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Halloween and Bonfire Night, Are There Alternative Ways To Celebrate?

Spooky cartoon cemetery image
Halloween image

Sounds become amplified, crowds of people feel like they are suffocating you, you're lightheaded and dizzy at the sheer thought of being somewhere unknown or having to deal with last minute changes and people you don't know! Well this is just a snapshot of the challenges that somebody with a medical condition such as autism spectrum disorder ("ASD"), anxiety, chronic migraines etc, faces on a daily basis. Can you imagine how they must feel at Halloween? People walking round wearing masks and costumes and the doorbell being rung every minute by children shouting "trick or treat".

Then only a matter of days later, they are faced with a night of constant bangs and flashes. To you and I those fireworks that light up the sky are beautiful, mesmerising, stunning and create a spectacular display of colour, but to somebody with a sensory disorder, autism or even PTSD, those constant bangs can be absolute agony.

So What Are Some Alternative Ways To Celebrate Halloween?

Traditionally, yes Halloween has always been about dressing up in costume and going from house-to-house saying "trick or treat" and waiting for someone to give you some sweets or chocolates. But sometimes you have to break with tradition, break the mould and do things a little differently. If your child has autism for example, they may find it very difficult going from house-to-house, encountering strangers behind every door, facing houses that have been dressed in scary haunting decorations, or even wearing clothing they do not feel comfortable wearing. Perhaps it's the sound of the doorbell constantly being rung or the door continuously being knocked. For a child with ASD, there are perhaps sensory issues as well, all of this can overload them and be too much for them to handle. They may feel that their home is their only "safe" place. If this is the case, allow them to decorate their space on Halloween how they see fit. They may want Halloween decorations like pumpkins, toy creepy crawlies, bats, etc. Build a den using dining room chairs, blankets, cushions and the dining room table. And perhaps consider investing in a pair of good quality noise cancelling headphones, for example the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones.

If your child is ok with the doorbell / knocking, and wearing a costume, let them wear their costume and be responsible for handing out the goodies to the trick or treaters. That way they can enjoy the evening while feeling comfortable in their own home.

What Alternative Could There Be To Bonfire Night?

Spectacular firework display image

A family tradition that we developed many years ago when we realised that bonfire night was going to be a bit awkward, was our version of celebrating it at home. Some autistic children can tolerate the firework bangs from a distance, just not up close and in crowded areas such as around the community bonfire with hundreds of other people. So we invested in a good quality fire pit, a patio heater, some nice big thick blankets, and plenty of folding camping chairs and patio chairs.

We made sure to have hotdog sausages with onions and all the fixings, baked potatoes that would sit in their own individual little foil ovens over the lovely hot firepit, a nice big Dutch Oven of my thick homemade curried pumpkin and lentil soup with crusty bread followed by lovely toasted S'mores and hot chocolate for the children and mulled wine for the adults. If you've not had S'mores before, they are nice big fluffy marshmallows skewered onto the end of toasting forks which are then lightly and gently toasted over the heat of the firepit until they are nice and hot, sticky and soft but not melted! Once they reach this stage, you use one graham cracker as the base, then add a square of two of chocolate (I personally prefer Hershey's for this as it is not too sweet and the sweetness from the marshmallows harmonises really well with the flavour of the Hershey's so the flavour is not overpowering), and while the marshmallow is still sticky and warm, you add another graham cracker to the top to form what looks like a chocolate marshmallow sandwich. The chocolate melts and becomes a lovely gooey sauce and the whole thing tastes fabulous. This is one activity that I know all children enjoy and children have so much fun toasting the marshmallows.

Provided the children are happy and content being outside, and provided there is enough adult supervision, they could perhaps enjoy a few sparklers? Depending on your budget, there are also fireworks available to purchase that are nice and quiet. Provided you have the outside room, these can be enjoyed in your own back garden. My family are quite happy to sit around the firepit and watch the fireworks in the distance. This is something that any family can enjoy together instead of having to attend a community bonfire. Remember also that animals such as cats and dogs also become anxious and scared with the sound of fireworks going off so having their family home with them will make them feel secure, more relaxed and far less stressed around this time of year. Silent or low noise fireworks can be purchased from a variety of retailers in the UK and the USA.

For animals such as cats and small dogs on bonfire night, perhaps consider hiding places they can escape to such as the cat donut tunnel bed, and soft fluffy donut beds for dogs to help reduce anxiety as the sides envelop your dog and make them feel safe and calm? There is also a range of cat and dog food by Royal Canin available that can be given to your animal in the weeks leading up to bonfire night that contain calming agents that gently act to de-stress your animal in readiness for these occasions. Just make sure to speak to your VET before purchasing these to give to your animal as these should be used under the advice of a VET. This food contains the same pheromones that act to gently sedate the nervous system as FELIWAY plug-in for your home. The difference is that with the food, the pheromone is getting into the animals body in a more direct way, so it can act a little quicker. As somebody who has an extremely anxious cat, I can promise you that the Royal Canin Calm range have been an absolute godsend around bonfire night and Halloween and any other time of year when my fur baby gets nervous. Another suggestion is to leave your TV on quite loud to drown out the noise outside when you're in your garden.

I hope the above have been of some use to you, and that you have been able to get some helpful tips and suggestions from my own families' experiences. Every year my family and I have got creative with this time of year so it has been very trial and error determining what works and what doesn't, but I can assure you that the above has worked every time for us and I hope it works for you too. If you like what you have read so far, please stay posted for more posts relating to everything lifestyle, family, organisation, seasonal and even mental health. As always, if you have anything specific you want me to do a blog post on, please feel free to drop me an email 🫶❤️xx

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Laura, I'm a blogger, a vlogger, a working mum with a busy household, and I love to shop online. In my blog you'll find lifestyle tips and tricks to help you get organised and hopefully make your daily life a little easier.


You'll also find links to products and various items I firmly believe make day-to-day life that little happier (and sometimes even that bit prettier). I will frequently be adding more as the weeks go on, so if you like what you see then watch this space......


I've had so much fun creating this website for all of you, and I really hope you enjoy it too and find inspiration in my blog posts and the various items linked in them. 


If you have something in particular you want me to put up a blog or a vlog about or any questions, please send me an email and let me know xoxo

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