If we plan ahead now, we can make sure Halloween isn't ruined like everything else this year.

The pandemic has practically destroyed anything fun. Concerts have been canceled, county fairs have been postponed, even going out to dinner has become a chore. While this has certainly taken a toll on our mental health, just think about the impact it's had on kids.

Unable to participate in normal summer activities or just feel comfortable being around others, most children now face the beginning of a new school year uncertain if they'll ever return to the classroom.

That's why I think making sure this Halloween is as normal as possible is so important.

While most kids' activities fly in the face of social distancing and safety rules, Halloween was practically made for it.  Whether you have a kid or host trick-or-treaters at your house there are a few things we can all plan ahead for now to make this Halloween not only fun but almost void of any reminders that there's a global pandemic still raging out there.

I know that most people without kids will be tempted to just turn their lights off this year, but I am begging you to reconsider. You can still offer treats for kids without opening your door or having contact with them. In fact, it's pretty easy.

Because I'm usually out with my kid every Halloween we leave a display at our door filled with candy for kids to help themselves.

A. Boris

Ours is equipped with a Bluetooth speaker that plays spooky music and instructs kids to take two candies. But you certainly don't have to be that elaborate. A simple bowl with a sign is fine. Or, if you're worried kids will grab too much, you can just leave the bowl out and stand inside your storm door and watch the little ghouls and goblins as they come up to your stoop. The important thing is to make sure there's something at your house for kids to enjoy so they 're not disappointed walking through your neighborhood with no place to go.

If you have kids of your own, now is the time to start planning their costume.  Keep safety in mind and, If you can work a face-covering into the design, that would be optimal. Trick-or-treating takes place outdoors, so transmission risk is already low. But adding gloves, a mask or face covering into the costume will only add more protection. If you've got a younger child, or one that may not be good at social distancing, you might even want to consider an elaborate outfit that sticks out on the sides or involves a vehicle, making it impossible for them to get up in other kids' faces.

I know many people may not be in the mood for Halloween this year, but kids in the Hudson Valley really need this - believe me. Luckily the holiday falls on a Saturday night this October so there's no excuse preventing you to do something fun for them. And who knows, maybe the joy on their faces when they see your huge bowl of Kit-Kats surrounded by spider webs will be just the distraction you need from everything else that's going on in the world.