Usually we get out old Captain Jack Skully and put him out front. He used to live in the boys closet - he was great at scaring away the other monsters that wanted to hang out in there.
Last year the kids all carved pumpkins, as usual, on big plastic tablecloths on the back patio. We toast the seeds and munch on them, have some brownies, then pose with the masterpieces. I love pumpkins - love the word pumpkin. We're not carving pumpkins at our house this year.
On Halloween I make a triple batch of chili beans. This is a great recipe passed over years ago (before I was born) by friends from Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. It's called Cheyenne Wells Chili (not a very original name, but it works great if you say it with a sort-of "cowboy" accent). Not too hot - just right for every taste. Sometime I may share the recipe. :) We set out a variety of things and sit around munching with any neighbors that want to drop in for a bite of "real" food. And cupcakes.
When the kids are finished trick-or-treating we open our side gate and invite friends to watch a movie. This is one of the joys of Arizona - great weather for Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's just beautiful. So, we show a movie on the side of our house - like a drive in. We make popcorn in the big machine and have it out there...lots of fun! But, not this year. The kids get to spend Halloween this year with their other parents at their other homes. Sometimes that just feels weird - but it's not something I resent at all. It's just the state of things...
We're going out of town (my husband and I) for Halloween. A nice little over night get-away. I don't even know yet what we're doing (I vote Disneyland)! But it will be fun. Then, hopefully, before Thanksgiving we can set up our tree!! The scary stuff comes off and we have a "gratitude" tree. All month long in November we put tags on the tree, listing the things that we're grateful for. We add more tags the day of Thanksgiving at the big feast.