Five bucks + five minutes = Halloween for real people
By Paula Sirois
Whatever you do, don’t do it. Force yourself if you must, but do not look at Pinterest during October. You may even have to avoid Facebook; it depends on the kinds of friends you follow. Are they crafty? If so, off goes the computer. Everywhere you look, there are unbelievable ideas for Halloween, and they all make me sick. I mean, come on already. I am simply not going to make homemade, red gooey filled cupcakes, slice them up with my handy mandolin slicer (really?) and then delicately place ribbons, orange piping and black glittery gemstones on them to make them look like spiders or ogres or something. Who has the money? Who has the time? Who has a mandolin slicer?
I am a single mother of two, and I need cheap, quick and easy Halloween ideas — with a heavy emphasis on cheap, quick and easy. As Pinterest goddess as my witness, this is the year of my Halloween success! I will not be found in Wal-Mart on Hallows Eve, digging thru piles of discarded costumes prepared to spend a pot of gold to keep my kids from a meltdown. If time, craftiness and money are not overflowing in your life either, here are three solid ideas that require about five bucks and five minutes of your time.
— Costumes: Have your daughter go as your son and your son go as your daughter. Or get the entire family to dress as another member in the family. You already have the clothes. You’ve surely got the mannerisms down pat. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out who goes as whom. Pick names out of a hat and voilà! You’re done.
Other quick and cheap costumes are to go as “Karma.” Just dress as yourself, maybe with a sign that says “Here Comes Karma” and bring some “karma dust” (raid your spice rack) that you can toss at people. For those with a bit more time (and rope) on their hands, consider taking an umbrella and tying on some of your kids stuffed dogs and cat toys. Yes, you are now a walking “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
— Treats: Buy a big box of generic cereal, some raisins and some orange and black M&Ms and a bunch of those little plastic candy bags (you can usually get a few dozen for about a dollar). Fill each bag with a scoop of each and drop them all into a large bowl. For extra credit, make a handmade sign (the messier the better because messy equals scary) that says, “Do Not Eat Under Any Circumstance: Ghost Brains.” Kids will love it. For those with strong stomachs you can pour a bag of marshmallows into a bowl and label them “Ghost Vomit.” Trust me, kids will think is the best thing ever!
— Fun: It will take you about five minutes to draft a quick email inviting your family and friends to do Halloween as a team. This ups the Halloween ante a bit and it’s fast and cheap. Instead of walking as a family door to door where the parents stand all by themselves at the end of the driveway, you can caravan with a large group of festive Halloween buddies. Pull out the old red wagon that all kids have and fill it with snacks and drinks for both kids and adults. Yes, a Halloween party on wheels. If you ask everyone to bring something to contribute to the ’ween wagon, you might just be able to trick-or-treat longer.
While my kids will be missing out on homemade Pinterest-styled Halloween decorations that glow in the dark or speak on command, I’ll make it up to them with ironic costumes, gross treats and the best party on the block.
Happy “fast and cheap” Halloween!