Enjoy a fun, and safe, Halloween

Selecting and carving pumpkins is a time-honored event for fall. (Gina Fuhrmann/Unsplash)

Saints and spirits will take to the night in a different way this year when All Hallow’s Eve rolls around on Oct. 31.

This year, celebrating the holiday — full of fun costumes and treats — has to be planned around safety precautions for the novel coronavirus. While some people have flat-out said they are not going to participate in the Halloween holiday for 2020, others are planning to trick-or-treat and take part in the fun anyway.

Homeowners are coming up with innovative ways to get candy to kids while maintaining social distance, such as rigging up long tubes that whooshes the candy from porch to child, six feet away. Others are planning to pack treats into individual bags and leave them on tables at the end of the drive, while watching and waving from a safe spot. Neighbors said this way they still get to see the children and enjoy all the creative costumes.

Catholic schools are also figuring out ways for their students to enjoy the holiday season — which celebrates All Hallow’s Eve, and honors All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day — in different, safer ways. Teachers and principals are working on events that will allow students to have fun during the day.

At St. Gregory the Great in Bluffton, students will be able to dress up for an outdoor costume parade on Oct. 30, and teachers will host their own classroom celebrations, said principal Christopher Trott. Halloween movies geared toward kids will also be shown in the school gym.

“We wanted to go ahead and still celebrate to give the kids something fun,” Trott said. “They’ll still get a chance to show off their costumes as long as they fit into some boundaries, as long as they’re not scary. We tell the kids, if you’re going to be a witch, be a happy witch.”

Celebration will stretch out throughout the whole week at St. Andrew School in Myrtle Beach, according to principal Debbie Wilfong. The school will celebrate “Spirit Week” and allow kids to dress up according to specific themes each day, including a 1950s theme, “Tacky Tourist”, and superhero days. On Oct. 30, the students will take part in Halloween-themed games and enjoy treats such as ice cream.

As for what families can do at home, the Centers for Disease Control has released advisories about the safety of various activities. The agency suggests not taking part in certain traditional activities that could put people at higher risk for contracting the virus, such as:

  • Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door.
  • Trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from the trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Crowded costume parties held indoors.
  • Indoor haunted houses where people are crowded together.
  • Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

The CDC also has a list of alternative activities that are safer. Their suggestions include:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.
  • Decorating your house, yard, apartment or living space.
  • Holding a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they explore outdoors.
  • Drive-bys to admire Halloween decorations.
  • Hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Enjoying an outdoor or family Halloween movie night.

Read more about All Hallow’s Eve and its Christian origins: https://miscellany.wpengine.com/2018/10/06/spooky-scary-saintly-how-catholics-can-see-halloween-at-its-best