By: Naveed Shah
This year's concept of a “Halloween mask” may be a bit different from previous years. It’s safe to say that we might be a bit scarier if we decide not to put one on in public. Also, going door to door trick or treating would not be the wisest thing to do during a global pandemic.
Gasp! Halloween with no trick or treating! Say it ain’t so! How will we possibly celebrate Halloween without it? Well, there are myriad ways to still celebrate without trick or treating door to door. For example, trick or treaters could instead have a socially distanced costume parade. Everyone can dress up (with masks on of course) and show off their costumes (keeping six feet apart). This can be made into a friendly competition for most scary, most creative, most unique, etc. This can be taken a step further, by connecting virtually with friends and family and having a virtual competition via Zoom.
Another way to celebrate would be to visit a pumpkin patch or orchard. Families or friends can get together to pick pumpkins and enjoy cider and other treats. Afterward, the pumpkins can be carved and decorated. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control it is important to wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, particularly after touching frequently touched surfaces, such as the pumpkins.
Another fun idea would be to go to a corn maze. Just ensure that this is a one-way corn maze and social distancing guidelines are being met.
Another fun activity could be trick or treating. I know, I just said no trick or treating; however, trick or treating does not have to be eliminated. Rather, it can be modified. For example, parents can hide candies throughout the house and in the backyard and kids can go door to door (in their home) finding the candy. This can be a fun alternative to going around the neighborhood.
Decorating the house with inflatables, lights, spider webs, tombstones and pumpkins, is another way to get in the Halloween spirit. Afterward, it would be a great idea to take a walk around the neighborhood (with a mask and social distancing) to check out the neighborhood decorations.
Since many of us will not be collecting as much candy as we have in previous years, you might consider baking Halloween-themed desserts or cooking Halloween-themed meals. For example, chocolate pudding with crushed oreo and brownie crumbs topped with candy worms-makes a delicious yet grotesque “dirt pudding.”
A homemade pizza can be decorated with ingredients like mushrooms, olives, jalapenos, and pepperoni to give it a scary touch. Another great idea is cutting out a jack-o-lantern face from an orange stuffed bell pepper to make it appear like a pumpkin.
Finally, watching Halloween movies and spending time with your families at home is another great way to celebrate the holiday. Some of my personal favorites are “It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “Halloweentown,” “Twitches” and “Hocus Pocus.”
Although this year has given us enough of a spook and scare to not need another day dedicated solely to getting scared and binging on desserts, we shouldn’t forget the joy and fun that is Halloween! So put on your costume, get your pillowcase full of candy, and watch the scariest Halloween movie you can find.