Thursday, January 7, 2010

Are we different? Or just into halloween?

For this family, anything goes. But how far are we willing to take it?
Far but not too far. We love to be " day dwellers" and love the nieghborhood. just don't be too frightened if we dress up early for halloween, or if you see a foot hanging out of the back of the car!
I have a memory of when i was about six or seven when my dad and i were taking a bike ride on a windy October day. Before Halloween, but we still had all of the decorations up.
as we were riding we saw a family of five struggling to keep a big sheet of plasic on the ground while they atached some frightfull decorations to it. All of a sudden the wind picked up and both dad and i jumped off the bikes to grab the sheet; we have that problem all the time, and we have a system to hold it down.
The family thanked us, and asked us if we could help them for just a couple minuites. they were setting up a haunted house in thier backyard. We talked over the wind and soon they were telling us of all of their favorite halloween houses. We were happy to find that we made the top of the list. The family on the other hand didn't know that we lived in the Halloween house. " We love the house," they said " but we can't help wondering what happens after the decorations come down. Is the family gothic? Wev'e seen candels in the windows." Dad and i struggled to keep our faces still. We are quite the opposite! we just kept talking about the house untill the family said they were finished, and thanks again for all the help. We folded the sheet up, and as we handed it to them we softly said " your welcome, and by the way... we live in the Halloween House, and no, we are not gothic." i wish i could explain their faces. Dad and i silently laughing hopped on the bikes to resume our ride.
I think that the family was too embarresed to move. When we passed the house on the way back, they were still standing there, not frozen with shock, but talking and making motions toward Cedar Lane. We saw them that halloween and they apologised. We told them not to worry, but the story was deffinetally going to stick around for a while! indeed it has! Every year we ask each other" Candles this year, or is it too gothic?" every year the candles stayed ( untill last year, when we gave up... they were old candles that needed batteries.)
So, no, we are not gothic! Happy New year, and keep halloween in your mind!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How did the Halloween House get started?

What on earth do these people think they are doing with this holiday????
simple: celebrating with friends!

When my family began celebrating halloween more than the adverage human, we decided that we would never do anything gorey, and that it should be a fun, and cute holiday. My dad is a chemical engineer who likes to tinker, and my mom os one crazy lady who loves kids, and loves the idea of halloween and costumes. She supplies the ideas. Where do I come in? I am the child labor, the ideas, the ladder holder, the volunteer recruiter, and the kid in the family. Three in a halloween loving family cannot always be enough to get the job done, so that's where the volunteers, also known as my friends, come into play.
the normal family may hang some lights, carve a pumpkin, buy one bag of candy, go to the costume store, and go to the halloween parade. My family: Set up the graveyard, set up the witch, set up the ghosts, set up and reapair the eyeballs, climb on the roof to install eyeballs and spiders, put up skeletons,put the cement spider out, buy 5 bags of candy or toys, bring friends over to dip chocolate prtzles, cook apple cider, make jello, get the fire pit ready, set up the cars, call the church down the street to ask for parking spaces( thank you so much!), donate money to the church for their help.... the list goes on and on. The first year we recieved only 5 trick-o-treaters. This year we can easily count 50 kids and thier closest family and friends in the yard at one time. There is almost always a police car out front to control traffic, and many photographers.
We have one family who makes the trip every year from texas to Virginia to vist family and our house. People start visiting the house in early september/ late agust and keep coming untill a couple days after halloween. Yes, it takes that long. The nieghbors have given up giving out candy at their house, and they now take a lawn chair and hang out at our house.
When we get a child that is scared of something, there are many family members standing around to show the child how something works, or how to pet the giant kitty. Since our yard is reletivly flat, this is a walk through and interactive yard. You can walk through Cedar Lane Cemetary, pet the Cement spider, walk in front of the witch to create a burst of fog from her cauldron, bounce the eyeballs, and of course get some snacks and drinks! For the past two years we have laid bubble wrap on the side walk... that's gone in about 20 min! the first trick-o-treaters come as early as 5 and stay out as late as 12 pm. Even the rain doesn't stop us, although it does slow down buisness!

In the end, we have a kid friendly enviornment ( anyone with a REALLY scary mask is asked to take it off), and we have the best ( in my and my friend's minds) yard around that the youngest child to the oldest adult can appreciate. We hope to see you next halloween!