Despite the Christmas crap littering stores, it's only October. And before we go broke buying gifts we aren't sure people will want, let us appreciate the candy-coated, liquor-soaked holiday actually coming up.

That's right.

Halloween.

Falling right near y'alls homecoming, if I have that right.

Man, remember when those were two fantastic things? Like homecoming. You'd get fancy duds and flowers. Men would embarrass themselves with cheesy proposals to go to the "big dance." You'd awkwardly dance to classics like "Heaven" or "Get Low."

Or when, for us true Coloradans, we'd get spookified for Halloween, all ready to beg strangers for sweets, when a blizzard would hit and our parents would drag out the parkas, defeating the whole costume experience?

Ah, to be young.

Now we all blatantly ignore any weather advice, sluttify ourselves and prance around in a stupor without so much as a candy bar to soak up the bad choices. And the only time we get our dresses and high heels out is ... well ... honestly it just doesn't happen. Men embarrass themselves regardless, but sadly not in the romantic ways we crave.

Add in the bills, drama and work responsibility, and you've got a par-tay.

Focus.

Don't worry, this weekend you all have a right to regress a bit. Slap on some face paint — gold 'n' black or zombie kinds — and go nuts.

Smashy Claw is offering a free concert this Sunday at the Laughing Goat Coffeehouse to celebrate the release of its debut album, Former Spine. Enjoy great music and an opportunity to test out the Halloween costume a week early — from 9 to 11 p.m., you can get a pre-holiday romp in, and rock out.

Or hey, head over to FATE Brewing (1600 38th Street). The brewery's got their "pumpkin-palooza" going, with a Nitro Cascadian Dark Pumpkin, FATE Pumpkin Ale and the Chai Pumpkin Saison all ready to wow the ol' taste buds.

Combine that with a flavor-packed menu and you've got yourself a night. Just make sure to get them before they run out. It happens.

I know there's a smorgasbord of quality homecoming fun happening too. I stumbled across a flier with 'em, but you can find them at cuhomecoming.com.

Here's a taster:

Rock the Buff colors for free donuts on Friday outside the Vac from your Senior Class Council at 10 a.m. Or pregame for the big game at Benson Field. Or, of course, there will be the Homecoming Parade on Saturday on University Hill.

Along with the other homecoming shenanigans, there's the usual Pearl Street Stampede at 7 p.m. Friday. Hit the streets and cheer on your Buffaloes. On game day, you can get a ride to the game from West End Tavern, and grand libations before and after.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., join other Boulderites in learning the spooky history of this already odd city of ours with The Ghost Walk Ghost Talk. Go to historicboulder.org for tickets and info, but it sounds like a great time. They even have refreshments, decorations and pro psychics that'll read your future ... or something.

Just keep it safe and save all that creepy stuff you've pent up all year one more week.

Follow Alex on Twitter: @ansieh.