Last night while taking a walk around my neighborhood I noticed my neighbor’s bushes glowing and immediately questioned her judgment thinking, “Who decorates for Christmas on October 1?” After peering a little closer, I quickly realized that the glow coming from the bushes was actually orange not red and that this was not a way too early Christmas display, this was a visual homage to Halloween.

Wow, the popularity of Halloween appears to be rising exponentially each year. When people break-out the plastic ghosts and giant costume stores pop up on roadway corners over a month before the day well, pretty soon we’ll be seeing Halloween in June sales and kids will be taking a week off to celebrate ghouls and goblins. Yes, Halloween is becoming a very big deal around here! The stores are stocked full with spooky decorations and Halloween party planning is already in full swing.

In the spirit of this spooky season, I’m sharing a few tips to help you choose a great costume that will make this Halloween your spookiest, scariest and most sensational to date . . .

CREATIVE COSTUME IDEAS -

Politically minded? You could organize a group dress up as a famous political family. Some ideas– the Obamas, the Palin family, the Kennedys, the Clintons, etc.

Self professed TV addict? Why not plan costumes around a hit television show – some ideas that are sure to spark your creativity - American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Modern Family, Glee, etc.

Music lover? Why not become “Rock Royalty” for a night – dress up group style as a band or a famous rock family. Some ideas . . .the Osbornes, KISS, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Blue Man Group, etc.

Movie Buff? Have each member of your group dress up like a character from a movie. Good choices: Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Flinstones, Smurfs, Captain America, etc. – you could even put together a gang composed of different superheroes.

Artsy are you? Choose a play and design costumes around the screenplay. For example, dress up as the characters from Wicked or Jersey Boys. If you’re real artsy, you could even design a group costume around a famous masterpiece or dress up as an artist for a night (Warhol would be an easy one to imitate).

Are you a foodie? Dress up like your favorite meal or dish. Arrive at a costume party as your favorite wine and cheese pairing. More of a family man? Why not go as a family picnic - with mom being the basket, dad being the blanket and the kids being the food inside (hot dog, sandwich, pickle, etc.) – the dogs could be the ants.

Hey techno geeks and geeks of all ages, why not dress-up as a play on words or your favorite gadget? You could be anything from an iPad to a Rubiks Cube to a Grammar Nazi. Be creative – the dictionary is your oyster.

Now that we’re all thinking about what we’re going to be this Halloween, I’d better get started with my own plans. Let’s see . . . Superhero (already done that) – hmmm – I’ll have to surprise you!