Every year my family gets dressed in our most ghoulish outfits and trick or treat through our local neighbourhood. It's a tradition we all look forward to with much excitement.
But like all things this year, COVID-19's put a stop to our plans.
However, my kids have missed out on so much already, that when it comes to their favourite celebration, I refuse to let them down. Halloween may look different this year, but it will still go on.
We will most definitely still talk about it incessantly. Planning and then changing our costumes, almost on a daily basis. We will discuss lollies a lot. We will decorate the front of our house and drive around at night looking for other 'haunted houses' to admire.
Yet, on the night, we will not trick or treat. It's not the right thing to do this year (and who knows if we'll ever do it again), and for many kids, in places like Victoria, it is not permitted.
Crowds of kids amassing on doorsteps and rifling their hands through baskets full of lollies is not something that should be happening in this post-COVID world.
Instead, we'll be inviting a few kids over to our house and having a costume party. And when the time comes, we'll fill a pinata with wrapped lollies and let the kids go for it.
It's not going to be the same, but it will be something for the kids to look forward to. It'll make them smile and laugh. It'll satisfy they desire for sweet treats. It'll be something fun and silly in a year full of disappointments and uncertainty.
Sadly, one of the best parts of Halloween will be missing – and during this time of disconnection – it's probably the most important part. We won't be wandering our neighbourhood and meeting people in our local community. That sense of connection – walking together smiling at other friendly faces, complimenting others on their cool costumes, exchanging tips on the best houses to collect lollies and joyfully weaving through the dark streets of our neighbourhood – will be missed greatly.
I hope people take the time to pop some decorations on their houses so other families can get some joy driving past or on their evening walks. Anything that can make our kids smile, during what has truly been a shitty year for so many, is a fabulous thing to do.
You don't need to spend a lot of money to make Halloween fun, it's more about doing something together as a family, doing something that is frivolous and silly, doing something that will make everyone smile, and hopefully, for that one night push aside the anxiety, sadness and disappointment that has impacted so many.
And if Halloween isn't your thing, then maybe you could decorate your house early for Christmas. C'mon, do it for the kids. And the adults that are young at heart.