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Halloween 2011 Update

We finished decorating for Halloween today (nothing like waiting until the last minute!) and got pretty much everything done we wanted to get done today. We put the green lights behind the hedges in the front of the house again because I really like how eerie the shadowy green light looks shining up on the front of the white house. We also hung up the new strings of pumpkin lights, set the tombstones up on one side of the lawn, and moved our zombie into the front yard to look like he’s coming up from in front of his very own tombstone. We need to get more lights in the front yard for next year, though, because although the house looks pretty good in the daylight, at night it is just a little bit too dark to really see all the decorations. We’ve got a big pile of glow sticks that will get us through tomorrow, but we need better lighting.

I’ve been wanting to do a Nightmare Before Christmas theme since we moved into this house three years ago (on Halloween Night, natch!) but we haven’t been able to pull it off yet. When Liam and I make our annual trek down to Disneyland the week after Thanksgiving, I’m going to take a bazillion pictures of the front of the Haunted Mansion to get some ideas of how we can make our own “haunted holiday” decorations, because how cool would it be to decorate the entire house October 1st and leave it up until January1st?

We carved our pumpkins this evening too. I picked out two medium-sized pumpkins to go in front of the two columns on the porch, but Liam picked out a strange, gourd-like one that is sort of yellowish with vertical orange stripes. At my suggestion, he decided to use the “Pickled Brains” template from the Pumpkin Masters book since the design looks like a brain floating in liquid. Unfortunately, the stripey pattern on the gourd made it really hard to see the design imprint when it was time to carve, so after he and I took turns trying to make it work, Grif took over and fortunately saved the day. It doesn’t look exactly like the design on the template, but it is pretty cool, especially with the color-changing flashing light my sister bought him to put inside it. The strangest thing about it, though, is that it smells for all the world like cucumber-melon body wash. I’m calling it the spa pumpkin.

Now that I know how to add pictures to the blog, I’ll take lots of pictures of the house in the daylight and at night and post them tomorrow.

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Halloween

I love Halloween. What’s not to love? Cosplay, creepiness and candy are some of my favorite things! Luckily, we live in a neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween and usually has between 750-1000 trick-or-treaters come through, so to say I’m in heaven would be an understatement.

I don’t really have a theme for my Halloween decor other than “old fashioned witches.” My go-to outfit over the past several years has been my witch costume and since I’ve collected lots of witchy-themed items over the course of my adulthood, this is the one time of year I can put them all on display without frightening the neighbors too badly. (Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, mind you.) But I’ve been thinking about going with a different theme this year and in the future. I’m torn between a Nightmare Before Christmas theme (which has the added bonus of working for Christmas as well!) or a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead, for the Spanish language impaired) theme.

The Nightmare Before Christmas theme would be great for two reasons. One, which I’ve already mentioned, is that we could put up the decorations October 1st and leave them up through December 31st. The other reason is that, if done well, a Nightmare Before Christmas theme would seriously tweak the neighbors, since most of our neighborhood turns into Candy Cane Lane for the entire month of December. We have a big, white house on the corner with columns in the front, so we could totally pull off a Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday theme with the right props and decor, and I think we’d be one of the most popular houses in the neighborhood.

The other theme I’d love to do is Dia De Los Muertos. I really love the idea behind this Mexican holiday (death and our dearly departed loved ones are to be celebrated, honored and remembered fondly) and no one in the neighborhood is using bright colors, flowers, and grinning calaveras (skeletons) in their Halloween decorations currently. It would be a nice contrast from all the orange and black and it really celebrates what I feel is the reason for the season.

One thing I don’t get about Halloween decorations lately is how gruesome is supposed to be frightening. Dismembered body parts covered in blood are indeed horrible, but when I see that stuff I feel more nauseous than terrified. Why does gross equal scary?

So, if you’re trick-or-treating in our neighborhood this year, stop by and say, “Hi!” I’ll be the one in the witch outfit handing out candy, grinning from ear to ear and thoroughly enjoying my favorite holiday of the year.