I Don't Want My Kids to Miss Out on Trick-or-Treating, So We've Come Up With a Different Plan

It seems like after six months of putting my kids' social lives on hold and skipping our traditional summer vacations and saying "no" to simple things like dining out, COVID-19 is ready for the next fun one Spoiling activity on the Internet Calendar: Halloween. Of course, I could exercise caution and have my children tricked or treated as usual - I'm just not ready for that. With tiny hands reaching into ordinary bowls and fishing out candy (yes, I know they're wrapped up, but still ... germs) and hordes of people down the sidewalk in search of bigger, better Hershey bars flock, my nerves are already awakened and Halloween is weeks away. So I'm formulating a plan to arrange alternative Halloween fun for my brood. I don't want them to have to go without sweets and costumes - but the night of horror will be different in our house this year.
First, I encourage my crew - kids ages 12, 9, 7, and 2 - to come up with face mask costume ideas. My little dude wants to be a garbage collector, and I think a face mask could work with that idea. My oldest daughter is hoping to dress up as a character from Friends. I'm still thinking about how to get this to work.
Related: Is Trick-or-Treating Safe In The COVID Pandemic? We asked a pediatrician for advice
Once we figure out the costumes, I plan to buy each of my kids a huge bag of candy. That way, if I tell them I don't want their hands reaching out for shared goodies, they won't feel cheated. Our strategy for Halloween night is to either drive around or walk through our neighborhood and be very careful with large crowds. My community is doing everything possible to make decorations. Even if the kids aren't knocking on doors, there is still plenty to enjoy. Since we will all be wearing face masks and the infections in my area will be lower, I think it is okay if they want to hit a few houses. However, I'm not sure if I should let her eat the candy - I'll just remind her of the mother waiting for treats at home.
We go home when the crowd gets a little thicker or when my little ghouls and goblins (and Monica Geller and a garbage man) can't wait a second longer to try their favorite sweets. We're going to wash our hands, then cuddle up and not watch such scary movies - we're still years away from Friday the 13th. I'll keep everyone staying up late and looking for kids looking for candy - I love an idea I saw online (that the CDC endorses) of leaving small bags of goodies two meters away in the driveway.
In the end, I really hope that this safety conscious Halloween isn't a disappointment for my family, just a slightly different experience. We'll still be eating way too many M & Ms and SweeTarts. We'll still get dressed and walk around the neighborhood - hopefully the kids will have a chance to see some friends from a safe distance and behind our face masks. But here's the bottom line: Halloween would be way too scary if we ignored the fact that we are facing a pandemic. For me, this approach is a happy medium between canceling Halloween and pretending that the pandemic doesn't even happen.

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