A pair of trick-or-treaters in homemade ghost costumes

Halloween 2012 is on Wednesday, October 31. We love all things autumnal, but I have to tell you I intensely dislike it when Halloween falls on a weekday. Every single parent in town is dashing like mad to get home and hastily push costumes onto children and head out before dark for trick-or-treating. Then there’s the whole matter of when, what, and how to feed our dependents at some point during the evening.

Here are some tips for keeping Halloween organized, safe, and fun:
1.Plan. Make a plan and stick to it as best you can. Know when you need to leave work and what route you’ll take, with an optional back up route.
2.Stay calm. Rushing home in traffic will increase your chances of having an accident, which would seriously hamper the evening’s fun factor.
3.Organize. Lay outfits AND treat bags out the night before (remember accessories!).
4.Eat. Eat actual food. Wednesday is a great day to turn on the crockpot before you leave home. Set up an easy chili or chicken tortilla soup. Full of protein to keep the family fortified while running around the neighborhood, the hearty one-potters will be ready when you dash into your house for instant dinnertime.
5.Reinforcements! Call friends for help. Ask a friend or neighbor to help with pickup or even dinner. We’ve established a wonderful tradition with our friends. She’s a nurse and is off on Wednesdays, so she set up her place as a home base. She’s cooking massive amounts of chili for 4 or 5 families to share. (I know, she really is a great friend).
6.Be Safe. As it’s getting darker earlier, make sure your children can be seen while they’re out during the evening. Add some reflective tape to kids’ shoes and clothing tonight, add glow-in-the-dark necklaces to that princess costume and give superheroes flashlights.

Keeping stress levels low with well thought-out organization will significantly improve everyone’s fun.

How are you handling the weeknight extra activity?