Where Did You Go, Halloween Spirit?

Pumpkins, skeletons, and candy corn

Gourds, gourds, gourds

On Sunday it will be October first. When my kids were young, we loved to decorate for Halloween, and in the beginning I started early. It seemed perfectly normal to me to have a houseful of pumpkins and witches and black cats from the first week of October on. We even had a plastic skeleton head that would repeat what you said to it in a creepy electronic voice. When my son was three or four it would make him laugh so hard he would get hiccups. We even had a big, blowout Halloween party one year with ghost stories, games, a blindfold walk through a room with body parts in bowls (spaghetti for hair, peeled grapes for eyes, candy corn for teeth) that made an eight-year-old boy cry. And bobbing for apples, of course.

Then I got a little lazy. Or maybe the kids just got older. I used to wonder why, over the years, my mom decorated less and less for Christmas (though she’s back to doing more). Some years I only manage to get a few decorations out–often just the week before Halloween. It’s funny because I LOVE Halloween. I love scary stories and haunted houses (real ones, not the entry-fee kind where one can get really scared). Candy corn! Pumpkins! Vampires! Seriously–scary is actually my job. I need to get into gear.

My favorite home-organizer/domestic diva, FlyLady.net, begins a winter holidays mission countdown in mid-October. I like the idea of scheduling decorating plans for fall. So, today on my way home from talking to a florist about my daughter’s spring wedding, I’m going to pick up a few pumpkins to add to the mums I bought, and put up a flag and fall wreath. Then, next Friday, I’ll add some Halloween decorations. Just a few, if that’s all I have time for. More if I can. Things like that are so nice. Little changes here and there. Sometimes I get so caught up in my work, I forget that the smallest celebrations are the most rewarding.

Are you with me? A few fall-ish things this weekend, then some Halloween decor next Friday!

I’m determined not to have these be my only decorations.


Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Where in the world did that phrase come from? Anyway, I promised you a prize of four hardcover mystery novels earlier this week. I was overwhelmed by your great responses, and I’m sorry it was such a tough question. Picking favorites is hard, as I well know–and I believe I even recently proposed that people stop asking people to do just that. Oops. It was fun, anyway. Thank you so much for participating. I’ll have to come up with something non-favorite-ish for the next giveaway.

Thanks to the handy-dandy Random Number Generator, commenter #4, Priscilla (aka MinimalistGranny) is our winner. Email me through the Contact link at my website, Priscilla, so I can get your books to you!

Priscilla’s books!

9 thoughts on “Where Did You Go, Halloween Spirit?”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    I think you’re right, Laura; over time, Halloween seems to have flown. It was my daughter’s favorite holiday, and she decorated the house, and as a young adult, she designed and made her own costumes ( and won many awards for them). When she dressed as the Crow, she really looked like Brandon Lee. It is a fun holiday, too.
    Congratulations to Priscilla!!!!!

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      What a lovely story about your daughter, Skye. It’s so fun to see them get involved like that. Our Nora was very big into injury and monster makeup, and came up with some ghastly wounds. You can probably see why opera is her thing.

      I decided that one of my issues with Halloween decorating is that so much of what we have is comical and meant to appeal to children. When I was buying mums and pumpkins today, I also got so more grown-up decorations.

      1. skyecaitlin says:

        Laura; how lovely you bought mums and pumpkins. Nora is a classic name, and she is into opera? ( I Love opera).

        1. Laura Benedict says:

          Oh, yes. She has a masters in performance. Both she and her fiancè are singers.

          1. skyecaitlin says:

            Lovely: my parents had season tickets to the Academy of Music, and they took me to nearly each performance every year. Opera was played on Saturday on the radio, and long play albums. I am very fond of Puccini.

          2. Laura Benedict says:

            The Saturday Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts have always been such a wonderful influence. And I’ve gone with my daughter to see some simulcasts at movie theaters. Technology can be such a great tool! Lucky you, having such enlightened parents. 💜

  2. Priscilla says:

    I almost FAINTED! That’s MY name! I won four wonderful books, thank you!:-)

    We only get one or two trick-or-treators, so I feel that decorating for Halloween isn’t that important for us. But we get enough candy for 24 kids “just in case.” If there is candy left over after the 2 kids have come by, well, guess we’ll have to eat it ourselves.:-)

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Congratulations, Priscilla! I think you’ll enjoy them.

      As far as we are from a country road, we would be alarmed to have trick-or-treaters. That doesn’t stop me from buying candy either!

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