The Final Week Halloween 2020 is nearly in the can. How do I feel about it?

Two bags of fun sized Halloween candy the size of pillows from Costco are in the corner of the room right now. Last year, on a Thursday Halloween, we went through three. Will I be returning one of these bags on November 1st? Or will I run out and end up raiding my pantry for bags of fruit snacks and loose change for the last straggling trick or treaters? It could go either way!

It’s so hard to believe The Season is almost through already. It always catches me by surprise when I see the first Jack O Lantern image at the grocery store every August, but it’s even more startling when I realize that in just a week’s time, my entire daily routine will change. That’s not much of an exaggeration. Halloween gives me a default wardrobe (an ever-growing collection of black T-shirts with horror movies on them), a collection of music and podcasts to listen to in the car, and a specific selection of things to watch at night. Not to mention little projects galore.

This year I am making a candy chute to facilitate responsible, socially distanced trick or treating. I will bring out my biggest strobe light as a beacon for trick or treaters, and show Halloween movies on my outdoor projector. And, time permitting, I’ll dress up in costume and pose as a decoration in the yard to do some quality scaring. I don’t know how many visitors we will get this year – on a Saturday Halloween with a full moon, may I remind – but whoever does show up is going to get a concentrated dose of Halloween spirit.

We had our big party on Saturday, which of course was not “big” in attendance, but big in sincerity. There wasn’t much of a difference in the execution of the party for 1/5 the normal amount of attendees. Just no formal costume contest, a little less food, and no need to re-arrange the furniture to make more space. It was still a great time, and A-games were brought in terms of costumes nevertheless. It was nice not having to stress about hosting 60 people.

With such little time left in the season I plan to try to cram in as much last minute Halloween activity as possible. Gotta hit a few annual horror movie staples still, and get caught up on The Haunting of Bly Manor. I’m really looking forward to carving a pumpkin and roasting the seeds this year, I don’t know why.

However your Halloween season has been celebrated thus far, I hope that some of that unique, pure, simple flavor has found its way into your heart, penetrating through the poison fog of a global pandemic and the most bitter, cynical election year in living memory. I call the holidays “a vacation from cynicism”. That’s needed now more than ever, but it’s also harder than ever before. It’s not impossible. You just need to flex your willpower a little bit.

There’s still time to make this a proper Halloween if it hasn’t happened for you yet. Start with a big orange pumpkin and go from there.

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