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A Pandemic Halloween

As far as holidays go, Halloween is my favorite. Costumes! Candy! Spooky decorations! Scary movies! Most years, I queue up a show or series of movies to get in the mood throughout the month of October. I even took my costumes on the road when I had to travel for work on Halloween, incorporating travel into my costume. One year I dressed up in a Godzilla hoodie for my travel from Japan to San Francisco, and another I dressed as Carmen Sandiego for my flight from Florida to Paris.

I was pretty excited to finally experience trick-or-treating with my own kids. Last year Adam was only 10 months old, so we met up with another mother and kiddo pair and dressed him as a dragon to go around the Castro Village Shopping Center where restaurants and shops were giving away candy and there was live, kid-focused music and entertainment. We spent the evening handing out candy to the 40 or so kids who came by and rang our doorbell. At the time, it was impossible to know how different this year would be.

With a pandemic raging throughout the country, plans had to change drastically. At home, we started with pumpkin carving! With Adam being so young we didn’t bother, but we took the opportunity to do it this year now that he could watch and get his hands into some pumpkin guts. MJ was on pumpkin seed duty, with his job separating the seeds from the rest of the pumpkin and then baking them.

Due to our proximity to the BART station, and a love for BART trains that I get to share with Adam, I grabbed a stencil of BARTy for my pumpkin! Our au pair did one of the Cheshire Cat. I was quite pleased with how mine turned out, given my limited artistic skills!

As for Halloween itself, some communities put together “drive-through” candy collection with spooky themed booths to drive past. Several more inventive folks put out candy in candy shoots so they could still see and say hello to trick-or-treaters, while maintaining a safe distance. Others had other kinds of fun candy dispensers. We set up a table out front that kids walking by could partake from, and then watched from an upstairs window. We had fewer than 20 trick-or-treaters, but it was still fun.

It would have been Adam’s first trick-or-treating Halloween, but not many neighbors had put out candy and it was better to just walk around for a few minutes and wave hello to the neighbors. Plus, Adam doesn’t really eat candy, and on my gestational diabetes diet I can’t have much either, so it’s really just a cruel temptation to have it laying around.

So we played outside for a bit, took some pictures before it got dark, and then retired inside for the evening.

In all, it turned out to be a very satisfying Halloween and we had a lot of fun. It was tiring though. The third trimester is taking a lot out of me, and while we were packing up the table at the end of the night, I definitely felt it. The last holiday we have on our agenda before the second kiddo is due to arrive is Thanksgiving, and that’ll be a low-key affair. We’ll find a place that will cater a dinner for four and pick it up, keeping cooking and clean up to a minimum.