Simply Today

Halloween Hangout recap and Reflections on Bringing People Together

Posted on: November 8, 2012

Last year Halloween kind of caught me off guard. Maybe after living in a condo and apartment buildings  I had gotten lazy. It was the first time I was living in a house since my junior year of high school. But the doorbell rang, and the expectations of Halloween came rushing back in that instant. Asking my housemate if we had any wrapped sweets laying around (perhaps dumpstered), I left the kid standing on our cement stoop. We didn’t come up with much, so I ended up being one of those people who doesn’t answer the door on Halloween. Well, except to see one of my favorite little ones dressed up as a dalmatian. I think seeing kids dressed up, combined with not having candy when I should have, along with the fact I haven’t had a reason to dress up in costume in far too long (maybe I need to be in another play), I decided to go big this year.

And by big, I don’t mean BIG big, I mean, I got candy, got dressed up and hosted a low key party-ish event at the new (three or so months) house I live in. And it was great. Don’t believe me? Here’s my ‘what made it great’ list:

~All I had to buy for my costume was grapes, a black belt from the resale store and eye lashes (I had the clothes already, I’m not that scandalous!)

~I had a legit reason to buy and eat candy

~The weather was decent enough that while handing out candy I could wear a shawl that didn’t hide my outfit too much

~One of my housemates chose a great movie for us to watch (Psycho)

~Another housemate spook-ified the basement with a lot more than the spider web, rubber bat and purple lights I had given him to work with (see the pictures)

~Other people dressed up! (There were four clue characters represented, a ladybug, a Tae-Kwon-Do master, a farm girl, PBS’ “The Woodwright’s Shop,” Roy Underhill, a butterfly, and me)

~Another housemate made us popcorn for the movie

~People came and had a good time!

It can be hard organizing an event not knowing how it will be received. Will people come? Will people buy in to the activities? Will you catch “this is lame,” glances? Will folks have a good time? Will I be able to relax and enjoy myself? At various points since college when I have hosted something I have been disappointed with the result. Or I have felt that I kept making concerted efforts to include/ get to know folks but then didn’t feel included in other things that happened (Well, I haven’t felt that in awhile, and I think as a whole the group of young people around here do better at organizing things than in the past and are more inclusive). But after realigning my motivations for putting events together, and doing a check to see if I had the energy to make something happen, I would put the hosting hat back on. Because hosting is important to me. Bringing people together is something I can give to this community and my friends. Fostering friendships and creating memories. Seeing people who are new in the community be included and feel more a part of the neighborhood than just Sunday mornings. Providing the space for people who feel less comfortable initiating things even one-on-one to still have opportunities to get to know others in a relaxed setting. Offering others and myself a chance to reconnect with friends (a good example of this would also be the annual ladies’ weekend).

Now a group of us alternate hosting a game night every other Sunday evening. But also, and this has meant a lot to me, my housemates have supported initiatives I have put forth. Now we have house spiritual quite time twice a week. They brought energy and positive vibes to the Halloween hangout idea. And tonight I am watching three kids while their mom is working her late night job and my house is fine with having the kids to dinner before we got back to their apartment. I feel blessed.

How has it felt to you when you have hosted things? What has prompted you to organize events? Also, what are some of your favorite costumes you have ever worn for Halloween?

1 Response to "Halloween Hangout recap and Reflections on Bringing People Together"

Jess! I loved reading this!! It totally brightened my day and made me miss you and being at gatherings with you. Share your reflections more often! 🙂

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