13 Ways to Get into the Halloween Spirit

We’re flying through October at top speed, and the closer we get to the end of the year, the more stores we have prepping for the Christmas season. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I enjoy the lights, the movies, the food, the decorations, the spirit of family. I’d pretty much give up any day of the year for it to be Christmas every day. But I wouldn’t give up Halloween.

It’s easy to forget about Halloween and Thanksgiving when you have Christmas shoved in your face every place you go. With the decorations come the pressures to purchase gifts, mentally prepare for the meals you’ll need to cook, and tackle the list of things you need to get done before year’s end. This much stress takes the enjoyment out of the holiday season until we’re practically screaming for it to be over and done.

But I’m not one to let the spirit of the holidays get lost or forgotten. So with 13 days remaining until Halloween, here are 13 ways to get into the spirit again.

1. Read up on the history of Halloween

Did you know that Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic’s festival of Samhain? The history of this holiday is fascinating and full of information we don’t normally discuss. Have you wondered why we dress up in costume, or why we bob for apples? You can read all about it here.

2. Decorate around the house

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Fall wreath on my aunt’s front door
An obvious way to make your home feel festive is to pile up on the Halloween decor. If you want to do so without breaking the bank, check out a local Dollar Tree or 99 cents store as they both have great options for a good price. Michael’s Craft Store is also having a sale on their Halloween decorations, so don’t miss out on those current deals.

3. Watch Halloween movies

Every year ABC Family (now Freeform) puts on their annual 13 Days of Halloween movie marathon. You can either tune in, or check out the selection available on Netflix. Some of my favorite Halloween movies are Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Addams Family Values. If you’re looking for something a bit more intense, keep an eye out for horror movies playing on AMC.

4. Read creepypasta

‘Tis the season to be scared out of your wits, folks. Creepypasta, or internet horror stories, is a great way to get your scare on if you’re like me and can’t handle watching horror movies. Both of these websites offer great submissions that are conveniently rated, so you have a sense of what you’re getting into ahead of time.

5. Visit a haunted house or corn maze

Why read about horror when you can live it? Research your local haunts, gather a group of friends, and see who can go the longest without jumping of fright. Just remember not to attack any of the actors, who are just doing their job.

6. Bring harvest scents to your home

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My personal selection of fall candles from Bath & Body Works
It’s not enough to have your home look like Halloween. Make it smell like Halloween by lighting seasonal candles. Whether you prefer the smell of fall dessert (hello pumpkin pie) or like a more naturey scent, you’ll feel immersed in the holiday when all of your senses are engaged.

7. Bake pumpkin pie

Get your tastes buds going with this traditional fall treat. Pinterest is a great source for dessert recipes, and this one is a particular favorite of mine.

8. Order a pumpkin-flavored drink

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Original photo by Hansel Doan
While everyone is up to their ears in pumpkin spice lattes, you can try something a bit different on your next Starbucks run by ordering a caramel macchiato, sub pumpkin sauce for vanilla syrup. The flavors compliment each other nicely, so you aren’t overpowered by that strong pumpkin taste.

9. Visit a pumpkin patch

This is probably the second most obvious Halloween to-do on the list. And as cliche as it is to visit the pumpkin patch each year, it’s still fun to pick out the perfect pumpkin along with all the other families doing the same. It’s also a great backdrop for fall-themed pictures. Grab a camera and wear your best smile, and you’ve got some great memories at the patch to post on social  media.

10. Carve a pumpkin

And now we have the most obvious Halloween activity. You spent all that time picking out a pumpkin, so choose your carving design with care. While it’s easy to fall back on those cheesy store-bought stencils, it’s more creative to google search a stencil to print or hand draw. It opens up the possibilities so you can make your pumpkin unique and speak to your personality.

11. Create a costume

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Nymeria doing her best to not eat the tulle
Store-bought Halloween costumes are expensive. Crazy expensive. I’m talking at least $60 from those pop-up Spirit shops if you want something fast (just don’t expect the quality to match the price tag). Nowadays, the trendy thing to do is create a DIY costume. It’s cheaper and you get the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself. Start with an idea then head to your closet for items you might already have, before you hit up a retail store.

12. Attend a Halloween party

You put together that awesome costume, now find somewhere to show it off! If you don’t have family or friends who will be hosting a party, search the local bars and restaurants where you live. You’d be surprised by the number of places hosting themed-nights at this time of year. You might even win a costume contest!

13. Gobble up candy

Real talk. We all loved trick-or-treating because we loved to see all the good candy we could score in one night. It might be frowned upon for adults to go begging door-to-door, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. Buy a bag from Costco and eat up (in moderation, please). The best part is you get first pick of all the good candies, so no more getting stuck with the unpopular flavors (I’m talking about you Almond Joy).

 

These are just a number of ways to celebrate Halloween, but there is no right or wrong way to do so. Enjoy the holiday anyway you choose, so long as you’re having fun then I think that’s pretty great.

Have Halloween plans already? Feel free to let me know! I’ll be at the Hollywood Bowl watching Nightmare Before Christmas live. Maybe I’ll see you there.

-Ciara

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