YOU Magazine - October 2009 - BOO! Donít Be Scared! Itís Only Halloween!
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Derek Egeberg - NMLS#180899     Derek Egeberg - NMLS#180899
Branch Manager, Loan Officer
Academy Mortgage (NMLS 3113)
Phone: (928) 247-9089
License: BK 0904081
derek.egeberg@academymortgage.com
www.az.academymortgage.com
Academy Mortgage (NMLS 3113)
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BOO!
Donít Be Scared! Itís Only Halloween!


BOO! - Donít Be Scared! Itís Only Halloween!

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, so you know what that means. From trick-or-treaters to costume parties, Americans will be celebrating in full force. Given the projected participation, this seems like the perfect time to pass along some helpful information, guaranteed to take the fright out of prepping for a big night.

Halloween History
We'll get to the helpful portion of the article in bit. We just couldn't resist kicking things off with a little Halloween history.

There are many variations to the story of Halloween, but most historians agree that its origins date back to the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland. During that time, summer officially ended on October 31st. The Celts held an agricultural festival on this day and referred to it as "Samhain" (SOW-en), a word meaning "end of summer". They believed that during the evening of October 31st, the boundaries between the living and the dead became somewhat skewed.

One account says the spirits of those who died the previous year would look for living bodies to inhabit in the upcoming year. This obviously didn't sit well with the living. In an effort to scare away the anxious spirits, ancient Celts would dress up like ghouls and parade noisily through town.

The origins of the term, Halloween, can actually be found in Catholicism. In the year 835, Pope Gregory IV standardized November 1st as a day of observance in honor of saints, also known as All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day. In turn, the evening of October 31st became known as All Hallows' Eve, or All Hallow Even. The word, Halloween, is simply a corrupted contraction of these terms.

Halloween came to the United States in the 1840s via Irish immigrants, but the arrival of trick-or-treating is much less clear. While it resembles many of the older European customs of ritual begging on Halloween, its inception within English speaking North America was not until the early 20th century. This leads many historians to believe that American trick-or-treating developed independently of any one culture.

Halloween in the 21st Century
More than 150 years later, Halloween has grown to enormous proportions. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that over 36 million children between the ages of 5 and 13 went trick-or-treating in 2008. That number does not account for toddlers, the majority of teenagers, and any adults who also celebrated.

Considering the popularity of Halloween, we feel it's a good idea to pass along information to help you plan a fun and safe evening for everyone. The following are some of our favorite sources on the Internet.

Kaboose.com
This is a really great website if you have kids. It is filled with detailed instructions for making Halloween costumes and decorations, as well as fun Halloween recipes, party games, trick-or-treat tips and much more. You do have to wade through some advertisements, but the information they provide is well worth it.

Costume Ideas for Adults
If you're in search of ideas for some fun and easy Halloween costumes for adults, look no further than the October 2008 issue of YOU Magazine. Click the link to see our Top 15 costumes that can be made with materials you already have in your home.

Essortment.com
Going to a Halloween party with your significant other? Check out Essortment.com's list of 50 costumes just for couples. Even if you don't find something that suits you, looking at a list of ideas may just get your creative juices flowing.

PartyAmerica.com
Are you looking to throw a Halloween party for adults? Be sure to visit PartyAmerica.com for some great tips.

Boston.com
A Halloween party would not be complete without a horror movie playing on the TV. Take a look at the Boston Globe's list of the top 50 scariest movies of all time. It'll give you an idea of various movies you can rent. Not all of them can be classified as Halloween movies, but scary is scary.

Halloween from Home
During the evening of Halloween many of us will choose to not leave the comfort of our own abode. If this sounds like you, here are a few of our tips for having a happy Halloween while remaining at home.

Keep It Clean
If your plan is to open your home to trick-or-treaters, there are several things you'll want to keep in mind. Prior to the big day, it is important to survey your front yard. Make sure it is clear of ladders, hoses, flowerpots, or any type of debris. This is highly important, as any loose objects are a potential hazard for children passing through.

Keep It Lit
It is equally important to make sure that the front of your home is properly lit. For starters, a lighted front yard and walkway lets people know that you are welcoming trick-or-treaters. It also helps to prevent any trip and fall mishaps.

Keep It Safe
Jack-o'-lanters are a very common piece of Halloween décor. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you use battery-powered candles as opposed to a real flame. If you decide to use regular candles, make sure to place your jack-o'-lantern(s) away from any walkways and clear of any yard decorations made from cloth.

Don't Forget the Dogs
If you are a dog owner, you will want to take the appropriate steps with your pet as well. In general, dogs are not big fans of Halloween due to the outdoor noise and constant doorbell ringing. You know your pet better than anyone. If there is any chance of your dog becoming overly agitated, you'll need to find a way to isolate and secure him or her.

It's All In the Treat
The options are many with various types of candy topping off the list. Some people are opposed to handing out candy and go the opposite route with healthy snacks like packages of raisins or nuts. While we applaud anyone who takes this high road, we also would like to remind you that healthy snacks might not be received so well. After all it is Halloween.

If taking the healthier route, we suggest you split the difference. Treats like yogurt covered raisins, caramel covered popcorn, and chocolate covered peanuts offer the sweet satisfaction of candy but do it with less sugar. Many of these treats now come in individual packages, perfect for Halloween. Another option is to not hand out food at all. Instead, offer packages of stickers, pencils, small plastic toys, action cards, or even coins.

Don't Overbuy
Another concern regarding treats is how much to buy. The only thing worse than running out of candy is having mass amounts left over the next day. If you don't believe us, pop into your company break room Monday morning, November 2nd. It's our guess you'll see the offerings of co-workers who purchased far too many bags of chocolate bars and suckers.

If you are new to your neighborhood, ask your neighbors about the foot traffic on your street prior to buying candy. Otherwise, take an educated guess, making sure to err on the side of "less is more". Hand out one candy to each child. If you still have a lot of candy by 8:00 pm, start giving 2 pieces to each child. Leftover candy only sounds like a good idea.

Halloween on the Road
If you have kids, you'll most likely spend a portion of your Halloween away from your home, escorting them on a trick-or-treating venture through the neighborhood. Here are a few suggestions for making it a positive experience for everyone.

Dinner Before Dessert
To begin with, it behooves both you and your children to eat dinner prior to any trick-or-treating. It gives everyone involved the energy they need for a night of fun. Putting it off until later means trying to get your kids to eat healthy food while staring at their pile of candy. Good luck.

Travel In Packs
Trick or treating in large groups is fun for kids and parents. Prior to Halloween, talk to the parents of some of your children's friends, and see if they're up for joining you. Your children will enjoy sharing the holiday with their friends, and you'll enjoy conversing with other adults.

Safety First
If purchasing your child's costume, look for one that's made from fire retardant material. Avoid any ill-fitting costumes, as they pose a potential hazard to your child's safety. No part of the costume should drag on the ground and shoes should fit perfectly. Stay away from masks that completely cover the head or face, as they have a tendency to obstruct your child's vision. We also advise that you limit any props that accompany a costume, especially those resembling weapons.

All parents should carry a cell phone and a flashlight, and wear a watch that can be read in the dark. Depending on the age or the number of children you're supervising, you may also want to consider carrying a shoulder pack with a few appropriate supplies.

Prior to embarking, make sure your kids understand the rules of the road. 1. Stay with the pack and no running ahead. 2. Walk on the left hand side of the street in order to see oncoming traffic. 3. Obey all traffic signs and stop lights. 4. Stay away from any strange animals.

Respect Your Neighbors
Halloween is a great opportunity for you to teach your children how to have fun while remaining respectful to others. Start by keeping away from any homes that are not lit up. Also, stay on walkways and sidewalks, as opposed to walking on lawns or through flowerbeds.

Control the Candy
Upon returning home, make sure to inspect every piece of your child's candy. While tampering is a somewhat rare occurrence, throw away any candy that looks at all suspicious. We also recommend that you take control of the candy as opposed to handing it over to your child. Put each child's treats in a separate container and dole them out at your discretion. If they complain, tell them that pacing their candy consumption is a great way to prolong the fun of Halloween.

Good Luck and Happy Halloween!




LO# 0915245 BK# 0904081 Corp NMLS# 3113 Corp CA# 4170013 CA-DOC180899 Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

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