Happy Halloween

Suggestions for creating traditions and memories this holiday.

When I was young, my parents started Halloween traditions that hold a place in my heart today. Mom still calls every Hallow’s Eve to ensure we are watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Like me, I’m sure you enjoy discovering new traditions with your kids while honoring past ones. Read on for ten Halloween traditions for you and your brood to consider.

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch. Start the holiday right with a trip to a real pumpkin patch. There you can choose gourds to decorate and display. Log onto www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org to find a patch near you.
  2. Carve the pumpkin you purchased from your patch visit. Perhaps wait until Halloween day to carve your festive fruit. Check out www.zombiepumpkins.com for more than 240 designs and templates to help with carving a more unique countenance than the usual grinning jack-o-lantern.
  3. Prepare a tasty snack. After you’re done working on your masterpiece, toast the leftover pumpkin seeds instead of throwing them away. This crunchy snack is chock full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also a wonderful option to give to trick or treaters. Head to www.allrecipes.com for various takes on the treat.
  4. Ring and run. A new trend has taken flight called Booing, in which a phantom leaves a treat and a note on someone’s doorstep before disappearing to avoid getting caught. Kids will love waiting until dark to sneak over to their friends’ houses to leave treats undetected. Treats might include plastic cups filled with Halloween-themed items, such as pencils, erasers, spider rings or candy. Explore www.beenbooed.com to learn how to boo your friends and neighbors.
  5. Watch Halloween shows and movies. Depending on the ages of your kids, watch a themed or scary TV show or movie like Coraline or The Haunted Mansion.
  6. Make use of holiday hues. Get your clan’s creative juices flowing by favoring things in orange in black. For example, paint your daughter’s nails orange and black, eat Devil’s food cupcakes with orange frosting and color holiday printouts from www.halloween-coloring.com.
  7. Dress up. For inspiration, check out the cool slideshow from www.thedailygreen.com that displays 25 ideas for homemade costumes made from recycled materials.
  8. Attend a trunk or treat. The event lets a community celebrate the fall holiday together. Trunk or treats are usually held in parking lots, or churches, community centers or schools in the case of inclimate weather. To participate, adorn your car’s trunk with holiday trinkets and props, and pass out treats. Read local magazines and call a few places where people tend to congregate to see if your area has a trunk or treat planned. See www.trunkortreat.homestead.com for ideas on how to decorate your car.
  9. Trick or treat. Gather your costume-clad clan for trick or treating through your neighborhood, or head to the mall if the weather stinks. Some families leave one parent at home to hand out candy while the other takes the kiddies out. Whatever your style is, make sure you keep the routine year after year to instill tradition.
  10. Indulge! End the holiday with a miniature sugar coma for you and your kids. I love watching my children count and trade candy, then eat their way through each stash until Thanksgiving. I also take a picture of my kids sitting in their huge piles of candy for a great scrapbook keepsake. Before indulging, however, confirm that all candy wrappers are properly sealed. And of course, limit daily sugar intake to a healthy dose.