6 Themes for a Thrilling Substance-Free Halloween Party

EDITORS NOTE:

CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

We welcome Caleb and Molly to the CITB family and know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Fun is not just for kids, and in fact, Halloween is the perfect time to make believe, dress up, and have a great time. But, how do you throw a substance-free party when you’re in recovery from addiction? One of the best ways to make sure everyone has an amazing time is to pick a theme and run with it. Sure, themes are a little cheesy, but that’s what Halloween is all about! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. They’re all packed with activities that make it easy to keep the focus on the fun and away from alcohol.

Movie Night

JamesQube / Pixabay

With movie themes, the possibilities are endless. A great way to set the scene is to use a projector to show the movie on a blank wall. For a scary classic, show Psycho but without sound and keep a scary soundtrack playing in the background (complete with the Psycho screech of course). Movie night can also be more fun than scary with favorites like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, or Harry Potter. Ask friends to come dressed as their favorite character, and serve alcohol-free versions of some beloved drinks from the movie you choose, like this Food Network recipe for butterbeer from Harry Potter.

Haunted House

When you turn your home into a house of horrors, the fun is all about the spooks. Check out Holiday for detailed how-tos and scenarios for making your home haunted. You can stick with a single theme like zombies, mad scientist, or a witch’s house, or set up a different scene in each room of your house for a surprise around every corner. Tie in themed food and drinks that are as spooky as the decor. There is no need for alcohol with all kinds of creepy punch recipes you can make that fit perfectly with the haunted theme.

vbpfoto / Pixabay

Bonfire and Ghost Stories

Bring the fun outside by setting up a fire pit in your yard, building a bonfire and having everyone tell spooky stories around the fire. Serve s’mores and something warm to drink, like hot spiced cider, and offer blankets so everyone can get cozy. To make the stories come to life and feel even more real, set the scene by turning your yard into a graveyard, complete with tombstones and ghosts floating from trees.

Mystery Party

Give your guests a case to solve with a mystery party. Try a modern take on a classic like this Nancy Drew party idea from Country Living, or do something a little more current like CSI. Whichever theme you go with, come up with a crime to solve, with clues, mysterious invitations, and a crime scene. Ask everyone to dress the part, and set up a “crime lab” with drinks served in test tubes

Janson_G / Pixabay

Masquerade Ball

This theme gives your guests an excuse to dress up in swanky attire, but with a twist. Pick a time period or theme, such as Victorian opulence or the roaring twenties. This makes dressing up, even more, fun (and challenging!), and don’t forget to give masks for guests for an added air of mystery. For decor, go for Hollywood decadence but with an eerie touch, like these ideas from The Huffington Post.

lightstargod / Pixabay

Elegant Evening

Another upscale option is to plan an elegant dinner party styled in black and white. Set a beautifully creepy table with black and white linens, candlesticks, and a smattering of spiders. Ask guests to dress in only black and white. You can find endless ideas for spooky black and white decorations – from spiderweb, white lab coats, and skeletons to bats, ravens, and spiders.

Whether you go with something scary, fancy, whimsical, or somewhere in between, try finding a theme that you and your friends will get into. Simply have fun with it. When you do that, the fun is all about the theme and the activities instead of being about drinking. With a little careful planning and a lot of imagination, you can absolutely throw an amazing substance-free Halloween party.

geralt / Pixabay

Feature Image photo credit: Pixabay

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Nobody Can Ever Call You Stupid

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Albert Einstein

As a kid I was pretty much labelled as the stupid one, or at least I felt like it.  I was probably the worst student ever. I always had trouble focusing to learn and absorb. So yup, I usually got bad grades and was constantly in fear of being scolded by the teacher.

My biggest milestone of stupidity was when I was 12, where I got an extremely low score in a major exam. I tried so hard to make up for it. Trying to shed the label of stupid. Have you ever been in that stage where you know you’re really bad at something, so you try to compensate for it with something else?

I knew I was doing badly in school, so I tried to make up for it in other areas in life. I remember actively trying to be a good son, to not let my parents down. I was always very polite to my relatives in hopes of showing my parents taught me well.

But alas, that major exam caused my world to crash down and made feel totally worthless anyway. I literally had the lowest score ever in my family. I knew I let everyone down and I felt inferior.

Here’s why nobody can ever call you stupid: “Stupid” is just a subjective label people like to give others. And it’s up to you to wear that label or shed it. I shed the label of stupid with a life of hard work and passion.

This is a post for people out there who feel stupid and inferior in any way:

Others’ expectations of you are not yours. Schools, institutions or your parents’ expectations out of you are not your own. They are merely their own views of what they want out of you.

It’s more important to know what you truly want for yourself deep down. It’s important to also have a realistic view on life, hence the only expectations you should ever need are your own. If you know that you gave it your best and always remembered that you tried, no grade or score can ever judge you for your degree of competence.

You’re very special in your own unique way. And with that, comes your aspirations, dreams, passion and ultimately your own hope in life. Do you know how special that is?

While it’s definitely important to get an education and do well in school, remember that you have innate abilities within you that are given to you. Unfortunately, not all of us have circumstances catered to our abilities. For example, the rowdy kid in class who cannot sit still would be labelled a bad student, when actually he requires another method of learning.

So, if it’s just mere circumstances, why let it bring you down? Why let it weigh you down? CREATE your own circumstances and pave your own path to realizing your true self.

I love writing, which is why I started my blog. I learned everything about blogging and online marketing on my own, something which they never thought in school. And it’s this experience of doing it all alone that gave me the bigger lessons in life compared to what school taught me.

You can easily pick yourself up anyway. When people do badly in school or lose a major client at work, they think it’s the end and start to think less of themselves. That is not true at all. You can always easily pick yourself up after that. As long as you believe in yourself and keep pushing on, you can go a long way in life. The trick to it is to not give up.

Stupid is not the end and neither should it be a permanent label. For whatever people think you are, you can easily change that. Just go for what you want, work hard and you can be whatever you want. There’s more to life than just being intelligent. So even if you think you’re stupid, you hence want to be intelligent right? But don’t forget, there are so many amazing things you can be called other than smart, or intelligent, like:

  • Polite
  • Passionate
  • Classy
  • Charismatic

Just to name a few…

I know many people who have made it in the academic world, getting their PHDs and qualifying for big corporate jobs, but their character leaves a lot to be desired. That’s to say, some are so intelligent that they forget how to be respectful towards others; some are so good with books, they don’t know a thing about being sociable.

There are many people out there who buy into living by societal standards. Being intelligent is just one mere aspect of life. Why not be many things instead, which you know can BOTH help you and those around you?

You aren’t stupid. You are many things just by being you. Just be you. Strive to be whatever you want, even if it’s just being intelligent.

Just remember to not take others’ judgement so hard and strive to be yourself. You will definitely go a long way.

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