You’ve Been Booed!

by Sandra Foyt on September 27, 2011. Updated January 27, 2012

in Arts and Culture

you've been booedLeave it to Hershey’s to commercialize our neighborhood tradition.

Every year an anonymous neighbor leaves a ghostly gift at our door in the weeks leading to Halloween, merely asking us to pay it forward.

This year,* we were “phantomed” just two days before Halloween, so we rushed to Target to put together our gift.  The shelves were somewhat bare, but imagine my surprise when I discovered “You’ve Been Booed” Hershey’s Chocolate kits.  Oh, joy.

Tempting, but no, I didn’t buy into the whole Hershey’s Trick Or Treat Commercialized Halloween.  We’re spreading the holiday sweets, but keeping it simple and cheap.

How To Start the You’ve Been Booed Tradition in your Neighborhood

1. Print out the You’ve Been Booed Poem. Over the years, we’ve received different versions, but they’re all good.  Last year, we were given The Phantom Ghost, but this year we’re using this version:

The air is cool, the season fall,
Soon Halloween will come to all.

Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore…
Tricky witches at your door.

The spooks are after things to do,
In fact a spook brought this “Boo” to you!

The excitement comes when friends like you,
Copy this note and make it two.

We’ll all have smiles upon our faces,
No one will know who “BOO”ed who’s places!

Just two short days to work your spell,
Keep it secret, hide it well.

Please join the fun, the seasons here .
Just spread these “BOO’s” and Halloween cheer.

2. Make a BOO sign. Draw a ghost on a plain sheet of paper – make it as scary or friendly as you please – and write “Boo!” on it.

3. Gather a few treats. Throw in a few candies, and add something special for the home. The Dollar Store is a good place to find fun and inexpensive Halloween-themed goodies, and a gift bag or basket to throw it in.

4. Throw in a set of You’ve Been Booed instructions:

  • Enjoy your treat!
  • Place the BOO sign on your front door.
  • Within 2 days, pay it forward. Make 2 copies of the You’ve Been Booed Gift, making sure to include this note, treats, and a Boo sign.
  • Secretly deliver the You’ve Been Booed Gift to two neighbors who don’t have a Boo sign on their door.
  • Enjoy watching the spirit of Halloween spread through the neighborhood!

5. Now, you’re ready to boo your neighbors! That’s my kids’ favorite part.  They love to sneak in, drop the bag, and run away before anyone sees them.

We’ve really enjoyed this tradition in our neighborhood. It gives our families, who otherwise rarely see each other, a chance to share a fun activity while fostering a little community spirit.

What are you neighborhood traditions at Halloween and throughout the year?

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| Sandra Foyt inspires lifelong-learners to travel the world. A former education advocate and enrichment coach, she lived in Buenos Aires, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Southern California before settling in Northeast NY with two teens, an outdoorsy husband, and a well-indulged Chocolate Lab. Sandra contributes to Being Latino, and her portfolio appears at www.SandraFoyt.com. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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