A year in the life of a
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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