All right, you guys. Halloween is just around the corner. You’ve probably put some time into your costume, but if you’re staying home and socially distant, have you considered setting the scene on your porch or in your front yard?
Since kids these days get candy for nearly every holiday (in their Easter baskets, for Hannukah or Christmas, and Valentines), and — let’s be honest — they usually don’t need an excuse to play dress-up, the eerie mood of the night is what makes Halloween truly special. Let’s make this year’s candy hand-out one to remember, shall we?
Even if you’re short on time, there’s a lot you can do. We’ll start with something small: the candy basket. Sarah from Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville) whipped up this darling jack o’lantern basket from a Goodwill store, and used a little spray paint, felt and glue to complete the look. It’s so much more relevant than a big plastic chip bowl. Since thrifted things can sometimes come home a bit dusty and wicker is especially hard to clean, Sarah suggests using canned air to spray away the evidence that years of use can leave behind. Brilliant! This would work for cleaning up so many other Goodwill scores, too!
One way to take your doorway display to the next level is to implement a bit of trickery to accompany those treats. Here’s a memory that haunts me to this day (in a good way): One Halloween I was out trick-or-treating, dressed as a sweet little ballerina, making my way toward a friendly face framed by the glow of her home and the shadowy doorway around her. My tiny hand reached out for the candy bowl when suddenly a scarecrow sitting in a rocking chair inches away on my left side leapt to life! Terrified, I ditched all thoughts of desserts and flew back to my parents’ arms. Now, I’m not suggesting that you scare the pants (or tutus) off of innocent little children, but I do think this scarecrow costume by Run Style Run would be pretty easy to pull off last minute, especially if you’re able to make a Goodwill trip. Hey, you’ve gotta get your Halloween kicks in, too, right? Waiting around for trick-or-treaters all night can get a bit boring. And be sure to incorporate a mask into your costume to keep those little trick-or-treaters safe while they’re out and about!
Not a fan of that level of theatrics? This display from Chantal of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England (Portland, ME) is a high-impact, low-stress threshold to imitate instead. Even if you only picked one of the smaller projects, your décor would still be en point. The wreath, for example, has just one slight modification: the addition of plastic snakes! My favorite is the dead branch draped with spider webs and crawling with bugs. Most of these supplies can be sourced inexpensively (and at the last minute) from your local Goodwill. You’ve still got time to make this holiday one for the books. You can do it!
If you’re going out into your community for some socially distanced trick-or-treating this year, consider this: Community-based Goodwill organizations build revenues and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packing and assembly, food service preparation, groundskeeping and administrative support. So when you get scary good deals on your holiday needs by shopping at Goodwill stores, you’re also helping the health of your local community! That’s not such a spooky thought, is it?
This article originally appeared on Goodwill Industries International.