Dear Fellow Parents and Neighbors,
I’m in a state of mental overload trying to gear up for Halloween. I don’t think I’m supposed to be this stressed – running around buying decorations, costumes and cupcake holders with spider legs at the bottom. I believe Halloween has gotten out of hand but that doesn’t stop me from falling deeper and deeper into a fake bubbling cauldron.
Here’s an idea that I think will help me. We’ll start small – with a boycott – no decorating our houses for Halloween. Aren’t we just giving ourselves more work to do? I know I’m one of the biggest offenders this year, having put a life-size skeleton in a rocking chair and his pet dog on my porch, referring to them as Skelly and Skelly Dog, but if everyone in my neighborhood removed their spider webs, skeletons and damn blow-up ghosts then I swear I would too.
We’ve all heard this before – when we were kids Halloween was simple. We collected candy from random houses and we scared one another. End of story. Decorations of this magnitude were saved for other holidays. No, wait, nobody had decorations of this magnitude. If we continue along this path, what other holidays will we be decorating our houses for in the coming years…President’s Day? I can see it now (don’t steal this idea because it’s a good one) I’ll set up a mini Mount Rushmore tableau on my porch. It’ll be made out of a plastic-like substance but look like the real deal. I guarantee that it will be for sale in the Frontgate catalogue soon. Where will I store it when President’s Day has ended? I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it.
Another huge source of anxiety for me is costume selection. I worry about my kids’ costume choices. Is a costume too offensive, overly-sexualized or too violent? My son wanted to be a zombie hunter but this costume conjured up memories of Columbine for me. So, I steered him towards Darth Vader instead.
Back in the day we went to the pharmacy or Toys ‘R Us and bought those cheesy plastic costumes. Remember? If you had a mom like mine, who went all out, then she MADE the costume herself. She didn’t buy it. There was a year that she dressed me as Little Bo Peep making my staff out of a shower rod and plopping a huge lace bow on it. One of her best and most common ideas was to recycle the previous year’s dance costume. She added a bulky white turtle neck underneath and a construction paper hat making me a fairy godmother. The hat got ruined in the rainy trick-or-treating mist that year but it didn’t matter.
And, can we please discuss the Halloween tablescape? This is a very nerve wracking subset of the whole Halloween decoration situation. Every catalogue that I page through from August to September features an elaborate Halloween tablescape. Our parents weren’t made to feel small for not creating fancy Halloween tablescapes because there was no Pottery Barn Kids catalogue to make them feel that way. I’m not saying I feel small if I’m without a tablescape, but, you know. I had to do something last year.
I know I can’t tackle all of my issues in one swoop. But, if we start small I can at least buy myself a few more years of sanity. I will dismantle my Halloween porch display. Skelly and Skelly Dog will burn in a bonfire in my backyard. But, friends and neighbors, would you promise to do it with me? Because of my FOMO, I can’t stand my kids being the only ones in the neighborhood without any Halloween decorations. Anyone?