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It’s October 22nd (as of now), which means what?
It’s time to start preparations for Halloween! Unless, of course, you started already. Jack Skellington is on it all year round.
What are your plans for this year? Meet up with friends? Go out for trick-or-treats? Find the most hilarious/beautiful/unbelievable costume to try on?
Oh wait. We are still in 2020, aren’t we?
No parties, no friends, no going out, I guess – without a mask at least. And I don’t mean it as a part of your costume (though, you know, let your imagination run free).
Halloween associates with loud, cheerful, bright gatherings – be that kids running around, BBQ party for their parents, or students always finding a place and time for celebration. But this year it’s time to try something new.
Of course, if you can and want to go out, meet up with someone, throw a party (all precautions in place, I suppose) – great! You go!
But it isn’t always an option – especially in 2020 – so here, specifically for you, is a list of ideas for cozy Halloween on your own. And keep in mind that you don’t have to choose only one option! Mix up a bit, find what you like, a bit more of one kind, a bit less of another.
Choose what suits you – and remember that it’s a celebration! Relax and enjoy to the fullest.
1. Movie Night (obviously)
As the comment suggests, that one is pretty obvious. I even mentioned it in my bucket list for autumn already, because that one is a must for proper atmosphere.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper (or, you know, just keep holding your phone in hand), google something like “Halloween movies 2020”. If you have some special wishes, you can always add “for” or “with”. “For kids”, “with songs”, “for dogs”, “with spaceships”. Google is a smart pal, I’m sure they’ll figure out what you want.
Now, it may take a bit of time – if you ever tried to decide on a movie you want to watch, you know how it goes (or is it only me who can spend hours deciding between romcom and sci-fi, only to screw it and go for old animation in the end?).
But it’s okay.
Like with self-care, you are spending time on arranging something you’re going to enjoy, so don’t stress out (yes, it is possible to get stressed at the movie choice, I know) and take your time.
Got that list? No matter how many you chose, one or twenty, better get ready with technical side first. Sign up for Netflix or Amazon, buy online, go to local cinema, if they’re already open.
Nothing ruins the mood better than spending additional hour on figuring how and where to watch, when you’re all set and ready.
Well, now, all is left is to prepare snacks and blankets, bring your pet for company, turn the lights off – and enjoy.
2. Baking Night
Yup, you heard it right: I suggest you to actually work on something.
Or, well, no – if you don’t enjoy baking, or even cooking overall, just skip that option. There are plenty of Halloween goods in stores and delivery apps, you can always get yourself something someone already prepared for you.
But if spending time at the kitchen, with all the tasting, smelling and humming to your favorite songs, brings you joy, then I definitely have something for you!
It’s always nice to work on something special, not your regular fried egg in the morning or a couple of cupcakes with no particular taste. So, why not use a special day for that exact purpose?
Turn off the phone (or at least social media) to not get distracted, grab a recipe and dive straight into it. You can even use a bit of frog’s breath and crow’s feathers to make it extra Halloween-ish.
And about the recipes, well, there are plenty of ideas all over social media feeds already – but here are some that caught my attention:
- Halloween Monster Sugar Cookies
- Jack Skellington-Inspired Pumpkin Caramel Pie
- Halloween Whoopie Pies
- Halloween Ghost Cookies
They are fairly simple and pretty, so even if you are not used to baking, check them out – maybe, you’ll find something to your taste! Or, of course, you can search for something on your own, something that suits your taste better.
All in all, this holiday is for you to enjoy, so feel free to make and bake whatever you like!
3. DIY Night
Here’s one more idea that requires a bit of effort – but gives you lots of positive emotions in return.
I already mentioned it once before, but making something yourself is a great boost of both creativity and motivation. Not even mentioning all the pride and joy you feel when it’s over!
And when it’s something for holidays? Something bright orange or pitch black? Something special, with a spooky spirit of autumn?
Just imagine how wonderful it is to have your home decorated with pretty things you made with your own hands! Or you can take it a step further and make little presents, for friends or family – I’m sure kids will be happy to receive something special for that special day.
So, are you ready to spend some time with glue, scissors, paper, and a piece of yarn? Are you ready to Do It Yourself?
Once again, here are some ideas to give you a start. I listed a few in my bucket list post – but these are more spoo-o-o-oky.
- Black Rose Paper Flower Bouquet
- Colorful Tissue Ghosts
- Paper Pumpkin Craft
- DIY Halloween Paper Towel Roll and Tealight Candles
- Dangling Spider Webs
And, again, these are only a few things I found – but you have a whole internet to explore as well!
Just remember to prepare all the materials beforehand – October 31st may be a bit too late.
4. Gaming Night
Why not? It’s your time, and your way to celebrate!
If playing games is something that helps you to relax and brings you joy, then go for it.
You can play alone or with someone, online or offline, install on your laptop or find a board game to enjoy. Heck, you can even spend a whole night doing puzzles with your cat. Just cozy, peaceful Halloween – sounds good for me.
Also, if you still don’t know the power of board games, it’s the best time to try!
My friends bought me “Arkham Horror” [aff.] as a birthday present a couple of years ago, and, oof, what a great time I’d have with that one this Halloween. Unfortunately, I had to leave it with my housemates when I was moving back home, with a promise to come back for it one day. The day hasn’t come yet.
We used to spend nights playing this one together – but you can play it on your own as well (I definitely did, and not even once). And it’s all scary and spooky. It’s based on Lovecraft’s stories – and I LOVE these, so, yes, my personal recommendation for Halloween.
Overall, if you’re okay with spending time on reading and understanding game mechanics, try board games. It’s hard to explain their wonder in words, but I’d choose them over practically any other hobby, except, maybe, for reading.
Another recommendation, this time for you console or PC – “Night in the Woods” [aff.].
I don’t really play games (and I didn’t expect for this point to get so long); I like to try something new, but I rarely have enough patience and interest to get to the end. Which is why I’ve only finished 4 games in my life – and that one is one of them. And I am going for a second round.
I don’t want to take much of your time on explaining why I love that game so much. But I want to mention what hooked me up into playing it for days. Realism. Honesty. Inner beauty.
The game deals with social, economic, mental health issues (to name a few) in the modern society – but without much drama. It has supernatural elements to it (Halloween and autumn atmosphere included), but it’s built on real problems of real people, even if they don’t look like humans. I recognized myself in some characters, and I’m sure anyone can find themselves in there too.
So, these are my thoughts on the gaming night – but you can always find something else for yourself to enjoy! Just remember that games are not only for kids or teens these days.
5. Reading Night
Here we are!
Of course, of course, I had to put this idea out there. If you are alone, in a quiet and dark house, on your own (or with a couple of pets), on October 31st – get yourself a cup of hot chocolate, prepare a couple of books, and let your imagination run wild.
There are many good horror authors out there, but I’m gonna go for my personal recommendations again.
I’m not that much of a horror fan. But there was that weird period in my early depression, when I was watching or reading something blood-curdling almost every night, just to make sure I can still feel something. It lasted for a couple of weeks, but love for a bit of chills remained.
That’s why I’m actually excited to share some good stories with you!
I already mentioned Lovecraft, right? Oh, I really, really love his style. Actually, my friends bought Arkham specifically because I was talking about him so much.
“The Call of Cthulhu” is his most famous story – you could hear the name or see a glimpse of the octopus-headed god-like monster. It’s been reinterpreted thousands of times, especially in modern media – but lovecraftian horrors are much more than that.
His stories scare not with blood or darkness but with almost philosophical ideas that there are things in the universe we will never be able to understand, will never be able to see, and will never be able to protect ourselves from.
I like long novellas, and most of Lovecraft’s works are short stories, so, obviously, my favorites are the longest ones. Especially “At the Mountains of Madness” [aff.]. There’s something about Antarctica’s unknown depths and distance from civilization that made me read it in one breath.
But if you’re not a fan of out-of-this-world stories, or just prefer a bit less of mysterious veil, there’s always the King of Horror, the one and only, Stephen King.
You can call his style specific, and some of his works didn’t impress me – but others left my legs trembling and heart pounding. I’m sure you’re familiar with lots of his works, at least through their movie adaptations, like “It” or “Carrie”, so not going to talk about them a lot.
But, just to keep it equal, my personal choice in his bibliography is “Pet Sematary” [aff.]. Movie adaptation came out last year – but it didn’t give the book any justice. If you watched, erase it from your memory and go for the book. You won’t regret.
6. Special Self-Care Night
Alright, now that we listed all of the smaller ideas, let’s combine it into something even better!
It is important to have a place for self-care in your day-to-day life – but does it have to be all the same on holidays? Absolutely not.
Or, of course, you have to stick to things you enjoy daily – but you can also add up something special. Treat yourself in a way you rarely do on other days.
It may be something you wanted to do long time ago. Aromatherapy, your favorite book from childhood, and a few lighted up candles all over the house? Or, maybe, a hike up in the hills with your dog, a couple of hours just with your thoughts and nature? Or, let me think, a patch of fresh-baked cupcakes, a movie under cozy blankets, and then a few stories to keep the mood going before bed?
Make that day even more special than it already is!
And you can emphasize it with trying something new, with clear Halloween spirit to it.
Cover pumpkins with positive affirmations. Dress up in a funny costume. Collect autumn leaves. Trick-or-treat yourself with candies. Write your own ghost story. Make pancakes in the form of skulls. Find a black cat to pet. Paint. Read. Watch. Go out.
If you are spending that day on your own, feel free to make it fully Yours.
Good luck, and remember to let me know if you tried something from above. I’m curious about how you’re going to celebrate Halloween this time around!