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When I was a kid my mother hated Halloween. She didn’t like the scary, devil, dark part of the holiday, so I had to be a pumpkin every year at school for dress up day for a decade. Of course, now that I am able to make my own decisions about the holiday, I wholeheartedly embrace it. So does my sister.

While we don’t do anything too scary, we carve pumpkins, go to corn mazes, wear matching witch hats while passing out candy, and love buying her kids and my dogs Halloween costumes. I make spooky snacks and it’s always a fun night that I look forward to.

Whether you go all out, or just hand candy out, here are some do’s and don’ts for making this Halloween your best yet:

1. Do buy candy you like. I have a friend who always buys candy that she “doesn’t like” because then she “won’t eat it”. Unless you truly are a zombie, you will eat candy on Oct. 31st. Even if it’s not your favorite. So you might as well buy something you like. Do two things to avoid overeating candy. First, eat dinner or make savory snacks to munch on during the evening. I usually make a big pot of soup or do a taco bar. Second, towards the end of the night, when the trick-or-treaters are slowing down, make a kid's night and dump the rest of your candy in their bag. The kid will lose their mind and you won’t have any leftover candy to snack on the next day. 

2. Don’t put halloween decorations out too early. When I lived in Columbia, Missouri, my next door neighbor DECKED OUT her home for Halloween, complete with caution tape, spider webs, and the bottom half of a torso hanging from a tree in her front yard, on September first. And she was a mortician. I am not making this up. Halloween is a night, not a season… especially if you’re a mortician.

3. Do put your plastic pumpkin away if you’re an adult. There is a cutoff date to receiving free candy on Halloween. If you walk around with your kids carrying a bag or plastic pumpkin of your own, even if you’re dressed up, you need to stop. This year. You are an adult and can buy your own candy any day you want.

4. Don’t show up to a Halloween party with no costume. Either you’re in or you’re out. The memories of people saying “I just don’t dress up” as I am dressed up as a nacho chip are obnoxious. It’s a dress up party, if you’re too cool to dress up then you’re too cool to attend.

I hope your October 31st is a Hallo-win this year! And remember… the best part about October 31st, is that on November first, we can all start putting up our Christmas trees! #gonnagetit

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