Halloween is just eight days away and falls on a Saturday, which under normal circumstances would be ideal — no school-day bedtimes and the whole day to celebrate.
Halloween parties and trick-or-treating are not likely to be the focal point of the holiday this year. Columbus Mayor Robert Smith has asked people to forgo trick-or-treating, and we suspect other area mayors will do the same. Additionally, many of us will feel safer staying away from larger Halloween parties.
But being cautious doesn’t have to mean being boring. With the right creative spirit, Halloween this year has the potential to be transformed and improved.
Every holiday tradition – including those we associate with Halloween, began with a novel idea, a new wrinkle, a spirit of adventure.
With eight days to prepare, parents have plenty of time to re-imagine the holiday for their home-bound kids.
The possibilities are endless. You can gather around the fire-pit in the backyard and tell ghost stories, perhaps helping children discover new stories and letting them share their favorites around the fire.
For those longer-term Columbus residents who know the legend, perhaps it’s a good night for a drive down “Three Legged Lady Road.”
In lieu of trick-or-treating, drive around and look at decorations then bring the kids to the kitchen and help them make their own candies and treats.
Another car-bound idea is to make the short drive to Carrollton, Alabama to see the “face in the courthouse window.” A marker there will explain the legend.
Invent stories, based on the kids costumes, that can be staged as living-room plays for children and parents to act out (Parents are always good in the role of “unwitting victim”).
Play games, watch scary movies.
With a little imagination, families have an opportunity to rewrite the script for Halloween.
Who knows? Some of these 2020 concessions to the pandemic may evolve into new family traditions that will live in the memories of children — and adults — throughout their lives.
The lesson for Halloween — like for most of this year — could be that the key to a happy life is not so much what happens, but how you respond to what happens.
This Halloween has the potential to be the best ever.
Don’t waste the opportunity.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.