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Looking for a safer Halloween?

Here's some sneaky safety tips, party and costume ideas and some Halloween history.

Where did Halloween come from?  Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celtics.  The Celtics worshipped nature and had many gods, with the sun god as their favorite.  It was he who commanded their work and their rest times, and who made the earth beautiful and the crops grow.

The Celtics celebrated their New Year on November 1st.  It was celebrated every year with a festival and marked the end of the "season of the sun" and the beginning of "the season of darkness and cold."

In recent years Halloween has become truly scary again.   Not evil spirits but evil humans, plus just careless ones, are the concern.  When your children go trick or treating, there's a real chance that the "trick" will be played on them, with possible tragic consequences.  

According to the news media, Halloween is fast becoming one of our most celebrated holidays after Christmas.  If you're still allowing your kids to go out trick or treating, you may wish to consider putting a stop to it.  Not only is it dangerous; all that cheap candy isn't good for them anyway.   But just because things have changed, you don't have to stop celebrating.   Here's some ways to safely do so:

  • Follow the usual safety instructions; avoid flammable costumes, use make-up instead of masks, don't have hems so long that children trip, use flashlights instead of candles.   See more tips at the Halloween Safety Tips page and at "Mother's Complete Guide to Halloween Safety".    Make sure you won't be liable for greater losses when children visit your home.
  • The internet can be your Personal Research Center for Halloween fun.  Visit Halloween Online for decorating and costume hints.  The Dollar Stretcher has Halloween ideas for teens.   Goodwill Industries says you should create your own costumes at Goodwill; a great idea that benefits others less fortunate as well as your own pocketbook. 
  • Decorate your house.  Inexpensive decorations are available everywhere, and can be used again next year.  Make a ghost out of a weighted sheet on a pulley;  drop it in front of unsuspecting tricksters.  Buy a tape of really scary music and dim the lights on Halloween.
  • Make your costumes yourselves.  It's fun, creative, educational and gives you an opportunity for quality family time.    
  • Giving out treats?  Forget homemade unless you live in a very small community where everybody knows everyone else.   Give only commercially-wrapped treats.  Buy a scary witch's hand glove or use makeup and purple or green nail polish artistically on one hand.   Dim your lights, don a mask, put the door on a chain and reach out the crack to dispense the candy.  Home invasions are an increasing problem and Halloween is perfect cover for that activity.  Play it safe.
  • To trick or treat in your own neighborhood, make a list of neighbors you know and trust.   Check ahead of time that they will be giving out treats.  Accompany your children at least to the front sidewalk of only those on the list.   Make sure your children take the time to show their costumes and to thank the benefactors; no grabbing and running off!
  • Visit a fun house or carnival with your children.  Drive carefully; there's lots of little ghosts and goblins out there that may dash unheedingly in front of your vehicle.
  • Have a Halloween party for your children and their friends. Run a contest for best costume, ugliest costume, scariest, prettiest, etc.  Play "Pin the broom on the goblin".  Forget bobbing for apples; it's unsanitary.  Try a race while balancing an apple or tiny plastic pumpkin party favors on a spoon. Many other party games can be altered to reflect a Halloween theme.  Rent a video, schedule a television movie or read them a story.  You don't have to spend a lot of money. 
  • For food, try Worms and Eyeballs Salad, inexpensive boiled hot dogs with bottles labeled blood (ketchup), boogers (pickle relish) and ichor (mustard),  Mummy Fingers with more blood (ketchup) for dipping, or corn on the cob and use the husks for Mummified Mashed Potatoes.  Serve Black Mess for dessert.  For drink, serve Blue Witches Brew, apple cider or Spiced Tea with floating plastic spiders.   After the meal, have a pumpkin pi˝ata filled with wrapped treats.  Give them each a zipper sandwich baggie of candy to take home, too; try Chocolate Spiders, Buzzard's Nests and Crisp Rice Candy Squares with a candy corn accent.
  • Make your own Haunted House with your children; involve another parent or two.   Great hints on gross and grisly effects at Halloween Party.
  • Have a Scavenger Hunt;  this works best when the guests live in the same block and can safely visit and raid each other's houses for  the things they need to find.    (For pity's sake, check this out with your invitees' parents first.)
  • Have a traveling party.  Get a group of parents together and have each sponsor one meal course, one game, a treat for later or an entertainment.  Spread around four or five hours of fun.   Be careful;   you don't want to be driving around much (or having teenagers drive themselves) on Halloween.
  • Brave?  Have a sleep-over.  Be prepared for double the normal trouble and excitement this causes.   Watch it; no candles allowed.   If you rent a movie, make sure it's not too scary for the age range, and that it's something the other parents will not be upset about. 

Keep your kids safe at home (or in another adult's safe home) on Halloween; you'll be glad you did.

Send your Safer Halloween ideas and hints.

The Sneaky Kitchen
Web Site by Bess W. Metcalf   Copyrightę April 1999 - 201

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