Thursday, October 29, 2020

How we're trick-or-treating this year

Last night, I posted a note in my neighborhood Facebook group to ask about trick or treating. I shared our game plan—pre-bagged treats and mini bottles of bubbles laid out on a table placed at the end of our walkway, as we want to avoid kids traipsing all over our front porch and ringing out doorbell. And I asked other families to share their addresses if they were going to join in, and let people know their plans to keep it  safe.   

This Halloween, I'm balancing my urges to give my children some sense of normal with a beloved (and tasty!) tradition and not endanger them or anyone else. Some counties and cities around the country have banned door-to-door trick-or-treating. But our neighborhood has a lot of conscientious people who are good at planning things out. Back in the early days of this pandemic, we formed little groups and helped each other with grocery shopping. I wanted to explore how we could swing this with social distancing.

I know a lot of kids won't be going out at all, because they are high-risk or because they're quarantined. That happened to a friend—her sitter got the coronavirus this week, and her family's quarantining for two weeks. Ben and I are going to drop off some goodies at her doorstep, and I  suggested that perhaps she could turn the day at home into a day of treats—sweets for breakfast, watch Willy Wonka, make orange-tinted cupcakes. I know, from my experiences with Max, that even if Halloween isn't what you expected, sometimes it can be just as great. Back when he scared of our town's Halloween parade, I'd hang in our backyard with him and push him on the swing then we'd down ice-cream sundaes. (He has come a long way since then—here's a look back.) 

Max still isn't a candy person, but he does get a kick out of gathering as much as he can. He will be wearing his L.A. Fire Department cap and a Los Angeles t-shirt because he is dressing up as someone who wants to move to L.A. Ben is going to be Flash Gordon. Sabrina is going to just go hang outdoors with friends. They'll all be in masks. To make sure Ben doesn't touch any candy until he's home and has washed up, I'm going to bring some extra treats in my pocket. I'll be toting a bottle of hand sanitizer, too. 

By this morning, my Facebook post had gotten 20 comments and it seemed like we'd be able to pull off a fun and socially-distant experience for our children. Some neighbors were setting up slides and tubes for food and non-edible treats, to avoid close contact. People are getting really creative: "We have an amazing catapult that shoots the things to the street! And an amazing zombie treat-slide!" wrote one. 

A candy chute created by my friend Amy Oztan of Amy Ever After. Genius!

Like us, some neighbors will be spreading out bags of candy on a table. Others will put it on their lawn or, in one case, tree stumps. One guy, who sets up an awesome lit alien spaceship on his lawn every year, noted that he will be having a one-way line for candy. 

Halloween this year may be different, but it's looking like it can still be plenty sweet. 


  1. Ellen....
    I feel really bad for children in 2020 because it feels like the coronavirus pandemic has robbed them of their childhoods. I wish kids can grow up carefree like I did. Without face masks, without hand sanitizer, without staying six feet apart from people, and without anxiety. No, children have needed to grow up big this year in seemingly fast ways, because they had to. It breaks my heart. :'(
    Reading this Blog post made me feel good inside!! :)
    Peace and Love, Mary Lou

  2. That it a wonderful workaround that you helped initiate. Enjoy the Halloween with your family and neighbours!


Thanks for sharing!

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