I usually do little more for Halloween than try to evade the candy-grubbing kids in our neighborhood—all six of them! Hey, why should I buy a monstrous bag of candy for only six kids? I’d rather pretend that I’m not home. Furthermore, since our son has no interest in costumes or socializing with us (teenagers!), the fun for me has almost been vacuumed out of Halloween.
Since Halloween 2008 is on a Friday this year, I’ve been giving some thought to a potential soiree next week. A few friends, a few cocktails, a few bites, and a few BWUAHAHAAHAHAS are the perfect potion for a swanky Halloween cocktail party! If you’re not sure what’s on your agenda, I’ve included tips for a budget-friendly partay!
Costumes? On such short notice, encourage everyone to simply wear black. Masks are optional. One of the most stressful elements of Halloween is trying to figure what you’re going to “be.” Make it easy for your friends. You might also have favors; order now and they should arrive just in time.
Your backdrop? Rent Carrie, Friday the Thirteenth, or any scream-inducing movie, pop it in, and put the TV on mute! Dim the lights, ignite a few candles, and pop in your iPod with a Halloween-inspired play list. I’ve included some suggested tunes below:
- “Ghostbusters,” Ray Parker, Jr.
- “Thriller,” Michael Jackson
- “The Monster Mash,” Boris Pickett
- Jaws theme
- X-Files theme
- The Munsters theme
- The Adams Family theme
- “I Put A Spell On You,” Nina Simone
- “In the Midnight Hour,” Wilson Pickett
- Twilight Zone theme
Also include various Halloween-esque sound bites.
Decor? If you’re inspired to carve a pumpkin or two into jack-o-lanterns, do so this weekend. As mentioned above, your lighting will be the saving grace, so pop a couple into the scarily-etched gourds. Not that ambitious? Well ... buy a few of those $1 plastic jack-o-lanterns and place them throughout your entertaining space. Fill them with treats! If you’re so inclined (and it’s in your budget), pick up festive cups and napkins.
Bites? Finally! Think tapas. An antipasti platter. Nuts. Popcorn. Skewers (veggie, shrimp, chicken satay, etc.). Reference The Minimalist’s small plate recommendations for ideas.
Entertainment? Should the natives grow restless, keep them entertained with: karaoke, Halloween MadLibs, or Halloween-inspired charades (using a stack of index cards write words related to Halloween, split in two teams and the guessing game begins).
Cheers to hoping you’ll do something fun on All Hallow’s Eve. All that’s missing from this concoction is you and a group of great friends!