We actually decorated for the first time this year. Last year I tossed the white net lights over the boxwoods early (usually saved for Christmas lights), which I did again this year. Provides additional light for little hobgoblins, and helps prevent larger ghouls from jumping through our landscaping to the neighbor's. We added stick-in-the-ground seasonal reflectors and draped cobwebs on the front porch. Fortunately, I could work the dead impatiens plants into the scary decor.
We again gave out toys instead of candy. We go to the dollar store and buy party favors in packs of multiples. We went overboard last year and had plenty left over to use this year, but we had so many trick-or-treaters that I opened all our packages from last year. I dump the toys into a large aluminum bowl and let the kids choose what they want. There are still items from previous years in the bowl. I never know from one year to the next what will be popular. This year the bubbles and generic play dough went first. Slinkies were popular too. Since we didn't have many of them, I set aside a few for favorite neighbor kids. The children are usually stumped when I present the bowl because they've been opening their bags for candy to be dropped in. I suddenly present them with a choice and they have to made a decision. The parents are generally appreciative of a toy instead of candy. The children are often excited, and even the older goblins get a kick out of the toys.
I love the littlest trick-or-treaters in their fuzzy costumes. Amazing how many "big" brothers and sisters will make sure to get a toy for littler siblings carried by mom or dad. My favorite costumes were a trio of little girls "riding" pink unicorns. The costumes reminded me of the "horses" worn by the Mouseketeers for some of their western dance routines. The other fun group was a little older. Clad in red and green, they shouted "Merry Christmas!" instead of "Trick or treat!" Three young teen girls were elves, the young teen guy was in bathrobe and hair curlers. What a hoot!
We closed up shop around 8:30 pm when the older teenagers who don't even bother with costumes came around.
I placed Indy in his crate so we didn't have to worry about him getting out. He got a generous treat when released later in the evening and a bit of play time. He likes to play keep-away with a paper bowl or Stouffer's plastic dish.
Anyway...survived another year and enjoyed the clever and cute costumes.