Halloween Best Practices
According to Statistic Brain last year consumers spent 7 billion—yes billion—dollars on Halloween. Also, each year people get hurt, consume too much alcohol, and worse.
So, here are a few tips to insure we enjoy each and every penny all the while insuring everyone returns home safe.
Candy, Candy and more Candy
Let’s face it when it comes down to it this is the fuel that drives Halloweens engine. Without candy All Hallows’ Eve would become like the Superbowl—party time for the adults while the kids just get to run amuck (seems when parents drink kids get a reprieve from manners) but there’s nothing really in it for them.
You don’t want to run out of candy but at the same time you don’t want too much. I hate turning my porch light out because I ran out of candy but at the same time if I buy too much it will just sit around tempting me to devour it. You should go by of how much candy you handed out the few previous Halloweens combined then purchase just that much—with a just enough extra to cover the family. Problem solved.
Make sure you’re able to communicate with your children at all times throughout the evening including teenagers. No strike that, especially the teenagers because one out their whole group of friends will probably be driving. Just keep in mind that there is a huge difference between a nag and a concerned parent.
You kids should have their cellphones with them at all times throughout the night, even your youngsters that have phones. Set a time or times (remember don’t be a nag), let them know you expect them to call or answer at that particular time and if they don’t there will be ramifications.
Its 2102 so there is no excuse why you should not be able to keep tabs on your kids nor should a child expect to have their parents buy them a phone without their parents checking in!
Think about the pets
Growing up my little buddy was Bruno. Bruno was a pug who loved most anything except costumed humans. He was the most affectionate loving dog anyone could hope for. However, I truly believe he was frightened to death at the sight of someone dressed up in a costume which caused a switch to go off in his head turning him into an aggressive puppy. Not cool for him or those who were subjected to him. He was boarded after his first two Halloweens. End of problem.
We also had Hotye a crossed eyed Siamese. He really wasn’t afraid at Halloween per say since he figured out hiding in my closet, under my clothes for a night was way easier than having to look at Batmen, witches, cowboys, Indians and like.
If your pets are afraid of trick-or-treaters do them a favor and find a safe quite place in your home and make some temporary digs for them for the night. Better yet, if you can afford one, a pet board and care is another alternative. Some even offer specials on Holidays to make more affordable for those who otherwise may not the funds available to put their pets up for an evening. You can’t beat that.
Control your alcohol consumption
Duh right? Wrong. Maybe to you and me but unfortunately some people just don’t get it.
According to AAA alcohol related fatalities can increase as much as 30% when Halloween falls on a weekend and up to 17% on non-weekend days. AAA offers “Tipsy Tow” which is a free tow home for impaired drives—members or nonmembers.
I know firsthand that New Year’s Eve is not the only Holiday on which resolutions are made. Without going into details I had a bad experience as a young adult at a Halloween party that prompted me to vow never to let that happen again. Yes, alcohol was involved.
These few simple steps can mean the difference between a safe Halloween and a disastrous one:
- Use a designated driver
- Take your guests keys as they enter your party. If they give you a hard time you can explain to them that you have their best interest at heart. If they still refuse politely tell them they can either give you the keys or find another party to attend.
- Only purchase enough alcohol that is needed. If you are going to have 25 guests and you set a limit at 3 drinks per person then you need enough alcohol to serve 75 drinks.
- Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages including coffee and water.
- Don’t serve alcohol at all. This completely eliminates the problem no?
And whatever you do guys don’t drink and drive with the kids in the car. Really?
If it looks suspicious don’t eat it.
This is also a no-brainer but keep in mind there are no evil villains lurking about poisoning our kids’ candy or placing broken up pieces of razor blades in their candy. This urban legend seems to have crept its way into Halloween folklore in Long Island, NY in 1964 and was further fueled by a story the New York Times ran in 1970
This doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. As we all know, in this day and age anything is possible. Unfortunate but sadly true.
Be wary of opened candy, homemade goodies, any treat that appears tampered with or misshaped, and if it looks or smells suspect then toss it in the garbage without hesitation.
Why not spend Halloween as a family—at least part of it?
We all know the older our children grow they become less and less interested in hanging out with their parents they become. They look at us differently like we’re from some foreign planet in Alpha Zentar Galaxy and think we speak the alien language!
This is an inevitable part of every child’s adolescence and we can either fight it, ignore it or maybe we can compromise. What?
We sure can compromise. Remember, they may be spreading their wings, but we as parents still rule the roost. Let them know this Halloween you have planned the first two hours of the evening for family time. This can be taking your younger kids trick-or-treating as a family, making treats to hand out, helping each other with costumes etc. just as long as it is done as a family unit.
Classy is better than trashy
Seems there is always one slutty dressed nurse, a flasher in a trench coat or someone who dons a revealing costume that’s really not suitable for children then decides to come to your party. Sure it’s cool if it’s an age appropriate party but not so much if my kids are present.
Dress up for the occasion. This is just common sense.
If you plan on wearing next to nothing that’s fine all I ask is that you cover-up the parts you know we parents don’t need our kids seeing. Then when you leave you can get buck naked for all I care just please show some respect when there will be kids present.
And there you have it
Each year during Halloween people say “that will never happen to me cause’ I know my limit” or “Ah, my kids will be safe there” and each year people get injured or die as a result of a lackadaisical attitude.
Be smart, be respectful, know your limits, set limits, be prepared, be flexible and most of all remember…
A little common sense goes a long way.
Have a safe and happy Halloween from all of us at Beautiful Sweets!
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