October 7, 2021
New traditions can be fun and help you engage with your community
Jodie Leister LPCC-S, CEAP; Ohio State Employee Assistance Program

It’s that time of year again—my favorite time! Every fall without fail I immediately begin to crave chili (already made my first batch of the year), bonfires, marshmallows and all things spooky. Last year I shared with you all the tradition we have in our family to help us with “Conquering the Candy Gauntlet.” This year I hope to bring you another fun new tradition to try if you are wanting a way to get engaged with your community and celebrate in an appropriately socially distanced way. So I ask you, have you ever been “Booed” before?

The first time my family was Booed was when we moved into our neighborhood about three years ago. One day while going out to get the mail, I noticed two adorable and full Halloween buckets on my front step, each marked with one of my kids initials. I remember being so surprised and delighted about the anonymous little gift that I ran in to show the kids. It was the sweetest thing and something that really helped us to feel welcome in the neighborhood. It was not until months later that we discovered who it was who had given us these baskets (thanks, Tony and Kathy!) but even longer until we realized that we had in fact been Booed. Actually, I am embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until last year that I truly understood what happy fortune had fallen upon my kids—when a friend told me a story and shared a poem of her son’s neighborhood friend having Booed him. In that instant, it all clicked and I realized that we had been eager recipients of what some communities hold as a sweet and honored tradition. Unfortunately, I also realized that three years ago, I also had broken the chain of spreading the Halloween fun because I had no idea what being Booed was or that it required I pay forward the surprise in kind to other neighborhood houses.

So, while I feel a little bad still, I am prepared this year. I went to the Dollar Tree and 5-below and picked up some fun holiday stuff—crafts, candy, fangs, silly glasses, etc.—and we are now ready to boo our neighbors for some Holiday fun. Trick or treat this season is still going to be happening, and every person can choose to participate as they wish and feel comfortable to do so. I just don’t want that to mean that for any reason kiddos are not getting to participate in the season. So for any of you unsuspecting parents who randomly find a basket on your doorstep, make sure you spread the kindness and boo someone else. If you know there are families in your lives that can’t or won’t go out for Beggar’s Night, think about how great they will feel if they get Booed. Happy Haunting!


image credit: istockphoto.com