Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Time to Decorate!

Those around me often say that I live in the 19th Century. I kind of do. I like it there, it’s a nice place. If you haven’t spent any time there, you should visit. I’ll have you over for tea and biscuits. But long before I spent my days and nights in Regency England, I adored Halloween. It’s my most favorite holiday and always has been.

I love the creativity of costumes each year and the intricately decorated pumpkins that line front stoops. I love the tiny voices of children as they sing out “Trick or Treat” and the way they try to see if they got “good” candy or not. I love the Halloween party I throw every year and the fact that I make my normally straight-laced co-workers show up in costume if they want to attend.

But mostly I love decorating for Halloween. I decorate my house and I decorate my office. And I go all out, or as all out as you’re allowed to go in a professional consulting firm. Luckily I have an actual office and not a cubicle, so I can be a bit more creative with my space.

Recently, one of the partners at the firm I work for asked if I was going to decorate the office again this year. I know, I couldn’t believe he asked me either. I’ve only worked with him for eight years. I laughed out loud when I told him that of course I was planning on decorating the office. That’s what I do every October 1st! Then he informed me that his four year old daughter was so looking forward to it seeing it again.

I don’t think I stopped smiling all day.

It got me thinking about all the children of my co-workers who do stop by right before Halloween to see what we’ve done this year. And there are quite a few. I had no idea they looked as forward to seeing how we decorated the office each year as we do at seeing their smiley faces.

There’s something magical about seeing Halloween through children’s eyes. And I love watching them from my desk. They take a deep breath, get all brave and then walk into my office. It’s simply adorable.

One of the more popular features we have is a sound activated hand that craws across the floor. I giggle every time it “attacks” someone and they scream. Usually it finds the biggest, toughest men. Hilarious. We turn off all the lights except for our computer monitors and a couple of well-placed strobes. We also have a spider on the wall that drops down next to the basket of candy on the far wall. (The basket sticks around all year and people are more than used to enjoying their favorite treats in my office, so much so that they still come enter in October when they don’t know what my leap out at them.)

I can’t tell you everything I have in place, or I’ll give all my secrets away. But I can show you a couple pictures of my Halloween village (and – yes I have a Christmas one as well that will go up November 1st.)

Do you have a favorite Halloween tradition?


  1. That is simply amazing! Can I bring all my grandchildren to see it?

  2. That is simply amazing! Can I bring all my grandchildren to see it?

  3. Ever since my son got too old to trick or treat, I've become a Halloween scrooge. I do pass out candy to the neighborhood kids, but don't decorate or dress in a costume or carve pumpkins. Your post brought a smile on my face and put me in the spirit. I might have to decorate this year. In my spare time. :-)

  4. What a fun post! I just LOVE your Halloween village! The apothecary is my favorite :)

    This will be my baby girl's first Halloween this year, and I am SO excited!! She can't say trick or treat yet, but she will be the cutest little princess out there :)

  5. I've been going to a Halloween party with the same people since I was 20 (not telling you how many years that is though). Costumes are required and it is frowned on if you bought it at the store. It has gotten more difficult over the years to come up with something new and original but somehow this group still does. As for trick or treating, I always took my kids back to the neighborhood I grew up in. All of us kids take our kids back there and neighbors loved seeing the next generation come through

  6. I just love these, Lydia. I think my favorite is the ship. We don't decorate for Halloween. It's all I can do to get my fall bulbs planted. :)

  7. Oh, my! You have quite a collection! I bet your house is the most popular on the block.

  8. I love Halloween too, and what a great tradition to start at work.

    One tradition we have at home is collecting black cats. It doesn't sound very exciting, I know, but my daughter really enjoys hunting for a new one and decorating.

    This year we added a few black crows to perch on top of our built-in bookshelves.

  9. Carolyn - If you get to the Raleigh area this October, bring them by. :)

    Olivia - My son is too old for it too. But I'm not!! It's so much fun!!

    Jerrica - My favorite is the cruise ship because Frankenstein and his bride are at the very front of the boat. And Frankie in homage to Leo DiCaprio in Titanic, says in his very monster voice, "I'm king of the world!" Hilarious! And I'm sure your little princess will be the cutest one out

    Amy - What are you dressing as this year? I'm thinking a
    robe, curlers, and a face mask.

    Clarissa - You're doing better than me. I never plant
    anything. So my yard is even scarier on Halloween. ;)

    Shana - My son does love to figure put how to best
    transform the yard. I'm not sure if it's the most popular. My
    neighbors will have to decide. ;)

    Samantha - Black cats are awesome!!! The crows just gave me shivers, though.

  10. I'm a bit of a Halloween scrooge like Olivia. I used to love carving pumpkins, but now I'm like "5 bucks for something that's going to rot on my doorstep?? I don't think so!" Yeah, I know, ba-humbug of me ;) But I am glad that you find joy in the holiday :)

  11. Lydia I love Halloween and my two teenagers often get embarrassed by how much I love Halloween but they'll get over it! I love your village and have decided in honor of you that I'm going to start a new tradition. One Halloween village piece a year from here on out. So I am currently in search of one this week. I simply love the cruise ship! It's fabulous.

  12. Here is another problem that comes from living on the other side of the world. I miss seeing your office - and it sounds absolutely amazing! Since Halloween really isn't big here I'll have to hope you post lots of pics later. :o)

  13. Erin ~ I would SO think you could make some fabulous pumpkin cupcakes while you were plotting how to decorate the pumpkin that will rot on your stoop. :)

    Melissa ~ How exciting. Send me a pic of whatever piece you get.

    Heather ~ Is Halloween not big in Australia? Now I'm wondering what the biggest holidays are down there.

  14. Marquita ValentineOctober 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    We love Halloween! Especially the costumes. Apparently Toy Story will be a theme with my two kids. Little BO Peep and Woody!

    Luckily, our neighborhood goes crazy for the holiday,too, and lots of adults dress up to walk the kids around.

    And I'm dressing up as Alice in Wonderland. Now all I have to do is get the husband to be Johnny Depp...I mean the Mad Hatter.


  15. Marquita - Hmmm. How can I get the real Johnny Depp to Trick or Treat at my house? ;)

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  17. I love decorating for the holidays, though I'm not all that good at it. So really, I love seeing decorations other folks put up. It's fun being festive!

  18. Sorry I'm late here. I love the Halloween village. We don't have any traditions other than taking the kids trick or treating. I love it when the weather is nice the moon is spooky.

  19. I refuse to analyze if it is laziness or that I am cheap, but I have never gotten into decorating my house for holidays other than Christmas. Pretty sure it is the laziness part since I am wiped after January 1 when the putting up/taking down fun is over.

    We just spent a few days at Disneyland where they have their Halloween decorations up. Amazing! I have never seen so many jack-o-lanterns. The Haunted Mansion alone has something like a thousand, according to the tour guide.

    Thanks for sharing the images. They are fabulous.

  20. Hi Lydia. I loved this post. Halloween is a big hit in our house. We decorate our front porch every year. My son Jack, one of my 9 year old twins, is the biggest fan of this holiday. He starts searching for costumes in June. I used to make their costumes but now they all want the store bought costumes. *sigh* My fave part is when we go pumpkin picking. Love it.

  21. Oh, Lydia, I love your village! And your cover is fantastic!