I usually do little more for Halloween than try to evade the candy-grubbing kids in our neighborhood—all six of them! Hey, why should I buy a monstrous bag of candy for only six kids? I’d rather pretend that I’m not home. Furthermore, since The Boy is off at college (Go SMU Mustangs!), the fun for me has almost been vacuumed out of Halloween.
Since Halloween 2010 is over the weekend, I’ve been giving some thought to a soiree. A few friends, a few cocktails, a few bites, and a few BWUAHAHAAHAHAS are the perfect potion for a swanky Halloween cocktail party! If you’re not sure what’s on your agenda, I’ve included tips for a budget-friendly partay!
Costumes? On such short notice, encourage everyone to simply wear black. Masks are optional. One of the most stressful elements of Halloween is trying to figure what you’re going to “be.” Make it easy for your friends. You might also have favors; they are plentiful in Dollar Tree-ish stores.
Your backdrop? Rent Carrie, Friday the Thirteenth, or any scream-inducing movie, pop it in, and put the TV on mute! Dim the lights, ignite a few candles, and pop in your iPod with a Halloween-inspired play list. I’ve included some suggested tunes below:
- “Ghostbusters,” Ray Parker, Jr.
- “Thriller,” Michael Jackson
- “The Monster Mash,” Boris Pickett
- "X-Files" theme
- "The Munsters" theme
- "The Adams Family theme
- “I Put A Spell On You,” Nina Simone
- “In the Midnight Hour,” Wilson Pickett
- "Twilight Zone" theme
- Also include various Halloween-esque sound bites.
Decor? If you’re inspired to carve a pumpkin or two into jack-o-lanterns, do so this weekend. As mentioned above, your lighting will be the saving grace, so pop a couple into the scarily-etched gourds. Not that ambitious? Well ... buy a few of those $1 plastic jack-o-lanterns and place them throughout your entertaining space. Fill them with treats! If you’re so inclined (and it’s in your budget), pick up festive cups and napkins. My dear friend Eddie Ross whipped up a fiendish feather wreath for just a little cash. Here are his instructions.
Libations? Dependent on your audience, grab a case of beer and a few bottles of wine. It is critical that you whip up a signature drink! Try a Almond Joy or Milky Way Martini or Witches’ Brew.
Bites? Finally! Think tapas. An antipasti platter. Nuts. Popcorn. Skewers (veggie, shrimp, chicken satay, etc.). Reference The Minimalist’s small plate recommendations for ideas.
Entertainment? Should the natives grow restless, keep them entertained with: karaoke, Halloween MadLibs, or Halloween-inspired charades (using a stack of index cards write words related to Halloween, split in two teams and the guessing game begins).
Cheers to hoping you’ll do something fun on All Hallow’s Eve. All that’s missing from this concoction is you and a group of great friends!
What are YOUR plans this year?