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  • Writer's pictureAnne

One of these things is not like the others...

Our neighborhood takes Halloween VERY seriously. I’m talking major decorations. Inflatables, animatronics, tombstones, lights, scary sounds, haunting music, video projections, FOG MACHINES. It’s no joke.

Then there’s us. We’re a huge disappointment. We know we can’t compete, so we don’t even try.

How do we know we can’t compete? Because we tried. Once. The second year we lived here we dove all in. In our own way. We attempted to turn our front garden into a graveyard. Borrowed a body bag from our neighbor—because of course he had an extra—and stuffed it and several sets of clothes with leaves. To add a touch of whimsey, we topped one leaf-person with a mirrored garden ball. As efforts go, it was one. Barely.

Definitely not on par with our neighbors. So now, we're the minimalists. To avoid doorbell stress on our already anxious dog, we sit at the end of our driveway, behind a little foldable campaign desk with a cheesy globe lamp. No decorations. No music. Just us, a bowl of candy, and some form of adult beverage disguised in coffee mugs. 

I like to think we offer a necessary service. We’re the palate cleanser between the scary courses. 

We get into the spirit in our own way. Our next door neighbor likes to challenge the older trick-or-treaters by quizzing them to see if they know the names of high-profile government officials. Like the Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, or the Vice President. If they answer correctly, he rewards them with a standard sized candy bar. A decent incentive. Sadly, most walk away with the minis. The year he started quizzing, we started our own campaign. When folks stop by our house first, sometimes we’ll warn them of the pending quiz and slip them the answers. Our own version of a teachable moment. Though, I'm not sure whether we're teaching the trick-or-treaters, or our neighbor.

So, you see, we have our own fun. Now that the kids in the 'hood are older, we don't hang out in the court as much as we used to. We have to make the most of the times we do. Halloween is often the first time each year that the heat and humidity of the summer is far enough behind us that we're ready, willing, and able to linger outside to socialize. Between crowds of trick-or-treaters, we visit with our neighbors, snag their candy, catch up on the goings on, and judge the best costumes.  

When the trick-or-treating stops, we linger for a final neighborly chat, then chug down whatever’s left in our mugs, fold up the campaign desk, and turn off the lamp. And away goes our Halloween setup until the next year.

How every you choose to approach it, hope y'all have a very happy Halloween!

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