimistic that they will also be an opportunity to make unforgettable memories.