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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
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
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
- 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
Eyeballs Salad, inexpensive boiled hot dogs with bottles
labeled blood (ketchup), boogers (pickle relish) and ichor (mustard),
with more blood (ketchup) for dipping, or corn on the cob and use the husks
Mummified Mashed Potatoes. Serve
Black Mess for
dessert. For drink, serve
Blue Witches Brew, apple cider or
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
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
- 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.
your Safer Halloween ideas and hints.