We didn't celebrate Halloween when I was growing up and I was quite unfamiliar with it, although I knew about All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). I first learned about Halloween only after I came to this country. Now, however, it seems to be celebrated world wide.
I never really decorated or did anything special for Halloween until my daughter was born. Even then, I wasn't planning to do anything special, but friends kept asking me what was daughter doing to be dressed as for Halloween, etc., and so, I got into the spirit of the occasion. Daughter was a Jack-O-Lantern for her 1st Halloween, and looked very cute, if I say so myself. :) As she got older, I decorated more, with her help.
Until the year my mother died. Then, suddenly, all the ghosts and gravestones and R.I.P. signs just became a little too real a reminder of the actual death of a loved one, especially since Halloween is barely 2 weeks after my mother's birthday. That year, I didn't decorate for Halloween. I focused more on the Fall/harvest festival aspect of things and decorated for Thanksgiving. Gradually, as daughter got older, I stopped decorating, altogether. Last year, for example, she was in Berkeley on Halloween and so, I didn't bother to decorate. The box marked "Halloween" has remained unopened in the garage for the past couple of Halloweens and I had been thinking of donating the items stored in there.
In fact, I had been getting away from decorating for most holidays. But this year, after my cancer diagnosis, I've decided that I shall make the effort to decorate for all the holidays, again. To celebrate the present, to celebrate the passing of the seasons, to celebrate all there is to celebrate in each year.
|Table Runner and Jack-o-Lantern
|Close Up of Table Runner Fabric (needs ironing!)
We decorated the living room mantel with papier mache mini jack-o-lanterns (bought several years ago from the dollar store), a mug daughter had received as a gift with a straw scarecrow stuck in it, and her collection of characters from the anime Hamtaro which are all dressed in Halloween costumes (a one-time toy give away from a fast food place; we were allowed to buy them for $1 each). My mother's pictures are on the mantel.
|Living Room Mantel
The dining room was decorated with the wreath that I had made several years ago. In previous years, the wreath hung outside, on the front door. But this year, I decided to hang it inside the house.
|Dining Room Decorations
There's another bucket on the piano, in the living room, near the front door - these buckets will be filled with candy for handing out to trick-or-treaters, next week.
As you can see, I've kept the theme to pumpkins, Jack-o-Lanterns, and scarecrows, rather than ghosts and gravestones. More cute than scary, in my opinion.
Do you decorate for Halloween?