Halloween Parties

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following post comes from MaryBeth. Enjoy!

~Sallie

 

Our Neighborhood Halloween Party

     Around our “neck of the woods” the kids start thinking about Halloween the day after school starts! “Gee Whiz” I exclaimed when our daughter asked at the dinner table if I’d make her Halloween costume that year. “School just started and you’re already thinking of Halloween?” “But Mom!” I had heard it all before but somehow that year was different. As a parent, you are always concerned about safety and while we live on a quiet street in a quiet town, bad things can happen everywhere.

     Over coffee a few days later, some of the other neighborhood Moms started talking about having a Neighborhood Halloween Party. We’d have everyone get involved, we’d all be responsible for something and the kids would get lots of candy and lots of supervision. Even our husbands thought it was a good idea.

     We drew up a plan and each of us took a role. There were 12 neighbors on our little cul-de-sac and 10 on the next street and 10 on the street in front of us. We figured that we’d have 30 or so kids and that was more than enough. They all knew each other from baseball, soccer or dance so they’d have fun together. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare so we decided to contact every Mom and Dad in what we called the “target area” and tell them of the plan. We arranged to meet in the school gym after a game. One parent of each family had to attend.

     We had divided the responsibilities  into groups: decorations, food, beverages, paper, games and activities. Some of the neighbors formed little groups in charge of activities and these are some of the highlights of our first year:

     1.  Each household decorated their front door.

     2. Each child participated in the neighborhood parade. We gave out prizes for the best costume

     3. We decided on pizza. One of the neighbors owned a pizza restaurant and gave us the pizza at cost!

     4. Some of the more creative neighbors made spider webs (stretched out polyester batting and plastic spiders) and drew ghosts on white sheets for our games. One of the older teens (sworn to secrecy) made colored eyeballs to double stick tape onto the sheet ghosts (like pin the eyes on the ghost)

     5. A group of families bought popcorn balls, tealights, dollar store goodies.

     6. The food committee made the Bucket of dirt and our witches brew (contact me through Sallie if you want the recipes).

     7 The paper committee bought paper plates and decorated them with stickers and cups and napkins.

     8. Our candy committee bought candy bars and candy corn.

     9. Some of the guys set up the candy corn toss. One even wrote  a scary story complete with action and  creepy music. The guys on his “committee” performed it in costume!

     10. We collected the receipts and divided up the cost. Since so many of us were involved, the cost per household was really low.

     Every year after that, we had a Neighborhood  Halloween Party. It grew in popularity and scope and we got more sophisticated as time went on but in the end, our children were safe, happy and loved. “T’s” college classmates are really envious and I’ve heard that they are thinking of starting neighborhood parties in their towns!

     Whatever and however you celebrate Halloween, I hope it is happy for you!

                                                                                                                                                                          MaryBeth

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