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South Williamsport, PA
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A Very Different Halloween

With the convergence of a full moon, a blue moon, daylight savings time, and, you know, the ongoing unprecedented pandemic, Halloween in 2020 is going to look and feel a bit different than in years past. Some communities are having trick-or-treating; others are still not certain. Halloween parades, costume parties, dances, and most certainly apple

With the convergence of a full moon, a blue moon, daylight savings time, and, you know, the ongoing unprecedented pandemic, Halloween in 2020 is going to look and feel a bit different than in years past. Some communities are having trick-or-treating; others are still not certain. Halloween parades, costume parties, dances, and most certainly apple bobbing are pretty much a no-go this year. However, you can still enjoy other aspects of the season while staying safe. In fact, you may even be able to create new or revive old traditions to celebrate this spooky season. Here are a few tips, tricks, and ideas for a fun (if very different) Halloween.

First, if your community is having trick-or-treating, be sure to go out only with family members. Wear cloth facemasks, as well as costume masks. Carry hand sanitizer and give the other trick-or-treaters space while waiting to approach each home. I know it’s hard to keep kids from running and grabbing but consider this a chance to teach some patience and safety. For those of you giving out candy, be sure to turn your porch light on and leave goodies outside in a bowl for self-service. I intend to have a TV tray with bowls of candy at the end of my walkway and sit on my porch (with wine) to wave while keeping socially distant.

Speaking of masks now is the time to get creative and incorporate masks into your costume. Dressing up as a nurse or doctor is a seamless way to feature a mask. Ninjas, mummies, and drawn animal faces on masks are easy DIY costuming hacks. Swap out face paint and paint masks. In fact, you can have a little mask paint party with your household and even over Zoom or Skype with other loved ones to get into the Halloween spirit. No matter your artistic skills, you’ll definitely have unique masks for the rest of the season!

If you have extra time on your hands, consider kicking up the creativity a notch not only with your costumes but also décor. I personally, went a little wild with decorative gourds both inside and outside my home this year. And I’m very excited to bring back pumpkin carving this holiday. It’s been years since we’ve made a jack-o’-lantern, and since we’re home all day, we have the time and daylight to really dig into that project. Whether you go spooky with skeletons and ghosts and gravestones or traditional with cornstalks and hay bales, there’s really no wrong way to decorate. My very crafty mother is doing a whole black n’ white palette for Halloween this year, painting harlequin prints on ceramic pumpkins. So, don’t be afraid of color, even non-autumnal tones. I keep seeing neon-colored cobwebs, like lime green and purple, which is smart in terms of safety, as well as unexpected.

If you haven’t already, consider setting up an at-home movie marathon of your favorite scary movies. How many “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies are there? Enough to get you through the month. If you want to really lean into the season, stream the “Halloween” movies. For fans of classic cinema, check out the original “Night of the Living Dead” released back in 1968. I myself will be sticking to “Hocus Pocus,” the “Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor” on Netflix.

Of course, one of my very favorite ways to celebrate this season is walking and hiking in the woods. It’s been a beautiful October, full of sunshine with mild temperatures, perfect for enjoying nature. Whether on your own, for a bit of much-needed solitude, or as a safe and socially distant activity with longed-for friends, a good hearty walk is an alternative way to be festive this year, especially if you wear a Halloween themed tee or sweatshirt. To really get into the spirit, go for a cemetery walk!

It is indeed a spooky and scary time, not just because of Halloween, but because Halloween, like everything this fall, is so very different. But different doesn’t have to mean bad or boring, or un-fun. There’s candy; there are costumes, there are decorative gourds, scary movies, and beautiful fall foliage all around us. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be knocking on the door, but you don’t have to wait until then to be thankful for the little blessings we have here now, even if things are feeling different.

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