Written by our Founder and CEO, the Celebrations Pulse letters aim to engage with our community. By welcoming your ideas and sharing your stories, we want to help you strengthen your relationships with the most important people in your life.

Halloween was always fun growing up, but back then, the holiday had a different vibe. We carved pumpkins, of course, and carefully placed them on our porch. Then we’d borrow some sheets and whatever else we could find around the house to become ghosts, goblins, mummies, and more.

Then, for a few hours on Oct. 31, crowds of costumed kids roamed the streets of my Queens, New York, neighborhood, trick-or-treating for a mix of apples, candy, and homemade treats. Afterward, we traded with friends and gorged on the haul in our pillowcases. By the next day, it was over (except for the occasional bellyache).

Halloween feels like a much bigger affair today. Entire neighborhoods work for weeks to festoon yards, not only with expertly carved jack-o’-lanterns, but also well-dressed and positioned skeletons, customized tombstones, and massive inflatable monsters. Towns have parades and costume competitions. Downtown shops open their doors to trick-or-treaters. Police even close streets due to the sheer number of people walking around at night.

halloween rituals group photo

Halloween is not just for kids anymore, either – it’s become an occasion for people of all ages.

As a parent and grandparent, I can’t wait to hear about the increasingly elaborate costumes, office parties, and decoration plans. At least for my circle of family and friends, it seems the planning starts earlier and earlier each year.

Embracing Halloween rituals

The rituals of Halloween may have grown more elaborate over the years, but at its heart, the occasion remains an opportunity to connect with other people before the weather turns and attention shifts to the cozy, family-focused holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

Now, Halloween is a community-wide event that requires friends, neighbors, block associations, and strangers to work together on a common goal of outdoing last year’s festivities. The result is more and bigger jack-o’-lanterns, fancier displays, and, yes, even stronger relationships.

For anyone who still thinks Halloween is just for kids, give it a try and roll with it! Join the fun by wearing a pirate hat at the office or decorating your cubicle with cobwebs and pumpkins. Or challenge your neighbor to a porch-decorating contest. Others around you will have fun – and I promise you’ll enjoy it too.

A Halloween trendsetter

Over the summer, our team started looking for an individual who epitomized the spirit of Halloween, especially how it helps build relationships. We searched for someone who obsessed over every detail, including home décor, entertaining, costumes for adults and children, neighborhood decorations, and community events.

liz halloween rituals

We found Liz Henderson, an Amazing Mom and lifestyle expert who was already planning for Halloween in August! She was already picking the costumes for her three children, ages 20 months to seven years. She was also planning to move into a new home this fall in northern Indiana, so she and her husband, Mike, planned to use Halloween as a networking opportunity.

Our family enjoys Halloween because it’s a great time to get to know our neighbors! We love seeing kids in cute costumes, handing out treats, and making the day fun for everyone.”

Like me, Liz has fond memories of Halloween growing up. She shared that her most memorable Oct. 31 took place when she turned 13 and her mom allowed her to host her first Halloween party. She planned a costume contest, s’mores around a bonfire, and games. “It was also the first night I wore a LOT of makeup – and I’m sure that was quite the frightening scene in and of itself!” she says.

liz picks shoppable content

How has Halloween changed for you?

I’d love to hear your Halloween stories about how it’s changed since you were young. How is your family and your community celebrating Halloween this year? We’ll pick a few to share in a special Halloween Celebrations Pulse next week. Send me an email today!

A lot has changed since I used to trick-or-treat with nothing but a sheet and a sack. Yes, the holiday has gone from modest and simple to a bit more commercial, but so what?! It is an opportunity for the old and young alike to have some fun and get to know each other better.

All the best,


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Our favorite Halloween Treats

My assistant, Patty, is a legend around our office for her incredible administrative skills – and the stories she brings back to the office the day after Halloween.

For years, she’s been ordering a box of 100 Cheryl’s cookies, which are individually sealed and perfect for dropping into the plastic pumpkins and cauldrons of her neighborhood’s trick-or-treaters. She told me last year that the kids (and their parents) are now regularly returning to her door for seconds and thirds!

Vote for your favorites

Pick yours from the list below. In Patty’s honor, we’ll randomly select one entry and send a box of 100 cookies to surprise and delight the ghouls and goblins who show up on your porch on Oct. 31. Be sure to be quick. Voting closes at 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

  • Chocolate Bars
  • Gummy Worms
  • Cookies
  • Candy Corn
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Lollipops

Email your vote to celebrationspulse@1800flowers.com.


Jim McCann is the founder, CEO, and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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