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Christian Living

10 Horrible Halloween Treat Ideas

If you care about being Good News in Your Neighborhood, Halloween is one of the easiest days on the calendar to get out and meet a lot of people. Since 2005, I’ve written a number of posts encouraging fellow Christians to embrace Halloween as an opportunity to meet your neighbors.

So I won’t rehash why we celebrate Halloween or re-share some of the things we’ve done in the past to practice hospitality.

But I do want to say that not every idea is a good idea. And not every treat idea is a good treat idea. Every year my kids come home from trick-or-treating and lay out all of their candy on the floor. As they carefully examine each treat some of them get labeled as “junk.” (Something healthy. Or even a dime store toy.) Giving out “junk” is the biggest insult you can give a kind on Halloween night. Don’t be that guy.

Here’s a list of 10 really horrible Halloween treat ideas NOT to try this year.

  1. Ketchup packets – Cheap, and you probably have a drawer full of them already. But I not a treat that’ll make a 6 year old happy.
  2. Bacon bits – Bacon is always a welcome addition. And bacon bits would be awesome with a snack sized Snickers. But little ziplocks of bacon bits would be gross.
  3.  Beef jerky – Jerky would look amazing to give away. In the dark it might look like poop, and kids would think that was funny, but an assortment of cured meats would be a bit too creepy.
  4.  KFC wet naps – Probably useful, especially if their face paint starts to run, but just don’t do this one. It’s really odd.
  5. Roll of electrical tape – I know its tempting to go through your garage to find random items to pawn off on kids. While a roll of tape would be a good bargain, most kids won’t know what to do with it.
  6. Sample size toothpaste – I get it. You work at a dental office and you get it for free. And why not encourage kids to brush their teeth after eating all of that candy. But no, really weird. Unless it looks like blood. Blood is cool on Halloween.
  7. Plastic spoon – Nothing says, “I hate you” quite like a random bit of disposable cutlery. Just don’t do this. Megan (11) said this would be the dumbest thing ever.
  8. Band aids – Really weird and gross. Say no to the adhesive bandage.
  9. A pickle – I love pickles. Probably more than I love bacon. But can you imagine the look on kids faces when you dropped a dripping wet pickle in their bag?
  10. Canned food item – Hold off on unloading that unwanted can of stewed chutney until Novembers canned food drive, OK?

Question: What would be the worst costume you could wear if you wanted to become Good News in Your Neighborhood?

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Unleash the Power of Observation

observation

Life is full of surprises. Unexpected things happen. People do funny stuff. But you’ll never notice the good stuff until you train your eye to look for it.

Every week I see something that completely blows my mind. Sometimes its hilarity. Sometimes its tragedy. Sometimes its awkward. Sometimes its a persons moment of accomplishment. And when I share these things I always get the same response… how do you notice all that stuff?

Observation is a skill. I don’t have special eyesight and I don’t think I live somewhere that especially strange things happen. OK, living near a university gives me the advantage that strange things probably happen more often than in other places. But I will make this promise, if you develop your observation skills you will see the art of life unfold before your eyes.

Step one: Pop a squat. Define normal.

The first thing you need to do is get to know your environment. If you’re new to this, go to a favorite coffee shop with a legal pad of paper or your laptop. Then, start writing everything you see down. Don’t talk to anyone. Just observe who is there, what they are doing, what they are talking about, what they are wearing, what they order, what they do after they order… write it all down. When it’s slow, map out the floor plan of the the coffee shop. Start noticing where people’s eyes go when they first walk into the shop. Start tracking foot traffic. Start noticing who stays how long. Start noticing how other people chose a seat. Once you’ve done this for a couple hours you will know what is normal about that shop.

Step two: Contrast everything. Ignore the normal to notice the abnormal

Once you get comfortable with the normal behavior of people in the coffee shop, you’ll start to notice the abnormal. (aka The Good Stuff) Notice that a guy sits in a certain place to check out female customers. Notice that people drop their change when the cute person is taking orders. Notice that the same person is meeting multiple people in a day. Notice the woman who cries quietly by herself. Notice the guy in the suit rolling his eyes while on the phone. On and on.

Once you are used to a single environment and you get good about noticing what is abnormal at one place… it should start to come naturally with things in your every day routine.

Most of the interesting things I observe happen when I’m in my routine. Riding my bike to the trolley I know what sprinklers are on, which direction cars typically come from at the intersections, which people are normally waiting for the bus, who are the regulars outside of Starbucks, that Tuesday’s are light traffic days at SDSU, who gets off at my stop, and which cars are parked on the side of the road as I work my way from the trolley to the office. Once I know that stuff– I only notice things that aren’t normal.

The more you do this the better you get. I think I observe things a little better than most people because I do it in my routine all the time. Airports are easy “next steps” as typically most people behave about the same in all airports. But just know this.

You can observe great things about the world simply by training your eyes to look out for it.

The irony of this post? I notice obscure things but often miss the obvious.

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Unreal Soccer Skills