Grace’s Halloween favorites

It’s officially October, and it’s time to get in the Halloween spirit. To me, Halloween is such a weird holiday. It brings back childhood memories, it brings my friends all together to celebrate, and it gives me a valid reason to get dressed up. 

But my favorite part is how it brings out my inner child. In college, it is easy to miss the careless days of your childhood when you’re in your dorm room missing home. Now while it is not a reasonable request to time travel back to 2008, we can bring some of our childhood back in various ways.

First things first — I will be cheffing up some of my fall favorites. My kitchen will be full of the Pillsbury sugar cookies and my family’s Halloween meal, chili. When I think of Halloween, my brain instantly starts craving the smell of my Mom’s chili. Although I know that it won’t be quite the same as snuggling into my couch at home with a warm bowl being passed to me, I will at least get my favorite smell of fall back. And our family secret is to sprinkle on some crushed-up Cheez-Its to the top — don’t knock it until you try it.

halloween decorations
Halloween decorations on display. Grace writes about her favorite activities with which to get in the Halloween spirit and conjure childhood nostalgia for the holiday. CONOR KELLEY/ DFP FILE

The next thing on my list is pumpkin decorating. Now, you may think I mean carving a pumpkin. But let’s be real — are we going to carve a pumpkin as college students? I know that I’m not. In theory, it’s a fun activity and it was one of the best parts of Halloween as a kid. But we only remember the fun parts because we always had people cleaning up after us. I don’t recommend carving a pumpkin in a college dorm. It’s messy and just not practical. But that does not mean you can’t still decorate a pumpkin. Buy some paint and a pumpkin and then go for it. It’s mess-free while still getting into the Halloween spirit.

Now it’s TV time. As a kid, I was a Disney Channel fanatic. I would look forward to ending my night in front of the TV watching “Hannah Montana” or rewatching the “High School Musical” movies for the tenth time. When Disney Channel started playing their Halloween-themed shows, it was officially fall and time to start thinking about what I was going to dress up as for the holiday. 

When most people think of Halloween TV favorites — they may think of movies like “Halloweentown” (1998) or “Hocus Pocus” (1993). But the Disney Channel Halloween episodes can’t be forgotten. You get your favorite characters from “Hannah Montana” or “Good Luck Charlie,” and you can watch their own Halloween shenanigans to get into the fall spirit. To get you started, here is a list of some of my favorites which can all be watched on Disney+. 

1. “Hannah Montana,” Season 1, Episode 17 — “Torn Between Two Hannahs.”

2. “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” Season 1, Episode 19 —“Ghost of 613.” 

3. “That’s So Raven,” Season 2, Episode 2 —“Don’t Have a Cow.” 

4. “Good Luck Charlie,” Season 2, Episode 25 — “Scary Had a Little Lamb.”

5. “Jessie,” Season 3, Episode 23 — “The Runaway Bride of Frankenstein.” 

Now you have a warm bowl of chili, a painted pumpkin, and a list of Disney Channel shows to keep you busy this Halloween season. And while I can’t promise you will be teleported back to 2008, I can assure you that a combination of these activities above will help cure some Halloween homesickness.

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