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Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, which doesn’t bode well for party-goers with a full-time job. I’ve heard that in London, Thursday is in fact the new Friday – so going out-out on a Thursday probably isn’t something you’re unfamiliar with if you work in the best city in the world, or if you’re used to going into work on a hangover.
I’ve been to a few Halloween parties myself, many moons ago – and I don’t particularly recall if they fell on October 31. I’d love to go out-out in full garb this year, but as a proud introvert and lazy person (and having no current desire to get blind drunk, which tends to only happen when I’ve got big problems I want to escape from), I haven’t made any plans. I also work full-time, so y’know, there is that old chestnut.
So this got me wondering: how could you low-key celebrate Halloween in the workplace?
The answer is: basically the same way you celebrate Christmas at work (if you do), but sPoOkY.
Some might say that going to work in and of itself is a terrifying thing on a daily basis, let alone on Halloween. Not me, though: as it happens, I love my job.
Below, I’ve come up with some cute ways you can get into the spirit (OooOooo!) of things in the workplace. Let me know if you can think of any others. Do you usually celebrate Halloween at work? I would love to see your photos.
As an aside: Some organisations prefer not to use anything spooky-looking to avoid upsetting anyone afraid of scary or occult-looking items. This isn’t just in the case of fundamentalist religions (if ever at all): think dementia, learning disability or types of autism, for example. These themes can trigger people and be incredibly unpleasant. In this case, you could apply an Autumnal theme to all the suggestions below instead of Halloween. You could have pumpkin and leaf-shaped cookies, pecan pies, autumnal decorations – you get the picture. Just have fun!
Subtly (or not-so-subtly) decorate your desk
Do you work in an office? Great – ghosts love offices. We’ve got one upstairs with all the old boxes. If you have your own desk (as opposed to hot-desking), and if your office doesn’t have strict anti-fire rules about excessive decor (no demons allowed, in that case), then this one is for you.
- Decorate a mini Halloween tree
- Put out bobble-heads or spooky ornaments
- Stick up some bats or ghouls around your monitor
- Decorate with black, purple, green, and red tinsel
Host a Halloween bake sale for charity
There isn’t an office on this planet that doesn’t love a bake sale. These are always a huge hit, even in small offices. You try resisting a cake or cookie when it’s for a GOOD CAUSE – especially if it’s in the shape of a bat, witch, ghost, whatever. Impossible!
Simply advertise it to your staff in an everyone-email well ahead of time and, of course, ask permission first from whomever needs informing. You could ask people to bake from home or bring in Halloween-themed goodies from the supermarket. Make sure everyone is agreed on the charity of choice and that you’ve ordered the appropriate buckets/branded collection tins from that charity, or at least make them aware that you are fundraising for them.
If you work for a charity, then you could fundraise for your own cause by taking the bake sale out of house or encouraging volunteers to host bake sales on your behalf.
Eat a spooktastic lunch
So many things to eat, and so little gut-room. Here are some suggestions:
- Pumpkin or butternut squash soup
- Homemade stew! (you can pretend it’s a witch’s brew)
- A spooky cookie from your local bakery (they all have them)
- Brain sandwich (somebody must be doing it)
- Halloween candy (Not the most nutritious choice)
If you can’t be bothered with anything else: have a spooky desktop background
It’s simple. It’s classic. It’s a nod to the season.
How 90s is this, though – actually changing your desktop background.
Remember those 3d animated shapes that could mesmerise you for hours way-back-when? Or those neon-headache-inducing scrolling bars that said ‘HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY JEN!!!’ over and over until time stood still?
Well, now you can have one for Halloween! The constant spooky reminder will make you feel like you’re part of the event without any real effort at all.
If you work in shops or hospitality
Then great, you can access customers easier and extract their souls face-to-face instead of by email, or perhaps both. You could:
- Wear spooky socks. Nobody will know… but you will.
- Wear cutesy Halloween earrings or a headband (I’ve seen checkout workers do this and it always makes me smile)
- Put Halloween music on over the speakers. Monster Mash on repeat, anyone?
- Spend an inordinate amount of time in the Halloween aisle, if you work in a shop. Who wouldn’t?
- Buy all the Halloween-themed baking equipment when it goes on sale. Who’s winning at life now? You are.
Cave-in and go for a cocktail after work
All right, all right – they twisted your arm. If you’re of-age and want to celebrate Halloween in style, then you may want a quiet cocktail after all.
My favourite place in my home of Southend-on-sea is an underground (literally) Absinthe bar called Dr Legba’s Emporium of Cocktails and Curiosities.
The Absinthe-green decor is beyond dreamy, and it’s usually a quiet and intimate place to sip a flaming Zombie: your own spooky little cave. Cocktails were £9 each last time I went. Even if you sip a Coke, the atmosphere, decor, and sophistication are worth being there for. It is gorgeous.
Fun fact: this place used to be a goth club called Club Krash, which me and my friends went to under-age more than a few times. It cost £1 to get in, and those stairs were a nightmare in platforms – it is a miracle I am still alive.
I hope you enjoyed that, and that it gave you some spooky or autumnal ideas for the workplace.
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