Halloween Tailgating: A trick-or-treat alternative

29 Oct

My sister told me that she and my niece are participating in something called “Trunk or treating” this Halloween. Neither of us had heard of it before this year. However, this form of “Halloween tailgating” is becoming increasingly popular, which makes sense when you think about the fact that it actually solves many trick-or-treat-related problems – from rural trick-or-treaters who have miles between houses to urban New Yorkers and their doormanned buildings – and it is safer than traditional trick-or-treating to be sure. (At least no one seems concerned about razor blades in popcorn balls anymore.)

All you have to do is gather friends, family, classmates or any community group in a school or church parking lot and decorate trunks of cars and truck beds with a Halloween or autumn-themed design. Then hand out treats (or tricks).

I asked my sister how she’s transforming the trunk of her Prius into an “Enchantment Under the Sea“-inspired underwater treat dispensary (Note: I approve of this theme!).

Here’s what she said:

  • Spread blue cloth (curtains, sheets, tee-shirts or table cloths) in the bottom of the trunk and hang over the back seat/headrests.
  • Stretch fishing net across the trunk and prop costumed crustaceans throughout. We had lobsters, crabs and starfish dressed as ghosts and witches complete with paint brush broomsticks. Ours happened to be plastic but we didn’t, and wouldn’t, buy them.** Other ideas for manufacturing these include construction paper, papier mache, or a simple salt dough.
  • Plant a “treasure chest” in the center filled with treats. Spread sand, rocks, shells, drift wood and other beach-y items around the treasure. You could set this up on cookie sheets for easier clean-up.
  • Carve a fish shape into a pumpkin or two. Alternatively, paint a pumpkin blue and then add a gold fish for a pumpkin fishbowl.

**Regular readers will recognize the “green” meme in my sister’s guest posts, and here it is: they repurposed a number of objects in their Halloween Under the Sea Party. For example, the “water” was their old blue curtains that have been torn to shreds by their two cats. The lobsters and crabs were rescued from the Trader Joe’s dumpster where they were headed after the manager decided to change the décor. Many other found objects were utilized. The pumpkins were organic, the paint was nontoxic. The pumpkin seeds were roasted with butter, maple syrup, ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice to make a tasty snack. The candles are soy. See what I mean? So many opportunities to make eco-friendly choices.

In case you missed the reference, the Enchantment Under the Sea dance is a "rhythmic ceremonial ritual" that played an important role in the first two Back to the Future movies.

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