Halloween is the spookiest time of the year according to dads who say the word “spooky” in a vampire voice.
And each year, Halloween serves as the ideal setting for dads everywhere to dad out to their heart’s content. What other holiday combines house decorating, pumpkin carving, giving candy to children, all while actively encouraging you to dress up as something with a pun in it?
But if you’re a dad who somehow is at a loss for how to handle this hectic holiday, we have a nifty little guide for you to ensure your Halloween is a raging success. You won’t even have to dress up as a serial killer, though you probably will anyway.
Use Fake Spiderwebs Liberally
You don’t have to go crazy decorating your house for Halloween (though you are certainly welcome to do so), but you don’t want to be the house with nothing in the decoration department.
That’s where the beauty of fake spider webs come into play. You can decorate as much or as little as you want on the cheap — a $5 bag of fake spiderwebs can practically cover your entire house, and takes about two minutes to set up and take down.
It’s the quickest way to make your house look Halloween-ready by far.
Scare Gags Are Encouraged
Halloween is pretty much the one time of the year where dads can go out of their way to scare the absolute shit out of kids with little-to-no consequence. Take advantage!
You can install something that makes a startling noise when it senses motion, or you can do the old standby of sitting very still and trying to look like a dummy on a chair with a bucket of candy before shouting “BOO” as soon as some kids try to grab some.
We’re not saying you’re specifically going to want to make kids cry, we just know you’d absolutely find it funny if you did.
Buy A Variety Of Candy
You don’t want to be egged, right? Of course not. The downside to Halloween is that dozens, if not hundreds, of kids are going to be flocking to your residence demanding that you feed them, and if they are left unsatisfied there is a very real chance that they will let loose on your house with a carton of eggs.
So don’t be the guy who just buys a bag of fun-sized snickers and calls it a day. A prepared dad has a large variety, encompassing all tastes and preferences. Don’t go too chocolate heavy, try to avoid Mounds if humanly possible, and remember that kids are fickle little monsters and you’re going to have to get at least three different types of variety packs to appease them.
Avoid Full-Size Or King-Size Candy Bars
On paper, being the house that gives full candy bars on Halloween is great. You’re basically a neighborhood legend among children.
But apart from the cost to be “that guy,” there are a lot of traps along the road to cool-dad-hood that you might not be able to navigate. First, you have to make sure to overstock on candy, since nothing will piss off a kid more than being told there is a house giving away king-sized candy bars only to show up after you’ve run out.
Then, you have to deal with the fact that your house will be swamped the entire day. So no chance to relax while watching a horror film and drinking a beer, nope, you’re going to be on call all day.
And finally, back to the subject of vandalism. Being the king-bar guy puts you on everyone’s radar, and some kids are assholes who like to see the world burn. You’re better off fighting the urge to splurge, and just stay below the radar.
Have Fun With Your Costume
Dressing up for Halloween is fun, and for whatever reason parents are actually a bit more accepting of a stranger giving their kids candy if they’re dressed like someone else.
But there are no ground rules here — you are dressing up for yourself, not to impress anyone. Kids don’t care what you’re dressed as, and they won’t even ask, so if you want to dress as a bad pun, or an obscure character from one of your favorite show, go nuts with it.
Do Not Get Emotionally Attached To Your Jack-O-Lantern
Finally, let’s talk about your pumpkin situation. Yes, you printed out an “extra hard” pumpkin carving sheet and managed to make an honest-to-God Death Star, and yes, that’s very impressive.
But you have to come to terms with the fact that your pumpkin very likely will not survive Halloween night. Just take your photos during the day before the mad scramble of trick-or-treaters storm your house, and leave the rest to God. Because it will get smashed, or stomped, or will just somehow rot more in one night than it did in the past 10 days, and no matter what it’s near the end of it’s jack-o-life. If you can make sure that doesn’t bother you, you’ll save yourself some Halloween grief.
Lastly, make sure to have a fun and safe Halloween, and feel free to sneak a few beers in there while you’re at it.