Have You Picked Your Halloween Costume Yet?

It’s September 6 and I still don’t have a Halloween costume. I’m entering panic mode.

You see, I really enjoy dressing up each year, and put a great deal of time, effort, and money into pulling off the perfect costume. Unfortunately, this means I’ve set the bar very high.

Last year, for example, I had two costumes. For the first—unveiled in New York City the weekend of Halloween—I was the pigeon lady from Home Alone 2. My three friends dressed up as Marv, Harry and Kevin. Together, we were unstoppable.

For my part, I was clad in an oversized coat and bucket hat, with a tub full of bird seed and four decorative pigeons adorning my person. For the final touch, I toiled for 30 minutes with a mixture of whipped cream and pepper to create a substance eerily similar to bird poop. The costume was wildly successful, and after throwing bird seed around a bar while Marv hit Harry with a crow bar, we were awarded best costume. It was the highlight of my young life.

The following week, I attended a post-Halloween Halloween party dressed as a hot air balloon. With a basket around my waist connected to dowel rods that supported a gigantic blow-up beach ball above my head, I had a very difficult time getting through any sort of entryway. I spent the majority of the party standing in the corner, unable to move, while my roommate fed me bean dip. Again, I won first place.

I’m almost 26 years old but my excitement level around this time of year is that of an 8-year-old. Halloween just brings out the best—and worst—in me. And I’m not alone.

During a holiday centered on the promise of sugar and the potential for greatness, children—and NAA’s Staff Writer—can’t be held responsible for their actions. And when those children live in an apartment community and have already eaten 12 fun-sized candy bars in 20 minutes, they may not respect the neighbors’ wishes of privacy, especially if there is no sign hanging on their door to indicate that they are not handing out candy.

To prevent such a situation, the staff at Cedar Pointe Apartment Homes organized a “Trunk-or-Treat” event last Halloween. Courtney Holman, NALP, Assistant Property Manager for the Nashville, Tenn., community, managed by Alexander Properties Group, Inc, says the idea was to designate a section of the parking lot where several residents would hand out candy from the decorated trunks of their cars.

With “zero budget” for the event, Holman used email and Facebook to encourage residents to donate. Fortunately, many people brought tricks and treats.

In addition to donating candy, prizes, goodie bags, drinks and cookies, seven residents also volunteered to distribute candy from their trunks or host games, such as bobbing for apples, ring toss, bean-bag toss, corn hole, an archery/balloon pop, and man a temporary-tattoo station. Holman says 50 or more children participated—many of whom were guests of their residents or children from neighboring apartment communities.

“The event was a huge success,” says Holman, who plans to hold another “trunk-or-treat” event this Halloween with even more games and volunteers.

If I wasn’t busy winning another costume contest, I’d lend a hand.

For more, check out Marketing Insider in the September issue of units, which mails Sept. 11.