By Joanne Eglash
Don't get spooked by lack of preparation this Halloween: by planning your festivities early, you can guarantee that your October 31 will be filled with treats, not tricks!
Halloween traditions range from apple-bobbing games to costume contests to pumpkin-carving challenges to haunted houses to old-fashioned trick-or-treating time. If your to-do list acquires a length more scary than a witch's brew, take a page from an event planner's cauldron of advice: ask friends or family to help!
Event Planner Brews Up Tips on Preparation "Get others involved -- family or friends," says Phyllis Cambria, an award-winning event planner in Coconut Creek, Florida, who has authored several party planning books. If you want to make decorations and/or decorate your home, you can even turn this phase into "the party before the party.""
Other tips from Phyllis include:
• To choose which areas of your home to decorate, focus on where your guests will congregate and roam. Your bedroom closet is out – but don't forget a witch dangling over the toilet! If there are spaces that you want to keep private, "have a little fun with it and put up signs that say "Entrance Forbidden," "If You Enter, You Will Die," and so forth. Most guests get the hint!" says Phyllis.
• Plan something bewitching to get your guests in the mood as they enter the house, such as "a spider or a skeleton that drops when they come in the door, or ghostly sounds or an electronic "talking" door decoration."
•Choose seasonal invitations to get guests in the spirit. And say "yes" on costumes: a Halloween party "should be a costume party.""
• Want to serve traditional party foods, such as spinach dip and chips? "Even more traditional party foods take on a Halloween note if you serve them on theme-related platters and bowls. Hollowed-out pumpkins are a great serving bowl for soups, stews and things like spinach dip. Hollowed-out gourds are great for serving dip and keep guests in the mood.
Halloween Finger Cookies
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