We know that honoring celebrations can be really important for our resiliency in times of stress, but we can’t loose our dedication to protecting our families and loved ones. We are all tired, and it can feel hard to have the creative energy to rethink our traditions and make it fun for our children. Fortunately, there are many ideas that we can borrow to make this the most fun Halloween ever.
Starting with the lowest risk categories, you can have lots of fun with members of your own household such as decorating your home, apartment or living space. Let your children’s imaginations run wild designing costumes. Every year I feel this weird pressure to make my children’s outfits what I think they should be, when they are much happier doing their own messy face-paint and combinations. Let them design the pumpkin decorating and laugh at their silly creations. Having your own candy hunt around your yard or living space can be a way to carry on a favored tradition in a safe way. It’s okay to buy the junky candy that the kids are really after this one time. You can coordinate with neighbors to create a Halloween themed scavenger hunt with decorations to hunt for while admiring from a distance.
Moderate risk activities involve people outside your household, but maintain distancing while wearing masks in outdoor spaces. Visiting a pumpkin patch while wearing masks and social distancing is enforced is a favorite activity that can be made safe. One way to participate in more traditional trick or treating would be to organize with a smaller number of trusted neighbors to set up candy bags at a distance such as at the end of a yard or driveway to grab and go. Just remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing and setting up the treat bags.
This year it is advised to avoid events that are the highest risk. Large crowds increase your exposure to others who may not be showing any signs of illness, but could still transmit COVID19, especially in poorly ventilated settings. Save your ideas for some of the classics like haunted houses where people may be screaming for another year. Even a trunk or treat event could involve closely packed cars or carpooling with people outside of your household, and increase your risk.
As with so many of the challenges we are facing, our children take their cues from us. If we bring excitement to a new spin on a favorite holiday, they will feel better than if we voice our own disappointments. As parents we will have opportunities to gather with large groups of neighbors again one day, but this year we can put our kids first and make the best of it.