Halloween may still be a few weeks away, but spooky dress-ups, pumpkins and value-pack lollies are already popping up in the shops. But there is no denying that this year will be different and the question on all parents’ minds is whether Coronavirus will (or should) cancel Halloween.
Halloween has grown on me over the past few years. Yes, it is quintessentially American and yes, it’s very bizarre to embrace the tradition of dressing up in goulish outfits as well as accepting lollies from strangers. But I love the wonderful buzz it creates in our neighbourhood. Those people living over the street who I’ve never said a word to, suddenly become friends on Halloween as our kids mingle, giggle and swoon over their haul of sugar. It’s fun, it’s vibey and it’s one of the highlights of the year.
Could Coronavirus REALLY Cancel Halloween?
COVID-19 has messed up so much and it looks like Halloween may be yet another victim of the awful virus. That is, only if we let it. Should we cancel Halloween this year? I say NO! Sure, it will be different and the idea of traditional trick or treating totally freaks me out, but we can still find a way to make it work.
Jonathan Kruk, a professional storyteller agrees:
“Canceling Halloween would make the holiday an even more dark and grimly felt time, because instead of seeking a thrill we know is false, we’ll be kind of sitting at home, you know, frightened by our own panic attack — the real creeping, insidious virus that never seems to go away,” he said.
No, Don’t Cancel Halloween!
Just because Halloween this year may be at a distant or celebrated at home, it doesn’t mean that it has to wiped off the calendar completely.
But What About Trick Or Treating?
The reality is that most parents won’t be very comfortable with trick or treating this year and in most places, Halloween celebrations are concentrated in a couple of popular streets in each area – which means crowds and no chance of social distancing.
“There can’t possibly be any trick or treating. Touching doorbells, strangers handling the lollies that’s put in your child’s bag etc etc. No way,” said one Twitter user.
And some said they wouldn’t want kids coming to their doors.
“I feel sorry for the kids but no way do we want any coming to our front door this year. We’re elderly and have pre-existing conditions. We’re still self-isolating and don’t want to undo all this,” said another.
It Can Be Safe
But others were adamant that Halloween and even trick or treating could still be done safely.
“One kid at a door at a time, physical distancing, masks. We can do this safely! A lot of us have been ordering take out, this is similar in terms of contact,” read a comment on Facebook.
“We are trying to come up with a fun way to give out lollies by a zip line from the top floor or long butterfly net. There is still a way of doing it if you want to take the time.”
“I’m going to get a potato cannon and just shoot the lollies at the kids at the end of my sidewalk,” another suggested.
Suggestions on how to celebrate Halloween safely this year:
1) Go Crazy On Spooky Decorations
Australians traditionally don’t go nuts on Halloween home decorations. But this year, let’s do it differently. Instead of investing in huge amounts of lollies, spend a bit more on goulish plastic ghosts and spider webs and deck out the outside of your home to create the perfect Halloween haunted house. The kids will love getting involved, plus you can create lots of joy when your neighbours admire all your hard work. Have a chat with your neighbours and let them know your plans. They may do the same thing so your whole street could become a Halloween haven. You can then take the kids for a Halloween walk through the streets and enjoy getting spooked by all the decorations.
2) Have A Monster-Sized Halloween Party At Home
Bring Halloween home this year. Decorate the loungeroom to create your Halloween headquarters. Serve all sorts of monster-inspired food, organise some Halloween craft, carve a pumpkin and get bowls of lollies and popcorn. Dress up as a witch or warlock and watch a family-friendly ‘scary’ movie together. You can even invite some friends over to join in the fun.
3) Do Trick Or Treating At Home
Close all the doors in the house and let each child have their turn to knock at each door and collect lollies at each door. You could also create a candy scavenger hunt inside your home (or outside if you have room).
4) Trick Or Treat Safely
Leave a bowl of individually-wrapped lollies (and hand sanitiser) at the end of your driveway, and wave at trick-or-treaters from your front door.
Residents in all Australian states, except for Victoria, at this stage, are permitted to trick or treat, while abiding by social distancing rules.
So should we cancel Halloween? No, let’s don’t. Let’s get goulish and go crazy – but keep it safe!
Do you think we should cancel Halloween this year? Would you allow your kids to go trick or treating? How will you and your family celebrate Halloween this year? Tell us your creative ideas in the comments below.