Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Ideas

In our large family, we've got a mix of kid styles. Some plan their Halloween costumes months in advance, and others spring it on me the night before, hoping that I'll miraculously pull a full-blown costume from among the dust bunnies under the bed. For this very reason, we keep all our old Halloween costumes in a dress-up box. The kids play with them through the year, younger siblings can wear outgrown costumes from previous years, and we can mix and match what's in the box to make all-new costumes. Let me tell you, that dress-up box is one of the best investments that we have. I even went to the local thrift store one year to get a good stock of little boy things going. Suit coats, football jerseys, overalls - they all were played with equally. Strangely, it's the suit coats that get the most use in our family. The really ugly wool plaid one. And it's seen it's share of Halloween, too. Think Frankenstein. Or at least our kids did.

In addition to keeping a well stocked dress-up box for your kids, you should probably have a bottle of Febreze handy. Sometimes a quick spray will freshen the clothes and you won't have to do a full wash. Like the wool coat on the night of trick or treating, when you wouldn't have time to wash it if you wanted to. Febreze works well for quickly refreshing the inside of gym bags, tennis shoes, or teenagers' rooms. If you've got teenagers, you'll probably want a few bottles sitting around.

I am also a huge fan of fall decor. This year I cut a small pumpkin in half around it's middle, cleaned out the insides, and put a pillar candle in there. The cutest centerpiece ever, especially when surrounded by a few small branches of colorful leaves. Plus the pumpkin heats as the candle burns and adds to the fragrance. For this reason, you'll want a cinnamon, vanilla or unscented candle.

And aren't those little gourds just adorable? One of the most fun decorations that our kids have done recently is painting them and sprinkling with glitter while the paint is still wet. Spray glitter will work well, too, but the kids miss out on the flying glitter. We've got many compliments on those.

Pumpkin carving is a much-heralded activity here at our house. But some of those pumpkins aren't very cooperative when it comes to sitting upright with a burning candle inside them. I've found that if you cut the bottom of the pumpkin out instead of making a "lid" on top, it'll not only help it sit flat and stable, but it'll be so much easier to clean out as well. Candle placement is not as hazardous either. Place the candle on the ground, set the pumpkin over it, and watch the magic.

I hope these give you some fun ideas for Halloween. May your candy basket be full and your costume well fitting.



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