Many of us remember Halloween’s of yesteryear, when costumes were hand-made and it was safe to get a candied apple or small cup of apple cider from the neighbors when trick-or-treating. Bring those memories to life again with an old-fashioned Halloween party. With the ghosts and goblins coming out for treats on Monday night this year, the Saturday before the 31st. would be a great time to have family and friends over for the festivities.
Plan ahead, then you can enjoy the party
- Make a list of family and friends that will feel comfortable dressing up for Halloween.
- Make invitations (great for the kids to handle this) or buy if you prefer.
- Be clear in your invitations as to when, where and what time party begins and ends
- Not necessary, but fun to do; make ‘menu’ cards. They can be placed at the table, or given to guests to take home as a memento. Again, this is a great family project.
Have lots of decorations, keep them simple
- Paint faces on little pumpkins, gourds, turnips and potatoes. Arrange on platters using artificial or real colored leaves.
- Make ghosts using white pillow cases or other pieces of white material.Hang from corners of windows and doors.
- Using construction paper, cut out leaves, pumpkins, witches hats and half-moons to hang around the house.
- To make it easy on yourself, get either plain or decorated paper plates and cups, and plastic utensils. Clean-up will be a snap.
Festive treats for the party, again, keep it simple.
- If you or a family member have a favorite salad recipe, potato, pasta and the like, let that be the ‘centerpiece’ of the table. Don’t be afraid to ask someone.
- Finger or half sandwiches, using two or three different fillings will go over well. Try tuna, chicken, pimento cheese or egg salad.
- A fresh fruit platter will be a hit. Use fruits in season. Grapes, cantelope and strawberries are always nice. An easy dip can be made using plain or vanilla yogurt with honey and cinnamon added.
- This would be a good time to make the Crock pot Wassail that was featured in a previous column.
- Have cookies and Harvest Ice Cream for dessert. You can make the Ice cream by letting a half gallon of vanilla ice cream come to room temperature (just until it is soft) and adding a couple teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Mix it in well and refreeze. If you wish, a half teaspoon of Rum flavoring will give this ice cream a real Zing.
Festive Halloween Games
- Have a costume parade and select someone to be the ‘judge’. Give a prize for the best, worst, funniest and scariest costume.
- Play pin the stem on the pumpkin. Cut out a large pumpkin from construction paper. Using green paper, make a stem to pin on the pumpkin. Have an inexpensive door prize for the winner.
- Bobbing for apples is always fun, especially for the youngsters. Remember, no hands allowed! Give a prize to the winner.
- Remember when you last played ‘Musical chairs’? This game is sure to please.
- This activity can be done as teams of 2 or 3 people. Have on hand several small to medium pumpkins. Let the ‘teams’ make them into jack-o-lanterns. The finished products can then be taken home to decorate front porches or stoops.
Everyone is sure to have a good time, and go home with warm memories of the fun and friendship shared. Nothing is better than an Old Fashioned Halloween.