MamaLA: We’ve Been BOOed!

An October tradition that gets the candy giving going well before Halloween.

One of our absolute October favorites is a tradition called “BOOing.”  It is kind of like ding-dong-ditching but with treats.  We first experienced the act three years ago when our good friends, the Goodwins, BOOed Soraya’s family.  The kids still remember opening the door to find a bag full of Halloween goodies—which included a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for the adults—on the doorstep. Needless to say, it was a fun surprise that inspired us to get in on the giving.

This year, Siena and her sixth grade friends got together and BOOed some of their friends, including a couple of beloved teachers whose addresses they happened to know. At the local Dollar Tree and Target, they bought glow in the dark trick or treat buckets which were perfect, especially for a $1 each!  They filled the buckets with candy, plastic spider rings, glow in the dark rats, Halloween-themed temporary tattoos, witches’ fingers—basically all of the stuff that we put up with through the holiday and dump or donate the day after. The girls had fun assembling the buckets and coming up with their list of BOO-ees. Once it was dark, Soraya and a friend drove them around from house to house to deliver their treats.

In Soraya’s community, this tradition kicks off each season by our friend Jenny Raulli, creator of Bloom Designs Online. A mother of four children, Jenny has a passion for celebrating holidays.  Each Halloween, she creates a new BOO sign and instruction sheet, which is free to print (and available here and here).  Here’s how it works: Pick someone to “BOO.” In our homes, we let each of our children pick one person so it’s fair (oh yes, we know all about kids wanting everything to be “equal” or “fair.” That’s not always possible but in this case it’s easy to do.) Print out a free printable sign online including instructions for the next family to follow, fill a goodie bag or bucket with treats appropriate for your BOO-ee.  Then ding-dong-ditch the family, leaving the bag of treats and sign on their doorstep. Your kids will love doing it—just don’t be surprised if they don’t run from the door as quickly as you might expect; getting caught is half the fun. The tradition should pass through the community and, once you’ve received treats yourself, you can hang the “WE’VE BEEN BOOED!” sign in your window. It’s a trick AND a treat.

With seven children ranging in age from eleven months to sixteen years between them, sisters and bloggers Yasmine Delawari Johnson and Soraya Delawari Dancsecs are experts at parenting in L.A. They take a break from PTA board meetings, cooking, and producing films to blog at CityThink each Thursday.