October 31, 2016 was my first ever Halloween. Never before had I played host to trick or treaters and I was almost clueless about what to expect. I had no idea how many kids would come and so I bought a packet of 150 ‘fun-sized’ chocolates. Soon I was overwhelmed with Internet research and started believing even 150 would not be enough. Someone on Reddit suggested I keep 500 candy ready. So I spent my day googling how many chocolates to give each visitor. Aggggh!!! (I even found a ‘highly-scientific’ Halloween candy formula! What it does: Tells you how much candy to buy based on your location)

After it was all over, I ended up having extras cause I was stingy with the first few guests assuming that I would need some for the late comers. But this was a learning experience for next year. Here is what I learned, overall.

– For one: You must decorate your house. Lights, ghosts, pumpkins, anything that signifies that you are welcoming trick-or-treaters. I left my front porch light on which was good enough but next year I intend to do up the house. It just makes it more exciting for the children and clearly indicates that we are participating.

Check out my neighbor’s house!

Here are pictures from Publix and The Home Depot of things you can buy to decorate your house and lawn.

Ideas for decor include:

-Gingerbread houses
-Skulls and skeletons

Here’s me with some more fancy, large-sized animated puppets. Guess these are for hotels and shops to decorate their windows.
The first one is man-made monster Frankenstein with wrist manacles, large plastic shoes, a cotton suit coat, LED eyes. The second fellow is a butler who mumbles something and can serve your guests candy in his metal plate.

Walmart started stocking these pretty early. August! They had various types and sizes of decorations and welcome messages.

– Secondly, I now know that only about 30 kids/guests will come. So I can divide my chocolates better. It’s nice to give about four or five. Stocking the correct approximate amount of candy is important so that you do not run out fast.

You get large packets of chocolates. You can also give out pretzels if you want to be different. This is what they were selling at Sam’s Club.

Savory treats instead of the usual sweet candy – Pretzels and Cheese Balls at Sam’s Club

– Thirdly, the host must dress up too! I was unprepared so I wore my giant goggles for a while to welcome passersby but no one looked interested. haha. Next year, I will dress up as a Florida alligator or maybe Morticia Adams (she is easy to imitate)

My last-minute costume. Big goggles and an inviting smile.

Here are photos of my visitors this year! They were so sweet. Some knocked at the door, some rang the bell and a few made creepy sounds for special effects.

Clark Kent – Superman. He loves M&M’s
Disney Princess Belle in a pretty golden gown.
Woof, woof, woof with a lightsaber
Mr Shark and Ms Elephant
The desi gang. The girl with the dollar tie said she was a ‘gangsta’ 🙂
She was dressed as a baby, had a pacifier
Adi had dressed up as a dinosaur, his favorite animal