A year in the life of a Halloween addict

I always say that the other 364 days of the year are just filler as I wait for Halloween, but really I'm always doing something Halloween-related throughout, even starting the day after Halloween.

The First 13 Weeks of the Year (Nov 1 - Jan 31): Shopping for sales and ideas

Nov. 1 - After Halloween sales.  We started calling this "October 32nd."  I halfway consider this a Halloween event unto itself, but technically it's the start of the new year, and besides, it's the best time to get stocked up on what I'll need for Halloween next year.

Dec. 20-Dec. 30 - Discounted Xmas decorations.  Strings of rope lighting, spotlights for the yard, even legitimate Xmas decorations for your "Nightmare Before Christmas" scenes in the front yard... they're all on sale at this time of the year.  I end up using a lot of these things for Halloween decorations.

The rest of the winter is devoted to designing and writing.  It's too cold to get work done on anything yet, so I hole up and concentrate on working on this website and collecting ideas.

Feb 1 - May 2: The Second 13 Weeks of the Year: Construction

Spring  is the best time to start building projects.  It will be too hot in the summer to be outside sawing and hammering and nailing, so I don't put it off!  And if I waited until it was cool in the fall, it would simply be too late by then to get around to many of the things I want to build.  For me, getting an early start means I'm not rushed and will have time to clone my creations or revise them as inspiration takes me.

The Third 13 Weeks of the Year (May 3 - Aug 1): Collecting

Summer is a good time to start collecting materials.  People tend to start throwing out tree limbs and stumps that are going to be nice and dried up by the summer heat come fall.  These are perfect for accenting graveyard scenes or whatever.  I end up collecting scraps to use as accent pieces, anything that I wouldn't want to store all year.  It's usually around this point that I've committed to a costume (though I've probably settled on the idea long before then).

The Final 13 Weeks of the Year (Aug 1 - Oct 31): The Countdown to Halloween

Early September - Halloween decorations start showing up.  A dedicated aisle or two is gradually stocked at the dollar store, Wal-mart, and so on.  Halloween stores start begin around town, etc.  I usually start browsing these places as soon as the goods are available, shopping less for merchandise than ideas.  In most cases, I can build props that are better/larger/cheaper than I can buy in stores, but it's a good place to brainstorm.

Mid-September - Get out the decorations.  This is when Halloween begins for me.  I pull out all the bins full of props, and I start organizing those so that I'm ready to set them up over the next few weeks.  By this point I've got the beginnings of a plan how I'll decorate the front yard and the rest of the house for the party.  We usually start collecting materials for our costumes around here as well.

October 1 - Countdown to Halloween.  The decorations start going up in the front yard.  Also, we have our Halloween party earlier than most folks (so we can go to other Halloween parties the next weekend), and so we usually start decorating inside the house a bit as well.

October 18 (give or take) - Halloween party!  We really get the ball rolling a couple weeks before with a party (e.g., last year the Saturday the 18th was 13 days before Halloween, so we had a "13 days until Halloween" party).  It also served as a dress rehearsal for the costumes, and it just gets everyone in the mood.

October 24 (give or take) - Halloween events!  The week leading up to Halloween night is usually filled with major happenings: Oak Lawn, haunted houses, someone else's party (usually Liz's), Pug-o-ween, Boo at Zoo, and more.  It's more like the build-up you get with Hanukkah than a one-shot holiday like opening the presents on xmas morning.

October 31 - Trick or Treaters.  This is often the third occasion when we get to dress up in our costumes.  We always get decked out one last time to give out candy to the kids.  They're the next generation, and so we like to set a good example to those who will keep the tradition going.



Copyright 2011, 2012 the Ale[x]orcist.