What is Halloween to you?

For some Halloween is a holiday. For others Halloween is a passion and lifestyle. What is it for you?

If You’re this “into” Halloween, I’d hate to See Your House at Christmas.

If You’re this “into” Halloween, I’d hate to See Your House at Christmas. This is something that I’ve heard more than a few times throughout the years. People automatically assume that if we decorate Halloween to this level that this must carry over to other holidays. Are you insinuating that I’m the tacky neighbor with all of the lights? Are you insinuating that my Halloween display is tacky? What is really behind the comment?
Regardless of the answer the truth of the matter is, I don’t put up a single light for Christmas. Outside of a flag for Memorial and Veterans days, Halloween is the only holiday that I decorate for. Halloween to me is what you believe those houses viewable in space are to them. It’s a reflection of who I am and what I enjoy.
This year Halloween started towards the middle of September in the planning phase. It usually doesn’t start until the first week of October but this year we knew in advance that we’ve have to obtain permits. Construction started at the end of the first full week in October with event nights the last two weekends. Tear down and cleanup didn’t finish until the week of Thanksgiving. It is normally wrapped up by the middle of November but volunteers were on short supply this year. After spending 24-30 hours a week on the maze in addition to my full time job, I just didn’t have it in me to continue those hours and worked mainly on my lunch breaks and a few evenings with friends.
I tell myself that I’ll start projects earlier in the year but that never happens. I’ve been wanting a white picket fence for the graveyard for 5 years now. It’s never been in the budget for time or money. The year we lost both lids to our coffins the first night due to rambunctious kids and I don’t get them repaired until just before they were put away. It’s my passion but I go so hard that I burn out and when it’s done, I’m done. The website and blog have been on the list for a few years and they’ve been checked off the list this year so maybe that’s hope that I’ll get better.
I visited a similar site today that operates a haunt in their backyard. They don’t charge an admission but do ask for donations to assist with materials. Luckily, I’ve had a few sponsors to help with this and we’ve continued to focus on our philanthropy. What struck me as odd or even tacky was an attack on people that told him that they’d volunteer to help out and never showed up. I’d be lying if I told you that I never felt that way but this is my passion. Just because I’m into it doesn’t mean that everyone else is. I’ve felt disappointment but would never publicly attack people for not volunteering or committing to help and not showing up. I recall one night when I was tearing the maze down and I saw a high school student pull up. I felt relief for a split second as I’d have someone there to give me a hand until I realized that she wanted me to verify her hours and was no longer available. The bottomline is that you can’t let anyone else get you down and you can’t beat others up for not sharing your passion. Life gets in the way sometimes. Adapt and overcome.

New to blogging

Is this twitter for the long-winded? Halloween is something that I’m passionate about. I have memories of my father buying full-size candy bars to hand out to trick-or-treaters rather than the usual “fun size” candy bars that everyone else provided. Our own house was always first on the list…we just had to have one of those candy bars. This is a tradition that I carried on for some time. Unfortunately when the “Haunted Maze” grew to over 600 attendees it was no longer cost effective for us to purchase.

To me, Halloween is about giving back to our community. It’s about providing a family friendly and cost effective event that is open to everyone. So many places have commercialized their haunts and thats great for them; its just not my thing.  I can certainly understand the business aspect and the cost of creating and keeping up these haunts.  I wouldn’t be able to do this without sponsors that provide storage, set up location, and funds for upkeep.