What’s not to like about Halloween? When you’re young you get to dress up as your favorite monster, ghost, princess, or superhero, and go house to house collecting candy from friendly neighbors. As you get closer to the teen years, the focus shifts. You’ve conquered your street and are ready to tackle the whole neighborhood. (You might even head to a different neighborhood where you’ve heard they hand out full-size candy bars.) Now the focus is more on dressing up, being with friends, and seeing how much ground you can cover in one night—collecting a booty of candy like a proud pirate. (And maybe even closing out the night watching Freddy or Jason terrorize their neighborhoods.)
Now you’re an adult, and the excitement has shifted to dressing up for a costumed Halloween party and hanging out with friends, eating ghoulish treats, and drinking spooky spirits. Sometimes that’s with your outside-of-work friends, and sometimes that’s with your team at work. If you’re lucky, it’s both! My point is, for most of our lives Halloween is about indulging ourselves. It’s a full-on “What do I want to do for Halloween this year?” decision. But at some point, your Halloween experience evolves. Whether it’s because you have kids and are creating their Halloween experience, or that the neighbors have kindly asked you to give up your trick-or-treating ways, the Halloween holiday becomes about others. Fortunately, I work at a boutique agency that’s good at doing for others and encourages us to seek out activities that provide creative fuel. This is what inspires us and helps us do inspiring work. Halloween this year was our latest opportunity to give back and refuel.
So what does a creative agency do for Halloween? We get creative! (Oh, it’s on like Donkey Kong.) Every year we do something fun, always in costume, of course. And every year has a theme—90s bands, favorite movie characters, etc. It’s an excuse for us to get together outside of the stress and pressure of work and engage in some good, old-fashioned, silly Halloween fun. We’ve been on a haunted house tour and played putt-putt golf, always having a blast and getting an infusion of that creative fuel.
This year we decided to branch out and do something different. One of our offices is located in the small town of Los Altos, with a quaint, tree-lined downtown where the planter boxes are full of fresh flowers in the spring, and boughs and lights go up for the holidays. When we heard the town was hosting a Halloween Spooktacular for the littlest trick-or-treaters, we were in.
After we had our own costume and pumpkin decorating contests in the office (dressing in the theme of “candy” this year), we all headed down to Main Street to engage in some Halloween fun. We had a Plinko game to play for prizes, a Halloween display dotted with our festive pumpkins, a friendly host to hand out candy (no raisins allowed), and a photo-op spot (complete with our photographer) that let everyone take home a Polaroid memory of their visit to the Spooktacular.
The day was a hit! A parade of mini firefighters, ninjas, Woodys, and Buzzes stopped by, along with Elsa and her princess friends. There was lots of excitement, laughter, and the occasional look of trepidation (are you really made of cotton candy??). And by the end of the day, we had a blast and were exhausted, our creative tanks successfully filled. Another great Halloween for the Contrast team! And we’re already tossing around ideas for making next year bigger and better.
P.S. In case you’re wondering why we’re writing about Halloween in December, our post on procrastination might clear it up for you.