With the Halloween season upon us, you might have heard about the phenomenon of BOOing. It is sometimes called "Ghosting" or "the Phantom". It is basically an Autumn take on "Secret Santa". It is a neighborhood tradition where a family will anonymously give a fellow neighbor a Halloween themed basket of goodies, declaring that neighbor BOO’d.
Once one neighbor is BOO’d, they pass it on by doing the same for two other neighbors. After you have been BOO’d you hang or post a ghost or sign of some kind, given in the gift basket, on your door so that neighbors know you have been BOO’d. That way no one gets twice the gifts. That means that hopefully by the end of October, every house in the neighborhood will have been BOOd.
Once you have been BOO’d, it can be tough to turn around and come up with a creative way to BOO someone else. To make it easier, we’veI have outlined the steps to carrying on the tradition.
Step One: Decide What You're Going to Include In Your Gift Basket
After you have been BOO’d, it is your responsibility to carry on the tradition. Choose a neighbor you want to BOO and start planning. The most important part of BOOing someone is building your gift basket. There are so many different things you can include. Here are some ideas of some seasonal items that everyone loves!
1. A Movie Night for the Family
This is one of the coolest ideas on the list! A great way to bring families together is hosting a movie night. So pick out a few spooky movies that are family-friendly. Goosebumps, the Hotel Transylvania Series, and Hocus Pocus are all great choices. From there all you have to do is include a few bags of popcorn and some tasty Halloween candy and you have given your neighbor a fun activity for the whole family.
2. A Movie Night for the Adults
Similar to the last option, you can gift a not so family-friendly movie night for adults. You can combine this with the previous option, give it all by itself. This is a great idea for any neighbors that don’t have kids. For this one, you can add a few favorite classic horror films. You can never go wrong with the Scream or the Halloween Series. Throw in some popcorn and candy just like you would for the kids. You can even include a good bottle of wine.
3. Fall Scented Candles & Body Care Items
This gift includes more of a treat than it does a trick. Gift a family a relaxing basket full of sweet-smelling fall candles, lotions, body washes, and more. This is something the entire family will be able to enjoy and it also just takes a short trip to Bath and Body to complete.
4. Smores Kit
While not necessarily Halloween themed, smores are still a great treat to give to your neighbor. Making smores is not just a sweet treat, it is a fun activity for families. Just get some marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate and pile it all into a fun box and your gift is complete! Believe it or not, there are even Halloween-themed smores.
5. Pumpkin Spice Everything
Pumpkin spice is the flavor of the season. You can find just about everything pumpkin spice this time of year so it makes an easy theme for a gift basket. Grab pumpkin-spice k-cups or coffee, pumpkin spice cookie mix, pumpkin spice scented candles, etc. Make sure to throw in some odd things to “spice” up the basket. Just about every candy you can think of has a pumpkin - spiced version of it so throw in a pumpkin spice pack of Oreos or even Pumpkin spice Cheerios. All you have to do is go into the seasonal aisle at your local grocery store and you will find everything you need.
6. Homemade Treats
Homemade treats are always an easy and delicious option. So get out your favorite recipe, whether it be cookies, cakes, brownies, or anything else you can cook up. Get in the kitchen and whip your neighbors up a batch of something tasty. Put a Halloween spin on it. There are tons of ways to put a spooky twist on your everyday recipe. If your creative juices just aren’t flowing or you don’t have the time, just throw whatever goodies you baked into a Halloween tin and call it a day.
7. Premade Kit
This is a great option for those of us who are too busy to be thinking of an elaborate basket theme on such short notice. Which, let’s be honest, is everyone. Simply select a premade Halloween themed care package online (I love this Vampire Bites Gift Crate) and have it anonymously shipped to your neighbor's address. This cuts out the planning of the gift, the decorating and packaging of the package, and then waiting for the perfect time to sneak it onto their porch.
8. BOO Poem
Every BOO package has to be completed with a cute poem. Yes, it is super cheesy but it just isn’t right to skip this step. There are a bunch of free printables online to choose from, or you can craft your own. Most poems include some instructions for the neighbors to pass along the BOO.
Step Two: Package Your Gift
After you have decided what your package will contain, you have to actually package it up. A basic box won’t do. When you BOO someone, the presentation is everything. The way you dress your gift basket up is completely specific to what you have decided to give. If you have given your neighbor a basket with a clear theme, the packaging should match that. You could also choose to simply dress it up with Halloween decorations. Throw it in a cute Halloween bowl, basket, or bag, neatly set up all of your items, and stick your poem in. Make sure to include a sign that clearly states “You’ve been BOO’d”. This sign will be something they can hang on their door or somewhere on their porch to let neighbors know they have already been taken care of. Bonus points if you include a BOO decoration in your gift.
Step Three: Plan & Execute
Now that you have decided what will be in your gift, and packaged it up there is only one step left. It is time to BOO your neighbor. You will need to get your package onto your neighbor's porch without them knowing it is you who put it there. This part takes some planning.
The easiest way to do it is when your neighbor is not at home. If you don’t see cars in the driveway you should be good to go. You have to be sly when trying to plant your BOO basket. If you have not been able to execute the BOOing when your neighbors aren’t home, look for a quiet time of day and be super sneaky and quiet. The goal is to get your neighbor the package without anyone seeing you. So don’t approach their porch if other neighbors can see you. Be wary when trying to plant a package at night. It someone sees you sneaking around someone’s house in the dark, they will likely call the neighbors to warn them, or call the cops to get it checked out. When you do get the package on their porch, set it up nicely to really run the joke home. Don’t just throw a basket on someone’s stoop.
It is your responsibility after being BOO’d to act fast. The shenanigans usually start early in the month so that by the time Halloween comes around everyone has been BOO’d. Remember that no one else can get BOO’d until you carry it on to another neighbor. A week before Halloween is a good cut-off date for the BOOing. By this time, there will be tons of “You’ve been BOO’d” signs hanging all over your neighborhood and everyone will have partaken in the fun. Happy BOOing!