Creating Fun New Halloween Traditions In Your Neighborhood


If you celebrated Halloween growing up, no doubt one of your favorite memories is of trick-or-treating with your friends. Hot masks you could barely see through weren’t even a care as you trampled from house to house to see if the neighbors could recognize you. Screams of excitement and laughter were heard up and down the block.

How can you create this same feeling of community and start some memorable traditions in your area? Check out these fun ideas from our Halloween celebration mavens at American Greetings to help spark a fresh idea all your own.

  • Pass out a flyer inviting everyone to participate in a house-decorating contest. Select a date for the judges committee to view all of the houses and decide the winner. Consider purchasing a small trophy that can be passed down each year to the next winner.
  • Similarly, it’s easy to host a pumpkin-carving contest. After circulating flyers and selecting a judges committee and judging date, be a little sneaky in the announcement of the winner. Consider surprising the winner by placing a ribbon on the pumpkin or their front door in the early morning for everyone to see as they leave for work or school.
  • Have you ever heard of ‘booing’ your neighbors? Instead of knocking and waiting to be handed a treat, leave a small bag of goodies at an unsuspecting neighbor’s house. Include a note asking them to pay it forward to someone else and a small pumpkin or ghost sign to hang in their window to show that they have already been booed.
  • Block parties aren’t just for summer months anymore. Contact a few friendly neighbors and plan an old-fashioned apple themed fall party. Serve up some spiced cider, set up a caramel apple dipping station, and have the kids bob for apples.
  • If you’re familiar with other parents on your block, why not invite their families over after trick-or-treating for some goodies and a candy swap? The parents can trade stories while the children barter for the perfect assortment of Halloween goodies.

However you decide to celebrate in your neighborhood, grab the opportunity to embrace your inner child and have a little fun. Starting your own traditions not only will improve your relationship with everyone on your block, but it will create awesome memories for the children in the neighborhood for years to come.

What’s your fondest Halloween tradition from childhood?


Adorable Pet Halloween Costumes

Adorable Pet Halloween Costumes

People go all-out on Halloween with awesomely creative costumes, and we’re not just talking about the costumes they create for themselves, but for their pets! If you have a fur baby at home (or a feather or scaly baby), then you probably align with the many thousands that like to get their pets in on the Halloween act, too.

If you’re trying to come up with that just-right costume for your pet, we’ve collected a few of our faves that will help you make your best buddy the hit of Halloween.

1. Chef Cat via HGTV

Pet Halloween Costume - Cat Chef2. “Up Pup” from BRIT + CO

Pet Halloween Costumes - Up Pup 3. Pup Latte via Coolest Homemade Costumes

Pet Halloween Costumes - Pup Latte4. Sven and Anna from Frozen from Frozen via Horse Crazy Girls

Pet Halloween Costumes - Anna and Sven from Frozen5. Bat Cat via

original_Sam-Henderson-cat-Halloween-costume-bat-wings-beauty-horiz2.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462 6. Supertoad from Fancihorse via Etsy


  1. Harry Potter Pup via All Free Holiday Crafts


  1. Guinea Pig Baked Potato via Buzzfeedenhanced-buzz-8098-1351113980-6 9. Flying Saucer Turtle via Neatorama


Do you dress your beloved furbaby up for Halloween? If so, we’d love to see pics! Share in the comments or on our Facebook page!



What to Write in a Halloween Card

What to write in a Halloween card

Do you shudder with fear when you try to think of what to write in a Halloween card? Does your blood run cold at the thought of what to say? Would you rather face a thirsty vampire than figure out what to scrawl in the card? Well relax boys and ghouls. I will be your ghost host for this quick lesson that, hopefully, will take the terror out of…”What to Write in a Halloween Greeting Card.”

Halloween isn’t just for costume-clad, candy craving kids anymore. Statistics and sales figures (Ugh—math!) show that “big people” like to get their spooky on, too.

Halloween has grown into one of the year’s biggest party occasions. More and more adults are dressing up and getting down to celebrate this frightful fall festivity with parties and haunted happenings. You might say Halloween has turned into a monster!

Or you might not. We don’t really know if you’re into puns.

So if you decide to take advantage of this spook-tacular opportunity to reach out to those people you consider card-worthy what do you write in it? This might help…

What to Write in a Halloween Card

As with any card, a good place to start is to think about what the person means to you and any unique connection you might share. It’s that personal touch that makes any card special.

You might want to make a reference to the holiday itself. Throw in a horror-themed pun before adding your signature:

  • From my crypt to yours
  • With my undying affection
  • Thinking of you—and the upcoming zombie apocalypse
  • Have a frightfully fun Halloween

Try some fun ways to let them know that you’re thinking about them:

  • Wishing you a Howling good Halloween
  • Beast Wishes
  • Fangs for being my friend
  • To my BFF (Best Fiend Forever)
  • Happy Halloween, Ghoul friend!

Sure, the fact that you actually went to the trouble to send them a card is already a pretty good indication that you’re thinking of them, so feel free to go a little deeper. Tell them that you wish you could be with them with a little personalized message:

  • From my crypt to yours
  • Tomb it may concern
  • Something possessed me to send you a card
  • Happy Halloween to my beastie

If the card is for a child you can emphasis that you hope they have a fun Halloween and maybe get lots of candy. Keep it light and cheerful– you don’t want to give the kid nightmares. Most kids love monsters and puns so some possible messages might include:

  • Have a spook-tacular Halloween
  • Keep it creepy
  • Happy Halloween to a cool ghoul
  • Have a good Halloween night. Don’t let the bad bats bite!
  • Happy hairy, howling Halloween!

Have fun with whatever message you decide to write. Halloween is primarily a fun holiday so have fun with it!

What do YOU like best about Halloween? Do you have a favorite Halloween memory that you would like to share? Your favorite costume? Have you had a real-life ghost story? Are you a vampire? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section.

Need some more macabre messages and creepy card products? Come visit us at


Hi. I’m Bryan White. I am a 30 year veteran of American Greetings. In that time I have had a number of card creating jobs. I’ve planned card programs, written all kinds of cards and done finished art work on them as well. Of all the cards that I’ve created over the years, Halloween cards, especially the funny ones, are my favorite. Maybe because Halloween is my favorite holiday.* I’ve been a horror fan all my life and something about this autumn holiday appeals to me and makes me want to “share the scare” with people I care about.

 *Rumors that I am a lycanthrope are totally unsubstantiated.



Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults


Halloween is always such a fun holiday for everyone—both kids and adults! It’s all about pumpkins and cider, decorations and parties, dressing up and trick-or-treating, and lots and lots of candy. Frankly, what’s not to like?!  But year after year, people seem to agonize over what they’re going to dress up as this time. More often than not, they’re looking for something simple and inexpensive, but also unique.

The editors at American Greetings have checked out some really great ideas online and want to share them with you now. These adult Halloween costumes are not only easy DIY projects, they’re also pretty creative and fun. Happy Halloween, everyone!

1. Flight Attendant Costume by What I Wore


2. Pineapple Costume by Studio DIY


3. Jellyfish Costume by Martha Stewart


4. Mary Poppins & Bert Costumes by Say Yes


5. Rosie the Riveter Costume by What I Wore


6. Flo from Progressive Insurance Costume by Girl Loves Glam

Flo Costume

7. Popcorn Costume by Studio DIY


8. Roy Lichtenstein Painting Costume by Anna Marie


9. Frida Kahlo Costume by The House that Lars Built


 Will you be dressing up for Halloween? What will you be?


The Best Halloween Movies for Any Age


Looking to curl up at home tonight with the best Halloween movies for any age to get your entire family in the “spirit”? This season is full of ghost-tingling fun for all ages ranging from the friendliest ghost tales to full-on horror thrillers.

Taking into account the level of bravery of those wishing to join you on the couch, here are some hauntingly perfect Halloween titles to check out—including some old favorites that you may have forgotten about!

For the Chicken Littles:

There are a ton of fun, non-frightening, PG-rated monster movies like “Monster House,” “Monsters, Inc.” and the “Halloweentown” series. However, digging back a little further into the movie catalogue reveals some classic fun for the whole family, including “E.T.,” “Casper,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and the beloved “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

A little braver:

If you’re craving a little more adventure, but not a lot of gore, checking out family-friendly titles like “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Addams Family,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Beetlejuice,” ”Labyrinth,” “Practical Magic” and “Young Frankenstein” to deliver a lot of laughs (without having to cover your eyes for the scary parts!)


If you want to host your own horror movie marathon, look into a classic movie series like “Halloween,” “Scream,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” ‘Friday the 13th,” “Final Destination,” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Or for a little scary movie satire, check out the “Scary Movie” series.

Truly terrifying:

Looking for a spine-tingler that will leave you breathless? The true bravehearts may want to take a gander at some of the top-rated horror flicks of all time, including “Saw,” “The Ring,” “The Exorcist,” “Children of the Corn,” “Carrie,” “Hellraiser,” “The Shining,” “Psycho,” and “The Omen.”

No matter what your final film selection is, don’t forget to pair it with an appropriate seasonal snack—roasted pumpkin seeds, caramel popcorn balls, candied apples, and gummy snacks in scary shapes are always good places to start.

Happy Halloween!


Spooktacular Halloween Party Ideas for Kids

Spooktacular Halloween Party Ideas for Kids

Few things bring out the kid in us like Halloween. It’s the one day in the year you can totally transform yourself into someone (or something!) entirely different and go to town being zany, scary, or just over-the-top creative. Oh, and let’s not forget the added bonus of sugary showers of candy! But when celebrating with the kids or grandkids, finding a Halloween party idea that’s appropriate for kids of varyious ages can feel more like a trick than a treat.

If you’re still looking to find the greatest Halloween party ideas for kids, no worries–we’ve got you covered! Our American Greetings Halloween experts have conjured up a few simply spooktacular party ideas that will put you well on your way to hosting your own kid-friendly ghoulish ghostfest in no time.

Host a pumpkin-decorating contest with a twist:

No need to pull out sharp tools around the little spooks. Use paint or decorative tape to make funny or scary faces, or cover them in glitter for enchanting gourds that rival a mirrorball. Not only will they look great, but they’ll last way longer than their carved counterparts. Hand out awards of candy or fun Halloween decorations they can keep and use year after year. Check out our best no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas here!

Have an autumn harvest party that’s nothing but fun:

If even Casper still sets little ones on edge, a harvest party is the perfect way to have a howling good time sans horror. Enchanting games like bobbing for apples, pin the nose on the pumpkin, and guessing the number of candy corns in a jar are all fun and easy for the younger crowd.

Be the coolest neighbor on the block and throw a trick-or-treat after party!

After candy collecting, kids love inspecting their sugary-laden lot. Invite the neighborhood kids and their parents to come over for snacks and apple cider
and let the kids sort through their sugary stash while they make trades for the perfect assortment of treats.

Get outdoors for Halloween fun!

Some of the best activities can be found in the fall that the whole family can enjoy. Get lost in a corn maze and have a contest to see who can get through the fastest, go on a hayride, or participate in a ghost walk. Got leaves? Rake several piles in the yard with a prize at the bottom of one of them, and get your camera ready to capture the wild, leaf-flying rumpus. You just might capture your perfect shot for that Thanksgiving card in the process.

Haunted houses are the perfect love/hate affair for adults and older kids…

Even though we know it’s not real, we still jump out of our skins every time while we enjoy the bizarre thrill of being scared out of our wits–that’s a freaky concept all on its own.

No matter what activity you choose, the time spent together is magic in the making and will be remembered by your kids for years to come.

Happy Haunting!


No Carve Pumpkins

10012015_FB_AG_No_Carve_PumpkinsThe fall season welcomes many great traditions. But perhaps the most fun of them all is selecting a perfect pumpkin to take home and decorate as your own. But (truth be told) once that orange beauty is finally home, you probably end up spending at least a few hours spreading out newspapers, wielding sharp carving instruments and cleaning up lots (and lots) of pumpkin seeds!

Did you know there’s a fabulous trend in pumpkin decorating that involves NO pumpkin scraps to clean up… NO sharp objects to maneuver… and NO cutting (so your pumpkin will last a lot longer)?

Our pumpkin-loving holiday experts here at American Greetings would love to share the following no carve pumpkin ideas with you for exciting, no-carve designs that are undeniably “gourd-geous”!

1. All that glitters

Glitter Pumpkins by Krylon

Image credit:

Applying something shimmery contrasts beautifully with the natural, organic look and feel of a pumpkin. You can cover it completely in glitter (using glue as your adhesive), or spray it with metallic spray paint. Attaching rhinestones, sequins, or other sparkly attachments in a beautiful design will also give it just the right amount of bling.

2. Tap into your inner Michelangelo

Painted bat pumpkins

Image credit: Better Homes and Gardens

You don’t have to be an accomplished artist in order to make your pumpkin something special. Find a template online to trace and paint, or stick to simple classic patterns such as polka dots, stripes, or swirls.

3. Written word

Monogram pumpkin

Image credit: The Butlers

Pumpkins placed near the entrance of a home are a traditional and welcoming detail. A very simple way to personalize your very own is by using a marker or paint in order to scroll a carefully lettered message such as “Welcome,” “Trick or Treat,” “Boo” or the first initial of your last name.

4. Put a bow on it

Ribbon-tied pumpkins

Image credit: May Arts

Something as simple as a satin ribbon tied as a bow around the stem of a pumpkin can definitely give it an elegant, polished look. But if you’re looking for more of a fun, festive feel, consider other cute finishing items such as raffia, rick rack, or feathery marabou.

5. If all else fails…

Tablescape by 724 South

Image credit: 724 South

If you find yourself overwhelmed and out of time, don’t despair. A simple display of multi-colored gourds in different shapes and sizes placed on a bed of fall leaves (either silk or natural) will always create a pretty scene. Whether they’re arranged simply in a woven basket on your dining room table, stacked carefully on top of each other on your buffet, or piled strategically in an old wheelbarrow next to your front door, all you need is a few minutes of your time and an eye for presentation.

Are you a seasoned pumpkin carver or do you prefer no carve pumpkins? Share your favorite pumpkin decorating ideas in the comments!



Black and White Halloween Decorations

Black and White Halloween Decorations That Are Positively Diabolical!

Looking for a fun way to spice up your Halloween decor? While perusing some of our favorite Pinterest boards and blogs, we couldn’t help but pause to enjoy this understated, elegant trend towards black and white Halloween decorations. It’s a bold, simple look that anyone can pull off with just a few simple touches.

We pulled together some of our favorite black and white Halloween decorations, pumpkins and sweet treats to share with you.

1. DIY Halloween Front Door Mummy by Honey and Fitz

2. Spider Web Halloween Cupcakes by Pizzazzerie

3. Halloween Pumpkin Centerpiece by Busy Mommy

4. Fun Halloween Pumpkins by FLT on DIY Network

5. DIY Marshmallow Cobweb Cake by The Cake Blog

6. Bats Flying Across a Pumpkin by It All Stated with Paint

7. DIY Halloween Wreath by Blooming Homestead

8. “Poison” Toffee Apples for Halloween by Simply Delicious by Alida Ryder

We hope this inspires you to create a try a trendy Halloween look that’s positively diabolical!

For more awesome Halloween ideas and inspirations, check out our Halloween Pinterest Board!


Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

Trick-or-treat!  It’s just about time for everyone’s favorite fall holiday, Halloween!  By now you’ve probably got your decorations up, costumes ready and your candy purchased, but there are still a few last minute details to keep in mind for both you and the kids.  After all, trick-or-treating is not only an evening event, but an outdoor one, too, so we’d like to share some Halloween safety tips for keeping the night frightfully fun and safe.

Costume Check:  Double-check your child’s Halloween costume.  It should be visible in the dark, but if not, add reflective tape, sold at craft and hardware stores.  Have them carry a flashlight or bright glowstick, too, and if they have a mask, make sure they can see out of it clearly.  And most important, check the weather report  to make sure your little ghosts and goblins are dressed appropriately.  This year, you may need to consider an indoor back-up plan depending on the path of Hurricane Sandy–be smart!

Stick Together:  It’s best to have an adult go along for the evening, but if your kids are old enough to trick-or-treat alone, remind them to stay together with friends at all times.  It’s more fun that way, too!  Everyone should have a cell phone tucked in a safe place, and arrange for them to check in with you at pre-set times—you can even download spooky ringtones for fun.  Be sure to map out a route in advance, too, so you know where they’ll be and remind them to only go to well-lit homes.

Candy Audit:  As tempting as it might be, have your trick-or-treaters wait until they’re home to start in on the candy. Make sure all of it is wrapped and safe, and check for any food allergy issues.  Then let them have fun trading, sorting and most of all eating their goodies!

Happy Haunting, Everyone!

Halloween Safety


Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

If the very thought of Friday the 13th sends chills up your spine, you may have paraskevidekatriaphobics  (say that 3 times fast!)  An irrational fear of Friday the 13th influences millions of people in the U.S., causing U.S companies to lose an estimated $800 to $900 million in business due to workers who refuse to travel or go to work on Friday the13th!

Whether you’ve bravely hauled yourself to work or are huddled under the covers watching Dr. Phil today, we thought we’d help calm your nerves and offer you 13 tips on how to make it to Saturday…

  • Get out of bed on the right side (that is, not the left side). This side is guaranteed to make your day luckier according to some superstitions.
  • Wear red underpants!  Apparently this color will bring you more luck than other colors!
  • If you come upon a ladder, it’s probably best not to walk under it. (Let’s not push the luck-giving capabilities of our red underpants.)
  • It’s not a great day for exploring woods, caves, or cemeteries. We know the sudden urge to go spelunking can be strong, but try to resist for a day, okay?
  • Drop the mop!  Friday the 13th is a great excuse to not clean because apparently handling a broom is unlucky on this day.  So is changing the sheets, flipping the mattress, or doing the laundry. (Woohoo! You don’t need to tell us twice!)
  • Do not start a new job or business today, as it will be followed by collapse or bankruptcy.
  • If traveling today (though you really shouldn’t) stay away from the 13th floor, which will be easy because many large hotels don’t have a 13th floor—they skip right over it to 14!
  • Furthermore, if you MUST stop for gas in a creepy station full of creepy people, just turn around and go home–your trip is over.  If you hear a banjo, put the pedal to the metal and floor it!
  • Throw salt over your left shoulder (to blind the devil!). This is usually reserved to counteract the bad luck of spilling salt, but we’re thinking that we might do it throughout the day as a sort of insurance policy.
  • Black cat? Give it a pat! In some cultures, black cats are actually bringers of good luck and one crossing your path is a good omen.  So, don’t be afraid to cuddle Jinxy today.
  • Do NOT go digging around for your old OUIJA board and NEVER read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke—it can only lead to further problems.
  • Try to focus on good thoughts and good outcomes. Research has actually shown that people who believe in bad luck tend to bring it on! (we’re still not cleaning, though. Or changing out of our red underpants.)
  • No rabbit’s foot? Grab an acorn! In Norse folklore, both the acorn and its bearer, the oak tree, bring good fortune. No harm in keeping one in your pocket all day.

Good luck out there, friends!


Halloween Kick-Off

Boo! It’s almost Halloween, but don’t be scared if you’re still not ready to haunt. We’re here to help with these spooktacular Halloween hints:

 Creative Costumes 

It looks like some of the most popular costumes in 2012 will be inspired by the movies.  Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, the superheroes from The Avengers and Princess Merida from Disney’s Brave are sure to make the A-list.  In addition, you will see plenty of zombies, vampires and yes, Obama and Romney look-alikes, too!

However, if you’re on a budget, start with your own closet!  For example, take a matching color shirt and pants and pair them with fun accessories: black with cat ears and a tail, red with a pitchfork and devilish add-ons, or white with a halo and wings. You can easily find the extras at a craft or costume store.

The duct tape craze is another great help for Halloween costumes, with the sticky stuff now coming in every color and pattern imaginable. Use it to make something simple like a road sign on your shirt, or go crazy and tape your way to the ultimate duct tape costume.

Devilish Decor

It’s easy to set the stage for a frightful night with homemade decorations.  Make your own gravestones out of cereal boxes, monster luminaries out of plastic milk jugs or boo-tiful ghosts out of tomato cages.  Keep some black poster board on hand to cut out those bats, cats and witches hats.  And don’t forget to download some creepy music on Halloween night to add the finishing touch to your ghoulish ambience.

Thrilling Treats:

If you want to be the favorite haunted house on the street for trick-or-treaters, be sure to stock up on the super-sized candy bars and remember, only one per little monster.  The most popular candy in 2011 was still Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and M&M’s.  If a party is on your calendar, surprise the ghosts and goblins with some Halloween concoctions so easy, even a zombie could make them — things like Monster Claws and Eyeball Tacos.  Now that’s some scary stuff!