You don’t have to live in Salem, MA to enjoy Halloween.  People throughout the country celebrate.  In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 158 million consumers will spend an average of $75.03 on decorations, costumes, and candy.  Total spending is expected to reach $6.9 billion.   Halloween costumes are selling for pets!

Trick or Treating is an American tradition.  Though dressing up and ringing doorbells to ask for candy can be fun, Halloween Parties provide an opportunity to get together with friends.  Unlike Trick or Treating that’s child centered, Halloween Parties can be for kids or adults or all ages.

If, however, you’re haunted by the prospect of planning and hosting a Halloween Party, there’s a spell for that.  Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be a Halloween Party Pro:

1. Determine who you’re inviting and what you want to accomplish.   Then, it’s easy to assess age and interest appropriate activities.

2. Decide how you would like to set the stage for a spirited celebration.  For example, you might want to incorporate a cauldron of “witches brew,” chilling background noise, or cob webs.  Activities could include pumpkin carving, palm reading, playing games, listening to spooky story-telling, or watching a scary movie.

3. Visit a few of the better Halloween Party planning websites.   Real Simple features Creative Halloween Party Ideas, including a whimsical invitation suggestion, fang napkin rings, bat drink stirrers, and spooky labels on familiar drinks.  These ideas are easy to assemble and easy on your wallet.  Disney’s Spoonful has a Halloween Headquarters, featuring party, costume, and activity ideas.  You’ll even find quotes from Disney movie villains, like the Queen of Hearts and Captain Hook.  Martha Stewart crosses all t’s and dots all i’s with a comprehensive Halloween Party Planning section, including Last Minute Halloween, Halloween Make-Up, and Pet Costumes.  Get inspired by zany décor on Pinterest.

4. Consider all possible Halloween Party planning tasks with a step by step Halloween Party planning checklist: Real Simple Party Planning Made Easy.  All steps include detailed ideas and resources.  For example, host a Pumpkin Carving Party, and get a “how to” link.  In the costume category there’s a link for no cost/low cost last minute adult costumes.

Stretch the right side of your brain!  Levitate your party to the next level.  Make unusual, easy choices for decorations, activities, and menu.  Halloween is creeping up.  Be prepared with resources and resolve.  Enjoy party preparation.  Have a wickedly wonderful Halloween!

Life is short.  Celebrate!