It’s almost Halloween - that time of year where your home is visited by ghouls and goblins, pirates and princesses, minions and Moana.
Halloween is coming up at the end of the month, and thus you have an excuse to have a skeleton poking out of your front yard (a practice we really hope is limited to this time of year). Indeed, your home becomes an integral part of the Halloween experience for the kids who come trick-or-treating through your neighborhood.
While we don’t recommend going to extremes like painting your house orange and black for the occasion (your HOA might take issue with that) we do advise that you have fun with the day and help make it memorable for the local kids.
Below, we offer a list of suggestions for Halloween as it relates to you and your home:
Don’t…be the person that trick-or-treaters know is home, but who doesn’t turn their lights on and refuses to participate. You really didn’t want to spend $12 on Halloween candy at Target?
Do…place your pumpkins on something disposable, like a small sheet of plastic or something to that effect. With your pumpkins exposed to the outdoors for days, or even weeks on end, they can degrade and get moldy. Come November 1, when you go to pick them up, they could disintegrate and create a huge mess. Save yourself the trouble by putting them right on something you can carry them with to your yard debris bin.
Oh, and make sure the pumpkins aren’t fire hazards, either to your home or the kids. When a young superhero has a cape that reaches the ground, it can accidentally catch fire if it drags into your candlelit pumpkin.
Don’t…be the person barely a step up from the lights-out people – where they set a bowl of candy on the porch with a note telling kids to take just one. You might think that’s at least better than nothing, until there’s the one kid who dives in and grabs a handful, emptying your stash.
Do…realize that for kids, Halloween is a volume game. They’ve been assigned a timeframe by their parents, and they sprint from house to house to collect as much candy as possible, with little regard to your garden.
If you don’t want footprints in your flowers, you might want to take the time to line the walkway to your door with lights. It will serve as a beacon to kids and hopefully keep them out of your plants.
Also, while you might be tempted to go with Halloween-themed lights, generic ones can be left in throughout the year to light the way to your door at night.
Don’t…indulge the teenagers who ring the doorbell an hour after everyone else has stopped trick-or-treating. Worst of all, they usually haven’t even dressed up in anything.
“You’re not wearing a costume.”
“Sure I am – I’m dressed as a modern teenager. Now, where’s my candy?”
This doesn't apply to any teens who trick-or-treat at appropriate times and dress up – give them some candy, at least they're trying.
Do…make sure your décor isn’t gory or disturbing to young kids. Don’t recreate the Manson murders in your front yard and traumatize the five-year-old just looking for chocolate bars. Keep it fun and not too bloody. Maybe witches and zombies seem cliché to you, but kids are used to the imagery and won't run screaming back to their parents.
Don’t…give out raisins, unless you want those raisins scattered all over your front lawn after you close the door.
Do…make sure your home is safe and fun for kids to approach. Happy Halloween!