Families may have to rethink trick-or-treating this year, but but many look forward to keeping the holiday twinkle alive as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Halloween is only weeks away but if you're planning to head out and scare up some treats, a poll conducted by Leger and The Association for Canadian Studies, could have you in a tricky spot.
It seems that Canadians are divided on whether to let their children go trick-or-treating this year. 52 per cent say they won't and 48 per cent say they will.
In Ontario, 58 per cent say the event should be cancelled altogether.
That's not good news for six-year-old Jaxen Thomson. He's shopping with his mother Amanda at Spirit Halloween in Ottawa's east-end. Jaxen is on the hunt for a Super Mario costume, his favourite video game character. While dressing up is fun, his favourite part of the spooky day is all the candy. Luckily, his mother has a pandemic-proof plan to get her son handfuls of delicious treats, a scavenger hunt.
"We're doing a candy hunt," says Jaxen. "There's a team that hides all the candy and there's a team that's going to search for the candy."
The plan is to decorate the yard and the inside of the house and then Jaxen and some friends in their bubble will knock on bedroom doors to 'trick-or-treat' for the sweet stuff.
This seems to be a trend among shoppers at the 12,000 square-foot Halloween superstore. Sarah Dellavedova is choosing some yard decorations with her daughter, Sienna.
"I think we're going to decorate, do family activities, and have a scavenger hunt," says Dellavedova. "I just think it's better to be home and do something different this year."
When it comes to the business of Halloween, Spirit Halloween district manager Nick Hemm says sales have been down slightly, but it's been steady. Spirit Halloween is an annual pop-up style store that uses empty store space to fill the shelves with all things creepy. This year, they chose a much larger space to create more social distancing. Hemm has also noticed a trend.
"Decor is way up. People still want to decorate," says Hemm. "For kids to dress up and get their imagination going, that's what's needed right now, anyway, to keep everybody happy and sane. People's seasons are either Halloween or Christmas and all the regulars have been in to do their decorations like every year."
When it comes to Christmas, 49 per cent of Canadians say they will change their holiday plans, while 44 per cent said they won't.
Of those who intend to make changes, they were asked to describe how and were allowed to give multiple answers.
Seventy-four per cent said they would celebrate with close or immediate family members and keep social interactions to a minimum.
Fifty-four per cent said they would limit celebrations to a smaller number of visitors, 40 per cent plan to issue strict instructions against kissing hugging or handshaking and 37 per cent plan to avoid air travel.
Thirty percent said they would hold virtual celebrations in 25 per cent said they wouldn't attend religious services or celebrations they would otherwise have gone to. Nineteen per cent said they plan to cancel celebrations altogether.
At Tinseltown Christmas Emporium in Ottawa, where you can shop for everything Christmas year-round, Jocelyne Lamarche is searching for the perfect tree ornament. She plans to stay close to home this year and knows that it will be different.
"My kids are at different places, some from the Quebec side and some from the Ontario side," says Lamarche, who has three sons who are all married with children. "I hope it's not going to be blocked because I really appreciate having my family at Christmas."
Her concern is that if the pandemic continues to escalate, borders between provinces may be closed again. Lamarche is also concerned that because her family is so large, not everyone will be allowed in her home.
A global pandemic may have changed LaMarche's routines but not her spirit. She remains optimistic that COVID-19 cases will drop.
"Hope and joy and family for Christmas. That's what I want."