I love Halloween. Can I just say it one more time?? I LOVE Halloween! I have been trying to get my kiddos on board for years with some scary stuff (they prefer the cute, the historical and the humorous to anything with fangs or bones). I always went all-out with the creepy costuming as a kid (photo at left). I'm not talking gore here - I'm not into gore - just some old-fashioned, spooky, Halloween-y things. Ghost stories, a staple of my elementary school years at slumber parties and Girl Scout camp outs, do not appeal to them in the slightest.
Couple their scare-resistance with the fact that our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween - we're talking complete haunted houses in garages, people in werewolf costumes wandering around, and major outdoor decorations. I'm thrilled and envious...my kids are generally terrified. My husband is pretty much indifferent. It's tough to be a zombie around this house. I did manage to talk them into a couple of styrofoam tombstones and a plastic skull in the yard last year, which is big progress.
Imagine my delight about a month ago when my daughter expressed interest in dressing up as something to hand out candy. YES!! Her idea: to set up a fortune tellers tent with a crystal ball to tell the kids' fortunes before they get their treats. Not super spooky, but pretty creative - I'll take it. Naturally, I want to plan and execute this venture in great detail, and thought I might share how we go about pulling off something like this for an event or party.
For starters: logistics. We live on a fairly big hill with steps up to our front door. Sometimes the little goblins don't want to trek all the way up to get their Twix, which means they just skip our house. I've suggested that we set up our "Fortune Telling Hut" closer to the street in our driveway, which will be much easier to decorate and access. If you live on a big hill you might want to consider something like this even if you're just handing out the candy (because how much do you really want left over?!). We also have a couple of potentially spooky trees in our side yard, which would be a perfect setting for the aforementioned tombstones. Little brother was promptly assigned to be in charge of the graveyard setup (delegation is key). Fortune telling next to a cemetery - why not??
Next: plan. I asked my daughter to sketch out her vision for the Fortune Telling Hut, complete with decor and costuming. How do we set the mood? Music? Fog machine? I've also asked her to come up with some good, silly "fortunes" that we can tell. I found some good resources here: http://www.classic-play.com/carnival-party-fortune-teller/. Here is her rough draft:
Finally: supplies/budget. Oh yeah, we have to watch this one. I have to restrain my tendency to go overboard with my ideas, so first we will scour the house for anything that could be re-purposed for this project. We have an old outdoor canopy I got on clearance years ago...unfortunately it's pink (which is probably why it was on clearance). Some spray paint and experimentation may be in order. We have our tombstones, skeletons and skull from last year, stored in those huge Ziploc bags with the handles. We also have a couple of full skirts, lots of beads, earrings and scarves that can be used the fortune-teller look. We have a card table, and plenty of old table cloths to choose from. Music is pretty easy to manage with an iPod and speakers. Items we might need to purchase:
With all of that, I'm shooting for a $40 maximum (and we'll see if maybe DD is willing to contribute to that from her allowance stash).
And speaking of treat leftovers, check out this link for other great ideas for the excess candy corn: http://online-candy-stores-review.toptenreviews.com/top-10-things-to-do-with-your-leftover-halloween-candy.html
So is this post really about organizing? I don't know, but it was fun. I wanted to get it out before Halloween, in case it inspires any of you fellow ghouls out there, but I'll be sure to take pictures of our project and share later. Do any of you have a story to tell about putting together something special for Halloween? A haunted house, a fabulous costume, a party? Share with us...I need to start planning for next year!
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, dog-lover, author. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?