Have you ever seen “BOO” signs spread like wildfire in your neighborhood? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain. BOO signs are a fun way to give some small gifts to neighbors, celebrate the Halloween spirit and make some fond memories with your kids.
When my husband and I bought our first house, it was in a brand new neighborhood with a bunch of young families. We brought our two oldest boys home from the hospital in that house, and we started a lot of our own family traditions there. The first fall we lived there, I was pregnant with our first baby, and I’ll never forget one evening when someone rang our doorbell and secretly left an orange gift bag on our front porch with a BOO sign, a poem with instructions on what to do with it and a few little Halloween decorations inside. I was really excited because it felt like we were really a part of a neighborhood for the first time in our married life.
The way it works is you make up two gift bags or baskets with a copy of the poem/instructions (free printable available here), a copy of the “BOO” sign (free printable available here) and a few little treats and/or decorations. You secretly put each bag onto a neighbor’s front porch and either ring the doorbell or just leave it there for them to discover.
We lived in our first house for just over two years, and when we moved to our next house, we brought that tradition with us, and every year I couldn’t wait until October when we could send out the first “BOO” gift bags in our new neighborhood and start the chain all over again. It was fun for our kids to receive a treat bag on our porch, but I think we had the most fun with creating some for our neighbors and leaving them on their front porches. It was always so much fun to watch the “BOO” signs start popping up on peoples’ front doors and windows all up and down the streets and around the neighborhood.
I guess, when you really think about it, it’s kind of like a “chain letter”. Are you old enough to remember what chain letters were? When I was a kid, people would actually send a letter through the postal mail to several recipients telling them to put money (like $1.00) in an envelope and send it to the first person (or people) at the top of a list of people. Then they were supposed to mail the same letter to (approx.) ten other people and put your own name at the bottom of the list. Theoretically, you would end up with a bunch of money coming back to you when your own name made it to the top of a bunch of other peoples’ lists. Don’t try this at home, though, because this is actually illegal and considered mail fraud, but back when this was done, the letter would also give some kind of warning, like “if you fail to do this and break the chain, you will have 10 years of bad luck” or some similar threat. People were actually afraid to break that chain! And then in the 90’s, when email first started, people would send chain-emails, asking for things like recipes to get sent to the person at the top of the list and then you would forward the email to a certain number of other recipients. But on the emails, there weren’t threats, there were promises, like “if you don’t break this chain, 10 blessings will come your way”, or something of the sorts. But I digress….
Anyway, you absolutely do not have to spend much money on these gift bags. Most of the examples that I’m giving you were filled with items I bought at The Dollar Tree. Generally, I give these gifts to neighbors that we know, so I know exactly how many kids live there, and then I give a few gifts for the kids to enjoy and some type of decorations and treats the parents might enjoy, too. Examples of my “BOO bags” are shown in the photos below.
Everything you see in the photos above (except the orange skull with the air plant) was found at The Dollar Tree. Thats right! Only $1.25 each item. Here is the link:
Here are some additional ideas for treats to leave in the gift bags:
Halloween game or puzzle
Any type of Halloween candy
Halloween baking supplies
I hope this inspires you to start this fun little tradition in your own neighborhood! It’s a really fun fall activity to do with your kids and add to your memories. Thank you for stopping by my website to read this blog! I hope you will find something fun to celebrate. xoxo
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I also want to mention that the fun card company Love Pop is retiring some of their designs, and they are nearly half off. These designs and many others were regularly $13, but are right now selling for $7. Their pop-up cards would be a great addition to your BOO bag. They even have Christmas ornaments and cards, if you are trying to get ahead of the game. The link for the sale is right below these photos, if you’d like to see what they have.