If Martha Stewart and Tim Burton had a baby I would totally hire that kid to decorate my everything for Halloween, but at the time of this post such a union remains remote at best, and as such, I have hired my own children to do the job. Where hired means let, and we are running out of Scotch tape.
Perhaps you recall the days of yore (actual yores may vary) when the making of arts and crafts was one of simple pleasures. You drew the pumpkin. You colored the pumpkin. You taped the pumpkin to a window in the family room and everyone that came over congratulated you on how realistic the cobwebs looked which made your parents talk into their teacups until the moment had passed. You know, art.
These days there are decorating kits featured on every endcap at Target and there are boards of DIY ideas hanging all over Pinterest. My point, there is no reason to buy a manufactured Halloween decoration when you can make something (although some materials may need to be purchased) at home with the family — not only do you get the decorations you want, but also the memories, and we all know such things are priceless.
So it was that my kids spent a day with crayons, pumpkins, and good intentions, carving a collection of memories that will last the season (and some may even last a lifetime). Everything seemed very reminiscent of my own youth, but with more wine, and when the boys moved their creative medium to action figures and LEGO blocks it was only a matter of time before things got really scary.
It started innocently enough — a random Frankenweenie or Nightmare Before Christmas toy made just as much sense as the Charlie Brown figurine clutching a bag full of rocks that someone had actually purchased for the occasion. Then there were The Avengers, because they fight monsters, and technically, Hulk is nothing if not frightening. The Red Skull is, after all, the evil epitome of skeleton and villain, how does that not look right hanging off the bookshelf?
It kind of snowballed from there.
At least the LEGO set included actual monsters in the traditional sense (you can win a LEGO Monster Fighters Ghost Train set that I’m giving away at DadCentric through midnight on 10/15 PST!), and, as you know, glow-in-the-dark ghosts are always the answer to your Halloween decorating needs. It wasn’t that big of a leap into LEGO characters from Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean, respectively, for obvious reasons. By the time SpongeBob appeared on the centerpiece I had already given up.
And so it is, depending on your own home and stances on such things, that I share this tale of either hope or woe. Be warned, if you take the route of do-it-yourself Halloween decor, be prepared to set limits or joyfully accept your home turning into a toy store for pint-sized goths. Either way, the kids could not be happier. There are no tricks to that treat.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).
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