Of course Halloween as we know it today is a far cry from the ancient Celtic festival it started out as, when people would supposedly light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.
(For the record, the ghosts of Bowie and Prince are always welcome in my home.)
It’s evolved into the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone and have some fun. What’s the harm in that?
On a personal note–I never outgrew Halloween. It’s been my favorite holiday since I can remember. (And not just because of all the candy, despite what my husband might say.) If I had to guess I’d say it’s because it gives people an opportunity to take a breather from the serious. With all the heaviness that life delivers, I think it’s important–no, necessary—for people to take emotional breaks from time to time.
For those willing, Halloween is a time to let loose, be silly, and have fun in the moment. And as many of you know – living in the moment can actually make you happy.
But (yes, there’s a but) as with all holidays—Halloween tempts people to buy a lot of needless ‘stuff’ that they could do just as well without buying. If you want to talk truly scary, just read this: “Halloween: America’s No. 1 holiday for wasting money on garbage.”
The good news is–whether we’re talking costumes, decorations or some other Halloween-related demand—as is often the case, there are cheaper, greener alternatives available. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Instead of buying that plastic-based fake spider web stuff—grab some cotton balls and stretch them out. They work just as well. And about those plastic spiders–why buy new when there are so many thrift stores and other re-use stores to check first?
Thrift Store Score Your Costume
I’m going as Batman this year. (My husband is going as Clark Kent.) Usually I make my own costume, but this year I got part of my costume at the local Goodwill shop. The cape I made out of old fabric I had lying around the house. There are so many great costumes available at thrift shops. Because they are usually used only once, they are often in great condition and they cost a fraction of what they would if you bought new.
You can’t get any greener than pumpkins — nature’s perfect Halloween decoration. And in case you haven’t noticed, carving them ain’t what it used to be.
Fair Trade Trick-or-Treat Candy
In terms of trick-or-treat candy, I’m a big fan of Equal Exchange’s Fair Trade chocolate minis. They offer a Halloween Kit that includes 150 chocolate minis plus illustrated info cards that will help you share the importance of Fair Trade chocolate with kids and adults. Fair Trade chocolate is socially AND enironmentally responsible.
Halloween Party Food Ideas
Why buy pre-made Halloween-themed snacks when you can make them yourself? Skip the processed, artificial junk and look to your own fridge for plenty of festive ingredients. Like carrots, for instance! (There are a lot more Halloween party food ideas on this Pinterst board).
Fast, Free Halloween Decoration You Can Make Right Now
A photo posted by Tex Dworkin (@texdworkin) on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:24pm PDT
I use the same front door decoration each year: a ghost made from an old sheet stuffed with a pillow and hung with safety pins. There it is on Instagram. Note the 13 likes, which I find perfectly apropos. Halloween is an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and let loose. So if you’re down, take some time out of your busy schedule to think outside the box and have fun with it!
Would you like more Halloween ideas? Feel free to check out my Pinterest boards:
Want to know more? Check out this History of Halloween video worth watching.
Remember to be safe Halloween may be fun, but it’s also fraught with safety concerns—especially for children. Here are some handy tips to help keep everyone safe this Halloween.
Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures.net