I am astounded each year at how much money is spent on Halloween decorations for the outside. Surveys show that Halloween is by far and away the second largest holiday we decorate for. I know I am an old-timer but growing up, the most anyone did was put out a pumpkin that became a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.
Now, it seems that all front doors have at the very least a pumpkin per child in the family. Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to this. But, what for years and years was a one-night festivity has turned into a full-blown holiday season. Manufacturers and retailers now provide us with every imaginable way to decorate for Halloween. Lights, moving figures, spooky music – you name it, you can find it in a store to buy for decorating.
I love Halloween. I will never forget the Halloween when I looked like I was carrying my own pumpkin because I was a couple of weeks overdue with my first child, Benjamin. Or the time I was in charge of his sixth grade Halloween party. I can still see him cringing in embarrassment as I turned the jam box volume up on “The Monster Mash”. I think I was a tad too enthusiastic for him. Those were the days…
And I am the first to admit that I do enjoy the varying degrees to which people decorate for the candy holiday. Just the other weekend while driving to Wisconsin to go apple picking, my David and I laughed hysterically at the massive black spiders we saw on the roller coaster at Six Flags. I mean they were HUGE even from the interstate! Traditionally every Christmas season my family and I have driven around at night to see all the different holiday lights and decorations. Now I find myself doing it during “The Halloween Season”. See? I even refer to it as a season without realizing it.
Go natural the day after Halloween
Obviously, the colors of Halloween are also symbolic of autumn. Why not convert your outdoor décor to simple fall décor the day after Halloween? Get rid of the spooky. Get rid of the creepy. Get rid of anything that has to do specifically with Halloween and think fall. Let the front entrance of your home honor the season as we approach Thanksgiving. Let the colors of fall emblazon your home and send a welcoming message to those that enter or merely drive by.
Nothing beats what nature provides for us. Go natural with your outdoor fall décor. Fill your planters and urns with seasonal plants such as mums, ornamental cabbages and pansies. Keep the pumpkins, too- at least the ones you didn’t carve. Ignore the fact that you are giving the squirrels a feast to nibble on everyday. Do what I do and enjoy their show! Add gourds, Indian corn and cornstalks. Think Pilgrims!
One of my decorating mottos is less is more. A simple natural fall wreath on your front door speaks volumes. But, add whatever makes you happy. Just make it unique and inviting. Remember, the outside of your home is the first impression you give of how you live in your space. Make sure it reflects whom you are. As with all things you do in your homespace, honor yourself in this way.
As I said, I love Halloween. I remember many years as a kid walking in the dark with my sister, Mary Ann carrying our pillowcases door-to-door for treats. We walked until we couldn’t hold the heavy pillowcases much longer. When my kids were young, Halloween signaled “Bat Stew” for dinner and then the night that the dads in the neighborhood took over. Kids in tow, they walked the neighborhood while we mothers handed out candy and enjoyed the moments of alone time. And, since 1987, I celebrate every Halloween lovingly remembering my own dad as we buried him Halloween afternoon and then took all the grandkids trick-or-treating that night on October 31, 1987. My dad loved candy more than anyone I ever knew. How fitting that he was buried on the candy holiday!
Happy Halloween to all of you and may tonight’s fun fill you with laughter and love. And, cheers to you Daddy. I think I’ll eat some Mary Jane’s for you!
To celebrating fall…