When I was growing up the 30th of October was called Mischief Night. It was essentially the night that young people got together and decided to soap up windows and rearrange porch furniture and perform all kinds of unsavory tasks under cover of night. It was really a stupid thing to do especially when the very next night we would be seeing all of these people again the next evening to ask for candy. But we did it anyway. Talk about chutzpah.
I love the adventure in it - the risk of being caught. I really felt alive running from the guy who just got a bunch of tomatoes on his siding. Definitely not the most Christian thing to do, but exciting nonetheless.
As I got older it wasn't mischief anymore, it was a misdemeanor offense. So when children came along I thought, "yes! I get to relive mischief night with my kids!" The only problem is that helping your children participate in mischievous acts means you are really weird. In fact I think there is a felony in there somewhere.
So I was forced to re-think mischief night and my wife and I came up with a cool new twist.
We make little signs with candy attached to them, sneak up and tape them on people's doors. We write "you've been ghosted" on them, but you can come up with whatever positive message you like. Then beat the door and ring the doorbell a half dozen times and run like mad. Seriously, kids love this stuff. Just last night I ran with my little 6 year old and her little heart was ready to come out of her chest.
And it wins with the 12 year old too. They love being out at night in all-black with the fear of being caught. We loved running as fast as we could behind a bush to watch friends and neighbors look bewildered as they pull the sign from their door.
Each child can have a specific task - my 9 year old loves to be the watchperson.
With some friends it can escalate - to the point where they lie in wait and you have to sneak in unknowingly. Good times.
So there you go - a freebie for family fun that will give you plenty of exercise and great memories for years to come.