HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2020
Halloween will be here in three days, but I’m discussing it now so that I can give you some safe ways to celebrate. It’s one of my favorite holidays, second to only Christmas, so I want it to be good for everyone, even in this crazy year.
Sometimes when I’m writing about a holiday, I look back over my previous columns on the topic, for inspiration. But Halloween in 2020 is a totally different animal. There’s no other year I can compare this one to.
It’s a spooky holiday to begin with, and no year has been spookier than 2020, so maybe this one is just status quo.
It’s a shame that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, when no one can, nor should, be going out! But, on the bright side, that lack of being able to celebrate on the exact day and night gives us the ability to observe it all week, even more than ever.
So, everyone, please stay at home this week-end, and, actually, for all the upcoming 2020 holidays. There’s nothing worse than having regrets, and wishing you had listened to the experts and not endangered yourself and your family is one of the worst ones you’ll ever have!
So please, please, please do not put yourself and others, especially the little ones, in harm’s way for the sake of trick-or-treating or partying this year! There’s a plethora of Halloween-related activities we can all do to have fun, while still staying safe. Yes, it won’t be the way most of us would like it to be, but it’s so much better to be safe than sorry. There will always be another Halloween next year, knock on wood. Just please safeguard yourself and your loved ones to make sure that you’ll be around for it!
Here are several fabulous ideas to ensure you have a Happy Halloween from tonight through the end of the month, including ways to make it special at home.
~ This one is tonight only, and will be a fun way to kick-off the festivities, especially for you animation fans. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz’ is celebrating International Animation Day by bringing us their Animation Fest at 8:00pm tonight, October 28, 2020. It’s being presented on-line, of course, so everyone in the world can share in the entertainment. There will be a septet of award-winning pieces from France, Belgium, and Portugal, all in French with English subtitles. (But for me, the visuals are king in animation, anyway, not the words! And I’ll be happy to practice my French!) There will be a variety of animation techniques on display, which I can’t wait to see. To view the trailer, and to purchase the most affordable tickets I’ve ever heard of, click here: www.trkanimationfest.eventive.org/welcome
~ This season’s America’s Got Talent semi-finalist, the hilarious Brett Loudermilk, is kicking the week-end off right with not one, but two live shows that you can watch on-line! The Brett Loudermilk Halloween Special runs tomorrow night, (Thursday, October 29th,) and Friday, the 30th, and will ensure that your holiday week-end starts off in a really fun, and funny, way. He’s a comedic sword swallower, and we never know just what will come out of his mouth! (See what I did there?) He’ll be joined by fellow AGT alum, the creative Puddles Pity Party, along with Gilbert Gottfried as Dracula. There will be some other surprise guests, as well. Here’s the link for very affordable tickets and all the other info: www.stellartickets.com
~ Bob Baker’s Marionettes are back on PlayhouseLive with their Hallowe’en SpOoKtAcUlAr. And for this one, you have until November 18th to stream it! Kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy seeing the almost-one-hundred puppet characters, including the Purple People Eater, Dracula, and the Invisible Man. And closed captioning will be available in both English and Spanish. For all of the information about PlayhouseLive, go here: www.playhouselive.org.
~ If you’re uber-cautious, as I am, there are plenty of spooky virtual experiences, like the ones above. There are on-line shows, Zoom experiences, and even a few radio ones. The latter can be the scariest—just shut all the lights, and hold flashlights under your chin for the others to see. If you can listen in a tent in the backyard, all the better!
~ If you have kids, (or just sugarholic grown-ups around,) do a candy search around the house. (Mr. X actually does that every night. He begs me to hide it from him, since he doesn’t want to eat sugar, and then he winds-up desperate to find it!)
~ There are several drive-in movies this season, featuring scary films this week-end. You just have to check around for the ones in your area.
~ Speaking of local fun, many cities around the country are having drive-thru attractions, like the ones we usually walk through. There are haunted “houses,” exotic pumpkin patches, and the like.
~ Make Halloween-themed treats and decorations. It’s fun to do with kids, and actually, with just a couple of grown-ups, too!
~ Have your kids still don costumes, (and you do it, too,) and have a Zoom “party” with their friends. I really do think it can be tons of fun. They can also compare candy, decorations, and take turns telling scary or jokes. (I was an elementary school teacher, so I really do know of what I speak!)
~ Drive around to see all the decorated houses in your town, dressed in costumes yourselves. Just don’t forget to put your masks on, (your PPE ones, in addition to your scary ones,) if you have the windows open. (Here are a few in Los Angeles: a Disney-inspired extravaganza at 1505 N. Valley St. in Burbank; a Beetlejuice-themed design on the 14000 block of Valley Vista in Sherman Oaks; one that was recommended to me on Crescenda and Saltair in Brentwood; and a nighttime-and-week-end-only one at Chapman and Magnolia in Riverside.)
~ Spend the time to send out e-cards, making each one personal, instead of just a group email.
And just a reminder…not everyone celebrates Halloween, so it’s never imperative to do so, especially this year. Once kids are around twelve, they’re usually done with it all, anyway. As late teens, they may get into the holiday again, but for parties only, not trick-or-treating. So if your little ones miss one year of going to the homes of strangers for mystery treats, so be it. I grew up in Brooklyn, and kids always missed something around this time of year there because of getting sick. So just deal with it, people!
And just remember—the scariest thing in the world is getting the coronavirus! Is a little free candy worth that? I think not. (And really–do any of us really need any more sugar, now that we’ve all gained the “covid nineteen”?!)
If you still need something to make you happy right about now, just remember—all those bags of Halloween candy leftover in the stores will be just about free next week! Now that’s something to look forward to.
Happy Halloween! At least 2020’s rendition will be a memorable one!
[And when you’re done celebrating on Saturday night, in one of the safe ways I just suggested, don’t forget to turn your clocks back! It’s the perfect day to get an extra hour of sleep, even though that’s what most of us have been doing for the past seven and a half months! But, in general, it is another perk of having Halloween fall on a Saturday!]