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no costumes required  
low-key ways to celebrate halloween 

by Yee-Fan Sun |
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She saved the world -- a lot. Of course, as far as this Buffy-phile is concerned, if I'm going to be sitting in front of the boob tube come October 31st, there's hardly a better way to celebrate than hanging out with one of the best TV heroines of all time as she slays vampires and other demony beasts, saving the world from one apocalypse after another. Host a Buffy marathon for your fellow fanatic friends featuring everyone's favorite episodes … or start in straight from season 1 and introduce your poor deprived pals to a brilliantly genre-bending show that combined horror, comedy and drama to produce one of the most deliciously addictive TV shows ever.

Things that go bump in the night… Host a spooky sleepover. Back in our younger days, there was nothing quite like staying up way past our bedtimes whispering with our friends in the darkness to get the imagination running overtime about what scary things might lurk in the night. Dig out the old Ouija board or some tarot cards; creep yourselves out with the old light as a feather, stiff as a board game, or spend the evening telling ghost stories by candlelight.

B.Y.O. … P.? Have your guests arrive bearing pumpkins and play host to a pumpkin-carving extravaganza. Clear off plenty of floor and table space, cover with newspaper, and supply pencils, pens and carving tools. Stock up on a big bag o' tea candles and you can light up those carved masterpieces as they're finished. Meanwhile, collect the seeds and roast 'em up for snacking while you spend the rest of the evening admiring your handiwork, and basking in the jack-o-lantern glow.

Calling all pumpkin eaters! Skip the scary and go straight for the tasty treats: create a Halloween menu with the mighty pumpkin as the feature. Make sure to buy the smaller pumpkins in the food section of your supermarket for the tastiest pumpkin eating; those monstrous carving pumpkins, while most impressively sized, are not all that flavorful. You can use pumpkin in pretty much the same way you'd use any winter squash. (Winter squashes, in case you're wondering, are the really hard ones … think butternut and acorn squashes as opposed to zucchini and yellow squash.) The pumpkin-based recipe options are many and varied. Roast the pumpkin, sauté it, mash it, purée it; make it into soup, ravioli, stew, or curry. Meanwhile, the roasted seeds make for tasty pre-dinner snacking, or a crunchy, flavorful addition to a salad. And of course, a pumpkin dinner party wouldn't be complete without the obligatory rich, custardy pumpkin pie to end the evening.

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With options galore, there's no reason in the world why spending your Halloween evening hanging out at home has to be a snooze, just because you're skipping the wacky dress-up festivities.


check out these related articles: 
devilish delights
halloween treats | eat, drink and be eerie a halloween party | haunt your house | fright night costume anxiety + ideas | drinks that go bump in the night

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