I love the costumes, I love the candy and I loooooooove to decorate.
October 1st, I’m in the garage with the kids weeding through numerous boxes containing our ever growing collection of Halloween decorations. We lay them out all over the ground, separate them into piles, and catalogue them: fake rats, flashing eyeball lights, bloody limbs…
We toss the stuff that didn’t survive the year in storage and make a list of what we need in order to bring our vision come to life…or death…Mwoooohahahahaaaaa.
People think that decorating for Halloween simply means putting out a pumpkin and hanging up a few cobwebs. But there’s a lot more to it than that. I mean, if you want to do it right. If you really want to set the mood and touch people on a deeper level. Like we do. After all, Halloween decorations are an expression of your family’s personality. They show people how you interpret your world and can classify you to your neighbors as either sophisticated or sophomoric.
The most important tip to decorating brilliantly is to try to think out of the “coffin.” Anyone can have bones planted in the ground to make it look like a rising corpse. But it takes real genius to create decorations that stop pedestrians in their tracks and slow cars as they come around the corner. And that’s where my family really shines.
We walk around the house and look for toys or dolls and everyday household items we have that we can use to enhance “the mood”.
Our biggest showstopper is our Cage O’ Rats.
We start with the pen we use for our guinea pigs when they graze outside. Then we sprinkle in some fake rats. The guinea pigs just sit around doing what guinea pigs do, munching grass, pooping. But when people walk by they see something in the cage move and it FREAKS them out. It’s awesome. I’ve actually seen this in action. Once I watched a woman walk by with her lunch companions (we live off a main street) and one of the guinea pigs jumped over a fake rat. The woman freaked! Jumped clear off the sidewalk. We’re not insured for that kind of reaction, but it was totally worth the risk.
Another Halloween favorite in our family is “Barbie in Distress”. We put loads of webs on one of the bushes on our front yard. Then we wrap up a Barbie in cobwebs so she looks like a mummy. (We’ve found that Barbie from the Nutcracker works particularly well…the tiara that makes her look extra vulnerable). Then we add an enormous fuzzy spider and position it on the bush to look like it’s wrapping her up and is about to eat her.
The beauty of this decoration is that the casual passer-by will see the web on the bush and just think, “Oh, webs. They’ve decorated for Halloween. How quaint.” Then they look a little harder and see the spider and are all, like, “Ew! Spider. Creepy.” But then, they’re drawn in, mesmerized, wanting to examine the decoration further…they wonder what the spider is doing with that wound up white blob at its’ foot-tips. They move in closer for inspection. And that’s when they see the golden hair cascading out of the wound up webbing and notice a beautiful face frozen…ney, paralyzed…as if injected with poison from the ravenous arachnid….oooooOOOOOooo. You’re terrified, right? (Okay, I think I need a day job…). But the point is, it’s novel, it’s scary and it is so very, very us.
And finally, the piece de resistance. It’s ingenious, sophisticated and truly the scariest decoration we have.
When the kids are all done hanging webs, carving pumpkins with smiling faces (pulling the pumpkin “innards” out of the mouth so as to make it look like it’s barfing), and hanging up various My Little Ponies and Webkins in the front yard…I hang an “Insane Asylum” sign on my front door.
And people run for the hills.