*The following op-ed originally appeared in Future of Personal Health on September 2, 2020.
So many celebrations, traditions, and parties have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the setbacks and social distancing, people across the country have found new ways to celebrate special moments like birthdays, graduations, and holidays. And for this year’s Halloween, many will need to take a similar approach to maximize the season.
We read intently an independent survey from Insight to Action that found 70 percent of moms plan to celebrate the Halloween season with their children this year. That reflects our own research, which found that an overwhelming majority of people say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable – that includes 80 percent of the general public and 90 percent of millennial moms and young parents.
While Americans will celebrate the Halloween season a little differently, families can still create new traditions to keep the Halloween spirit alive for everyone. A poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the National Confectioners Association found that 63 percent of adults believe that people will find creative, fun, and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. Even if trick-or-treating doesn’t happen in a traditional sense, there are still plenty of ways to make fun and unique memories with family and friends, such as dressing up and throwing a virtual costume party or trick-or-treating door-to-door at home.
Whether this year means more time at home or just more time celebrating the season throughout the month of October, people across the country are looking for ways to add some normalcy and joy to what has been a very serious and uncertain time. In fact, 74 percent of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween is more important than ever this year.
As we all decide the best ways to celebrate the Halloween season, we’ll consider what makes us feel safe as well as recommendations from public health authorities. The results won’t look the same for everyone: some may decide to have fun from a distance, while others may enjoy Halloween at home or decide on something in-between that feels comfortable to them.
To that end, we’re committed to helping people find safe and creative ways to celebrate the Halloween season and connect with their family and friends around the holiday. To help people enjoy their favorite Halloween treats and engage in creative new Halloween traditions, we’ve developed helpful tips at AlwaysATreat.com/Halloween. This site also includes information about how chocolate and candy companies are providing more options and portion guidance for consumers seeking to manage their sugar intake.
What is most important is that people stay safe this Halloween season. This year’s celebration will be a special one no matter how you and your family choose to do it. Halloween has always been about people, traditions, and celebrations, and we know the spirit of the holiday will remain strong among families and friends as we all look for creative and safe ways to bring some fun to the fall.