Halloween really is a pretty stressful holiday. I can remember when my kids were little, spending hours upon hours sewing their Halloween costumes. That in and of itself was stressful and time consuming. Once the costumes were decided upon, there were all of the school parties to get to, and those school (albeit adorable) costume parades.
There's always a party at church, one that usually requires a food contribution - family parties, friend parties, maybe a school dance or church dance. Make up goes on and make up comes off. Everyone in and out of costumes. Decorating, cleaning, carving, trick-or-treating. There is always way more on the schedule than you think you can handle.
This year was a little different for me ... after I had (finally) decorated my house and felt like I was ready for Halloween, I decided that Saturday needed to be a really productive day around the house for me - in an effort to continue the organizing.
I asked Elliott to help me in the garage for awhile. I got him up on the ladder and handed him all of the cushions for the outdoor furniture. He rearranged a shelf so they would fit nicely, out of the way. He handed down all of the enormous Target Christmas decorations from two years ago that we confiscated on their tear down day (another story, and I need to decide what is going on with those), I handed up camping gear that needed to get back up off of the garage floor. We tried desperately to hang bikes up on hooks - we put them up, we put them back down - the location of those hooks was no longer conducive since my garage is now doubling as a storage unit. All in all, I felt like we made a pretty good dent.
I assigned Elliott the task of filling up a hole he had dug earlier in the summer for another project in front of the house. When he was done he left the shovel stuck in the ground in our graveyard. (A nice touch, I thought.) This Halloween season he has worked at a place called The Haunted Forest. I don't do well at haunted anythings so I hadn't visited his place of employment and was feeling a little guilty. I told him I would definitely take a drive down later that day to check it out.
Vicki called me around 10:30 to see if I was ready to run to Costco to get our candy for the trick-or-treaters ... we had $4 off coupons for the combo boxes of full size snickers and m&m's. But before Costco, we decided to see if the cute Halloween stuff at Williams-Sonoma was on sale up in Salt Lake. (It was completely GONE. We totally missed out because it was such darling stuff and you know I needed it like I need a hole in my head, but still.) We stopped in at Pottery Barn Kids - love everything in that store, and got some Christmas inspiration at Pottery Barn.
Costco was a complete mad house by the time we got there ... the day of a big holiday and a Saturday to boot, what did we expect? But it also felt fun and festive and I sure get a kick out of adults in their costumes:
When I got back home I found the cutest little kitty and her puppy on my porch.
I visited with McCall and Libby for a little bit before they headed off to another family party and told Sophie I needed her to cover our family trick-or-treat post so I could head down to The Haunted Forest.
The sky was getting dark and the clouds were grey and looming, which I LOVED on this particular night. Elliott had told me he was in full costume around 6:30 pm and then the event opened at 7:30. The characters he played in the Haunted Forest had varied throughout the weeks but his favorite was Jason from the movie Halloween. He had gotten rave reviews for his portrayal so the manager let Elliott continue to be Jason. (Such a proud moment for a mother, right?)
So at 6:45, I met up with "Jason", and he gave me a tour ... I followed him, trudging through the dark and damp, muddy, ominous forest, passing a bloody skeleton, a rickety old farm house porch, an old rusted out truck, an enormous tree with faces and hollowed out eyes on it's trunk. (I was sure that if I had gone through with everyone at their posts, I would have been clinging to someone with my eyes closed, screaming the entire time.)
We reached Elliott's spot, which he said was about half way through the maze. He explained, "So when someone is approaching my fire pit, there is a sensor which makes this burlap sack start to move. Then the sack swings back and forth and it's a girl who starts screaming inside. I am hiding down this pathway behind these branches and when the people are looking at the bag I walk toward them with my machete up."
No thanks. I do like to decorate a little on the macabre side of Halloween ... but I can't handle that insanely scary kind of stuff. I would say, it must be a guy thing, but two of my daughters LOVE everything scary too ... hmmm?
I drove back home, actually really happy that I had finally taken the time (on the last open day of the season) to show Elliott some support. He had loved working there and would give me a nightly report on how good the screams were which he provoked.
Sophie was also happy to see me so I could relieve her of her trick-or-treat post. I love trick-or-treaters. Sadly, this year I only had about 8 groups of 3 kids. I think the rainy weather kept most kids inside. BOO!
At the end of day, as busy as my day was, I have to say it was the most enjoyable, least stressful Halloween I think I have had in over 20 years - and the lesson is:
Costumes are what KILLS you!!!!
(Hope you all had an enjoyable Halloween!)