Create a safe and affordable Halloween this year

Yesterday, a neighbor dropped off several small early pumpkins on my doorstep. I got a little giddy, because that means fall is just around the corner, and its almost time to start decorating! I mean, it’s September now, so I can start my fall décor, right?

I don’t know about you, but with all the stress this year, I just want to celebrate life. I plan to get into the spirit of every holiday. And while money is tight this year for many of us, we can still party – even while social distancing – and decorate with some simple tips:

  1. Waste Not, Want Not
    It’s an old saying that is so true. Rather than throwing items away that are chipped, torn, or a little worn (or a lot of if you have young kids), repurpose them. Whether you go all out for a spooky Halloween, or whether a Harvest Festival is more your style, you can make all sorts of great décor for inside and outside your home with some inexpensive spray or acrylic paint, a hot glue gun, and simple sewing.

Check out the DIY projects on our Pinterest page and website, like this “Little Shop of Horrors” Candy container.

  1. The Virtual Craft Party with Friends.
    Crafting is relaxing. But I think crafting with friends is more fun. I always seem to be inspired with other’s ideas when I see what they are making. While we still need to social distance, it doesn’t mean you can’t get together with friends. Try one of these ideas:

Social-distance craft party: If you have a clean garage or bonus room, or can arrange your living room, invite two or three friends over to craft at your home. Or, take advantage of a beautiful fall day and set up outside. Space out your crafting space so that you can be 6 feet apart. Put some supplies at each table along with their own special drink cup or mug and some personal snacks. Turn on your favorite music. Light that apple cinnamon pumpkin candle and get to crafting.

Virtual craft party: While I much prefer being in the same room with someone, all the virtual meeting tools out there offer great opportunities to connect without actually being face-to-face. Whether FaceTime, What’s App, Skype, Zoom, Google, or one of many other virtual meeting tools, make time to chat on screen while you craft with a friend or friends. Go to your local Goodwill and pick up a sweater and some craft doodads to make an ugly Halloween sweater. Then, video chat while you make your sweaters. Take a picture and share on Instagram, Facebook, or SnapChat with the tag #uglyhalloweensweaterchallenge and tag us: Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest @goodwill_inw.

  1. Safe Party on the Block
    Trick-or-treating is not going to be the same this year. Instead of going door-to-door trick-or-treating, create a sense of community in your neighborhood. Pick a night to have a Social Distance Block Party. Invite your neighbors to set up chairs in their driveways. Bundle up and head outside to eat dinner, picnic style, in your own driveways. Put on some fun music for all to hear. Decorate your yard, balcony, or front door. Make individual Halloween bags with pre-packaged goodies for the kids in the neighborhood. Then leave those in a big container at the end of your driveway for the neighbor kids to pick up. Have the neighborhood kids do a Halloween costume parade down the street, everyone keeping their distance and walking one way only. It might be like herding cats, but it can work with a little direction from the grown-ups. Our kids need a sense of normalcy and community.

However you choose to celebrate life this fall, do so safely and be healthy. Find simple, affordable ways to add a little extra joy during these challenging times.

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