Halloween is definitely this writer’s favorite holiday. What’s not to love? Exorbitant amounts of candy—and the excuse to eat it all—, various opportunities to dress up in outlandish costumes, and enough Halloween films to keep you satisfied all year long.
Yet, as we grow older, the candy begins to look less and less appealing when we’re told to wear costumes with less and less fabric. Hence, how can we be healthy when it seems like the reasons for the holiday are paring off against one another, sending us all into a never-ending fluctuation?
In terms of costumes…be creative rather than cold.
One of the tricky parts of Halloween is the fact that it’s at the end of October, a time when most climes tend to have their temperatures dip as winter quickly approaches (even worse if it’s snowing—sorry Canada). Yet, stores like Spirit, Party City, and Halloween City push sexy and demeaning costumes to its female, male and gender-non-conforming clientele, perhaps for no other reason than to offend. Really, if you choose to go as Caitlyn Jenner or a cultural stereotype this October 31st, please, stay home.
Instead, focus on what you can dress up as that will (a) strike up a conversation with a stranger (score) and (b) keep you comfortable. If a speedo or 5-inch heels are comfortable for you on Halloween, the more power to you. Otherwise, think about what you can do to have the best Halloween. Look to your idols—RBG, Oprah, Warren Buffet, Tom Cruise, whoever. Can you dress up as them, tastefully? If so, go for it. Otherwise, think about other important people and things in your life; your favorite movie, your favorite book, your favorite comic, even your favorite musician can be inspiration. If you’d rather dress as something punny, think about what you can do—maybe a “cereal” killer? How about a ceiling fan?
Truly, the options are endless—so think outside the box rather than just buying something from the local Halloween store! You’ll have much more fun, and make a lot more friends with your creativity and hilarity.
In terms of sweet treats…use nature’s sugar, fruit!
Yes, this writer never wanted to be that person that called for you to feed your kids fruit rather than candy during Halloween…and yet, here we are. Candy is fun and all, as this writer knows from childhood and adult experience, but the momentary happiness you achieve does not equate the tummy ache you’ll have after the fact. Fruit can be fun, and make you feel more energetic; rather than bogging down your insides with artificial and processed sugar, you’re treating yourself to nature’s bounty—how could you be at all upset with that?
If you still are unconvinced, please, look up all of the amazing treats you can make with fruits. There’s “boo-nanas,” bananas with chocolate chips that look like ghosts; “monster mouths,” apples with nut butter and silvered almonds, and; a spooky spider snack, that goes all out with a plum, some pretzels and grapes to give you or your child a fright. Once you have a serving of fruit in you, pat yourself on the back; way to be healthy!
Rather than drive around looking for big-size candy bars…walk around your neighborhood and meet new friends.
This is primarily a note for parents who will be trick-or-treating with their kids this Halloween: why exactly do you need a car in the first place? Your kids will be happy and healthier to get out and move as they run around looking for candy. Leave the car at home and meet the other parents who are freezing and tired! There’s no need to hide behind a steering wheel; your child/ren will appreciate your hand as they pull you to this house and that around the neighborhood.
Instead of throwing together last-minute decor...put effort and muscle into your house’s/apartment’s appearance.
Have you seen some of the crazy decorations that have arisen in the last few years for Halloween? It’s crazy—but also crazy fun! Halloween is meant to be spooky, or even “spoopy,” depending on what you want out of the holiday, so just buying a couple of pumpkins isn’t going to cut it. Instead, go all out!
Put up spiderwebs, ghosts, spiders, bats, etc. to make sure that the kids and adults nearby know that you aren’t playing this year. Look to your favorite horror movies for inspiration—fake blood (not too much), sound effects, and creepy old candles add lots of cool effects to your property that amp up the spookiness of the holiday. If you’re instead looking for a more “spoopy” Halloween—which would be better if you have a lot of young children in your neighborhood whose parents may not be happy with your creepy decorations—put up spooky stuff that’s also funny. Put a sheet on the side of your house or on your garage door to project “The Pumpkin Dance” for trick-or-treaters and family. Put up ghost stickers on your windows with smiley faces or funny scary faces.
When you get compliments on your decor, you won’t even remember all that candy you could have focused on instead.
If you’re looking for a more savory treat/meal…show off your decorating skills with healthy foods.
At all of the Halloween house parties, work parties, and other get-togethers you’ll be attending around this time of year, you’ll probably be having your fair share of themed cakes, cookies, dips, chips and candy. How many times can you have guacamole before it gets old and you crave just a plain ol’ carrot?
Well, with these savory and healthy treats, you don’t have to worry about getting stuffed to the gills and feeling like a zombie afterward. Instead of reaching for another bag of Pringles or a slice of that Frankenstein cake, try one of these: (1) Grilled cheese sand-“witches” a la Martha Stewart, (2) witches’ hands for some movie-time fun, (3) yummy mummies for an afternoon snack, and (4) tombstone sandwiches for those running late for the party they’re rushing off to.
Regardless of how you celebrate this Halloween, make sure to enjoy it! It, unfortunately, only comes once a year, so live it up! Stay healthy everyone!