As the leaves begin to yield to the influence of the changing season thoughts begin to turn to the harvest, preparing for the changing weather and Halloween. Retailers’ attention turned to Halloween long before yours and mine did, and it seems to happen earlier and earlier with each passing year. I really don’t mind that much though.
Spring and fall happen to be my two most favorite times of the year anyway. Perhaps it’s just the change I need, or the more favorable weather conditions that accompany both seasons. It’s not the crushing heat of summer, and not yet the cold, grey and bleak days of winter. Plus, the smells of the new flowers in the spring, or of the foliage as it succumbs to the changing season is something I really enjoy.
Halloween is probably my favorite of the so-called “holidays.” I don’t know why. It just always has been. I love to see the jack-o-lanterns, the shocks of corn, the scarecrows, black cats, witches and all the things that represent the time of year. However, what I don’t enjoy is the rising costs of decorations.
My wife and I usually race one another to the decoration isles in the stores around Halloween and Christmas to see what’s new for the season. This year a plastic jack-o-lantern with an eerie soundtrack caught my eye. It was a rather large jack-o-lantern, well designed, but NOT well-designed enough for its $89.95 price tag. I did a double take to make certain price tags had not been switched, and sure enough, they had not.
I began looking at other porch and lawn decorations for the ghostly season, and they too had been priced by some overly ambitious pricing clerk. Right there amid the Halloween decorations, my mind raced back to childhood days when we made any decorations we had for Halloween. Remembering how utterly awful those were, I remembered our ageless (that’s my story) decorations that had served us so well through the years, and that they were buried somewhere in the upstairs of our barn.
Yes, there would have to be real spiders gassed out of some of them, but that, I determined, was why god gave me children and grandchildren, although many of them are as afraid of spiders as I am, but I give orders convincingly.
It’s times like these that really force us to get in touch with who we really are. This experience revealed to me that my system rejects overpaying for Halloween decorations more so than fighting real spiders (or having my grandkids fight them).
“Yes,” I thought. “We can get one more year out of the old decorations.” Further, I determined that it doesn’t matter that the weight of the Christmas decorations smooshed the old jack o’lanterns we had. Distorted faces is what Halloween decorations is all about! Right? Well, I think so.
I remember when our old decorations made trick-or-treaters cry from fear. Now they just back away in disgust.
I’m good with that too. Afterall, don’t we put up decorations for reactionary purposes? What difference does it make if their reaction is one of dismay, disbelief and disgust? I am working toward trying to draw some sympathy reaction from them. Then perhaps they will leave donations toward new decorations. Then I can afford that $89.95 jack-o-lantern.
Anyhoo, I shared my philosophy and theories on the decorations with my wife, and now I am proud to say that just like the time I used bleach in the wash while laundering our pretty blue towels, I no longer get to decorate for any season anymore.
And you thought I was not so smart.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.