UNITED STATES—If I had to rank my top 2 holidays it is so easy, Christmas and Halloween. We can talk plenty more about that festive holiday later, but I want the focus now to be on Halloween. I love Halloween, not simply because I’m a fan of horror films (it doesn’t hurt), but there is a lot of fun that comes with the holiday. For starters, it is the one time of year adults can dress up as whatever they want and there is no fuss about it. You can keep it simple or you can be extravagant in terms of your look. Funny or scary, the options are quite endless.

It is not just fun seeing the adults dress up and sharing laughs, but it is fun seeing kids dress up in their costumes as well. Kids can sometimes be more extravagant and creative than adults when it comes to their Halloween costume. So once you have the costume ready, then you have the party or trick-or-treating. Now, Halloween parties are becoming a new trend and it was the exact opposite when I was a kid. I’ll be honest; I don’t recall going trick-or-treating that much as a kid. Maybe a handful of times at best because when I was growing up it always seemed to rain on Halloween.

I couldn’t recall a Halloween where it didn’t rain or pour, which is a complete bummer for a kid. Hell, I recall some Halloweens where the wind was brutal and the weather was just downright cold and wet. I can recall maybe one Halloween where things were perfect and I mean like sunny and 60 plus degrees. With me being older, I now have the pleasure of taking my nieces trick-or-treating, and it is just great family bonding time. In addition, it is fun seeing the kids go door-to-door to get treats.

We hit up the same neighborhood each year and it is like a little secret that we prefer to stay mum about with plenty of people we know. The kids can go up the street or the block and get enough candy that fills up 2-3 buckets. You might think I’m joking, but I am damn serious. The homes are fabulous because they give out king size candy bars and the kids are loaded.

So let’s chat about that candy. Look, it is no secret that candy is bad for the teeth, bad for your body and loaded with sugar which is also not good. Moderation is key with kids because if you don’t moderate they will eat and eat and eat until they have a stomachache. In addition, there should be no eating of that candy until it has been examined by the parent. Yeah, you might think, oh, no one is going to taint candy for kids on Halloween, but you have to be cautious as the adult.

Pumpkins, I love to carve a pumpkin or two just in time for Halloween. With that said, carving a pumpkin is not as easy as you think. You do need to have the right knife to carve a pumpkin. Let’s be clear I’m not a proponent of allowing kids to utilize a knife to carve a pumpkin. Allow the kids to draw whatever faces they choose to have on the pumpkin, but then as the adult you take care of the actual carving. Some like to go spooky, some like to go goofy. This year I did something that I’ve never done before with the pumpkin carving, a two-sided pumpkin. Two faces on the pumpkin, one in the front and one in the back, both vastly different.

However, why don’t they tell you it is much harder to clean out that gunk inside of the pumpkin? You really have to carve a nice segment from the top to properly get your hand inside and clean the pumpkin the way that it properly needs to be done. Dealing with pumpkins is a bit of a chore, but it is a fun chore at the same time. So, we’ve talked about pumpkins, candy, parties and costumes, what is there left to discuss? Scary movies.

I’m sorry you cannot go the entire month of Halloween without watching at least 1 scary movie. You can go for the classics like “John Carpenter’s Halloween,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “The Shining,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Friday the 13th,” “Alien” or “The Exorcist.” You can never go wrong with a classic because it is something that brings you back to your childhood where you heard the horror stories about the terror these movies delivered, but you were too young to see them. Grab some popcorn, grab some snacks and bundle up on the couch and enjoy a few shivers and screams in the process.

Halloween only comes once a year, so you should enjoy it in its full glory. It does suck that Halloween falls on a weekday, but it is what it is.