31 Days of the Little Way: When a plunger sparks a fun Halloween idea

Every October our school has a Friday night Boo Bash right before Halloween. The children and some of the adults dress in costumes, and families can sign up to decorate the tables. The children trick-or-treat at the tables and pick up candy or other trinkets as they go.
At some point a while ago, I was talking to one of my third grade mom friends, and we decided we would just sign up for a table, take our children to the dollar store, and let them pick whatever they wanted to throw on the table.
I may have suggested calling it, “A Dollar to make you Holler.”
Anyway, we went to the dollar store last Friday—one week before the event—and set the children loose. They found skeletons and rats and plastic worms and then just as I thought we were finished, Daniel grabbed a…plunger.
Suddenly the whole focus of the trip changed. The children loved the plunger. They wanted to build the table around it. “What if it’s not the Boo Bash, but the Poo Bash?” someone said.
The ideas just…well…overflowed.

By the time we met at the table to decorate it before the Boo Bash began, there was an entire cardboard and Styrofoam toilet in the center of the table—our “Halloween potty.” This is why I started making toilet paper ghosts, though now I believe everyone should have a toilet paper ghost in the bathroom. We now have one in ours, and I think it is rather classy.

Part of me was a little nervous about the fact that we were building a table around an enormous toilet and potty humor. But if you can make fun of death at Halloween, why can’t you make fun of bathrooms?
So we did. And it was so much fun watching the children dig through the boxes and bags of dollar store purchases and arrange everything on the table. The finished product was the fruit of their labors, and it reminded me that sometimes children have the best ideas.

As the children danced around to a DJ and filled their bags and buckets with candy, candy, candy, I thought about what a full week this has been. I’ve been so busy with other things that the Boo Bash arrived before I had time to do much to prepare for it. But decorating our table was light-hearted and crazy and fun. And it all came together, thanks to better-organized grown-ups and children who knew how to make the most of what they had and have a great time with it. Our table even took an honorable mention, and the children could not have been prouder.

As I stood there, watching the buzz of activity in the room, looking around at the creative tables others had decorated, I thought of how amazing our God is. He creates all these different people with different ideas and different interests. He shows us ways to connect with one another in serious ways, but also through laughter. He allows us to find humor in all kinds of things in life—even in our Halloween table.
And, in this case, it all started with a plunger.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.