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I’m not gonna lie. Halloween is my favorite holiday; I love the costumes, the haunted houses, the jack-o-lanterns, the corn mazes, and the decorations. It’s also the ONLY time I enjoy spiders or spiderwebs, but that’s another story entirely. Even with all my love for the day, it can still stress me out. From the insanely high price of halloween candy, to the teenagers who show up sans costume expecting candy, to the kids who trample your landscaping in an effort to get to the candy before their fellow trick-or-treaters, there’s plenty of stress to be had.
So in the spirit of fun for everyone, here are a few tips to keep Halloween fun and stress-free:
Give fewer pieces of candy – it’s amazing how expensive halloween candy is and no one wants to look like a cheapskate to the trick-or-treaters, but here’s the deal… you’re the one paying for the candy. If you’re really worried about it, put the candy in your closed fist and don’t open your hand until it’s just inside the top of their candy bag so they can’t see how much you gave them.
Give lots of compliments for great costumes – Giving compliments has as much power to reduce stress as receiving them.
Shop around for your candy – The grocery store is going to be the most convenient but also the most expensive place to buy it. Check out the discount stores for better prices or buy in bulk quantities online with several friends and/or neighbors.
Think outside the box – Do you cringe at the amount of sugar that’s given out? Do you really need to give out the most popular candy? We’ve given out fun toys that we bought in bulk, like glow in the dark eyeballs or pens that look like syringes, and paired them with a couple small pieces of candy. The kids loved them. And, by the way, kids gushing about how cool your treats are is a definite stress reducer. Note: A few of the younger kids may find things like glowing eyeballs kinda scary, so be prepared with an alternative, even if it’s just giving them extra candy instead. (We may have found this out the hard way but you don’t have to.)
Decorate only as much (or as little) as you WANT to: If you have limited time, put up a few of your favorite or key decorations around your walk and front door and call it good. You don’t have to get extravagant with your decoration unless you have the money to buy them, the time to put them up, and you enjoy doing it.
Decorate around your landscaping – If the trick or treaters tend to trample your landscaping, decorate to encourage a different route. Try blocking the oft trampled plants with something like caution tape or gravestones – use your creativity to find something that will blend with your decorating theme. Alternatively, you can also create a definite path for them to take with luminaries, jack-o-lanterns, or glowing skulls. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.
Don’t reward the teenagers who aren’t wearing a costume (or the ones that come around multiple times, hoping you won’t notice) – If these guys are one of your stressors, I have a fairly successful strategy that we’ve worked out over the course of several years. I’d love to say that we simply refuse to give these yahoos any candy but I can’t. Unfortunately, the possibility of getting your house egged by a p*ssed of teenager these days is very real, so we always buy one bag of the nasty candy that no one likes and give them a piece of that, instead. Bonus: they don’t come around for seconds anymore.
Don’t be afraid to turn off your front porch light – When the candy’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t worry about having to run out to get more, just turn off your light. Likewise, if money is a huge crunch this year and you really just can’t afford to give out candy, leave your light off.
So there you go. A halloween lover’s guide to getting through the holiday with the least stress possible. If you liked this, please remember to share using the handy buttons just below the post.
Happy High Holy Candy Day!
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