If you’ve been on the parenting side of TikTok or Instagram lately, you’ve probably heard reference to “boo baskets.” In which case you may be wondering, uh, what are they? Is this another one of those holiday things you’ll start and immediately regret? (Looking at you, Elf on the Shelf.) These are valid questions — and I fell down the rabbit hole to find the answers so you wouldn’t have to.
So, what is a boo basket? The idea is pretty straightforward: a fall or Halloween-themed Easter basket. Yes, really. And yes, for many parents, this concept will seem excessive. Wasn’t your kid’s birthday just last week? Haven’t we reached that special time of year where every “I want” is met with “Ask Santa”?
As it turns out, these things are not mutually exclusive. Both can be true. For many kiddos, Christmas feels so far away, and their birthdays are even farther away. Plus, as any parent now knows, Halloween is no longer entirely about candy and costumes. There are themed books, stuffies, cups, and even fall or Halloween-themed outfits. Getting those at Christmas or for a June birthday would render them practically useless.
Enter: boo baskets. When do you give them, though, and what, exactly, do you put in boo baskets? The decision is open to personal preference, which makes it all the more fun. Boo baskets aren’t mandatory — they’re not even the “norm.” But if you’re thinking of giving them a try, here’s what you need to know.
When do you give boo baskets?
The timing for boo baskets is entirely subjective. It’s not exactly logical to gift a bunch of Halloween treats on the day of Halloween. Beyond that, anything goes. Some moms have a tradition of gifting boo baskets the week before Halloween or during the first of October. That way, your little goblin has plenty of time to enjoy their spooky spoils. Other moms hand over their boo basket at random. It’s a great way to perk up a sick or sad kid or turn around a bad day.
Unlike Elf on the Shelf, where rules run the show, the land of boo baskets is lawless. You do you, moms. If you’re giving boo baskets, give them at a time that makes the most sense for your family.
What do you put in a boo basket?
The sky is the limit! The general idea is to go with special fall or Halloween gifts you can’t find all year. However, not everything needs to be witchy. An overarching fall-color scheme can also help pull a boo basket together. Need more specific inspo? Keep reading.
For Little Kids
Let’s be real: Little kids love and want ~everything.~ One lap around Target, and they’ll give you hundreds of ideas. If you’re adding-to-cart from home, try:
- Halloween cups
- Halloween books
- Kid-friendly, slightly spooky movie
- A fall or Halloween-themed shirt or PJs
- Limited edition Halloween-themed stuffies, like Slumberkins or Squishmallows
- Grow your own mummy
- Fall-flavored snacks
- Fuzzy slippers
- Glow-in-the-dark anything
- Sticky spider webs
For Big Kids and Teens
Older kids and teens can often feel hard to buy for. One minute, they love something; the next, they’re “too old” for it. Your tween or teen may not want a boo basket at all… or they might sulk if you devote boo baskets to just the littles in your life. There are always ways to make them happy, though. Especially when you load up a boo basket with these.
- Fuzzy warm boots, booties, or slippers
- Cabin or Halloween-themed socks
- Bath & Body Works Halloween or fall-scented candles
- A scary movie
- A creepy mask
- Halloween makeup
- Nail polish
- Starbucks gift card for a PSL
- Fall snacks
- Chapsticks in fall flavors
- “Hot hands”
- Water bottle stickers
Some couples don’t do gifts, some prefer to downright spoil each other, and many are somewhere in the middle. If you want to put together a grown-up boo basket, try these:
- DIY PSL kit (coffee, pumpkin spice creamer, whipped cream, and a new mug)
- That new pair of warm clogs or boots they’ve been coveting
- Friday night lights tickets
- Movie theater tickets
- A fall or Halloween movie you both love
- A cozy new blanket
- Merch for your favorite football team
- A spooky new book
- A new, fall-colored tumbler
- Starbucks or Dunkin gift card
- Crystals if your partner considers this “kitchen witch” season
You get the gist. And, remember, if you don’t want to fuss over a boo basket, don’t. Not everyone has the time, energy, or budget to add yet another seasonal gimmick to their agenda. If you do, that’s cool, too. We’re all grownups here — we do what we want.