How to Make Trick-or-Treaters Feel Welcome

Halloween is just around-the-corner and soon, there will be tiny ghouls and ghosts wandering the streets in search of tasty treats. Let's make them feel welcome.

Many parents have changed the day that they take their youngsters trick-or-treating and/or they will begin while it is still light outside out of concern for everyone's safety. For those who continue to trick-or-treat after dark, a well-lit house sure is inviting. Turn on your outside lights before the sun goes down so that you don't forget. If you do not have landscape lights along your walkway, use this occasion as an excuse to install some. It's relatively easy to do.

While adults find scary, and even gruesome, Halloween decorations entertaining, young children are often frightened by them and will want to avoid them at all costs. The same goes for scary noises. Remember these things as you prepare your home and decide whether your theme will be scary or friendly. Both types of decorations are widely available in retail stores.

Buy the good candy (chocolate) and plenty of it. Yes, it may set you back a few dollars, but this holiday only comes once a year. The joy that you will give children is worth a little extra money on your part. Have a large bowl ready beside the door overflowing with the good stuff. If you have a dog, let them run around the back yard or watch TV in a back room during trick-or-treating hours. A barking dog behind the front door tends to make many people skittish.

Greet each trick-or-treater with a warm smile and friendly words. Compliment them on their costume. Be generous with your hand-out and they will remember you each year as "one of the good houses." Most of all have fun. Happy Halloween!

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How to Host Your Own Beerfest Party

Das Boot! If you love the movie "BeerFest" so much that you find yourself quoting it at every party and reenacting those memorable scenes, why not go the extra mile and host your own "BeerFest" party?

Invite your closest friends and instruct them to tell no one about your "Beerfest." Be sure to have a copy of the movie, "Beerfest" on hand so that you can watch it before, during, or after the party. Acquire all of the necessary supplies, including the kegs prior to your guest's arrival. It is perfectly acceptable to ask people to chip in a few dollars to cover the cost of the beer. Also, it's a good idea to have a case or two of beer as backup in case the main kegs dry up at some point.

Be sure that everyone who attends your "Beerfest" is old enough to drink. For fun, and to keep with the theme, tell everyone you invite what the password will be and make them recite it at the door. Take away everyone's keys who will be participating in the games and be sure they all have a place to sleep.

Divide all of the participants into teams. For fun, you can select which country each team will represent. Play beer pong, quarters, darts, flip cup, and any other drinking game that you like. Designate a referee or two and a score keeper so that you'll know who wins. Be sure to save the beer boot chugging competition until last and don't forget the secret technique to keep the bubble from exploding in your face!

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How to Host a Spooky Halloween Karaoke Party

This year, make your Halloween party more exciting than ever by hosting a "Spooky Halloween Karaoke Party."

Decide where to have the party and create invitations. It is a good idea to co-host the party with other people, which takes some of the stress and expense out of planning the party. If nobody owns a karaoke machine, find a party rental store that carries them and pick out a selection of spooky classics. If all else fails and you can't find a karaoke machine, you can just have music playing and your guests can sing along and perform.

When designing the invitations, specify that all attendees should wear costumes. Decorate the party area the night of the party and prepare some refreshments. Another good idea is to collect a "pizza fund" and order delivery at some point in the night when your guests are hungry.

In addition to a costume contest, also have a karaoke singing contest and award the most entertaining singer with a prize. Don't start the party immediately with karaoke singing, though. Let your guests enjoy some non-karaoke music first. For the adult crowd, music by Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, My Chemical Romance, and Megadeth are good for getting the party cranked up. Don't waste your money on the "scary sounds" CDs. Most adults find them to be annoying after five minutes and would rather hear music.  Be mindful of your neighbors as your party goes late into the night. It is a good idea to invite them to the party so there will be nobody nearby to disturb!

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