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Thread: Halloween Kitsch

  1. #1
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Halloween Kitsch

    I'm not sure if I stepped into something regional or if the whole country's gone mad. I've only lived in the S.F. Bay Area for three years but every Halloween, people put up Halloween lights and elaborate decorations like you usually see at Christmas. I understand carving pumpkins or putting up a few pictures your kids made at school - but I'm talking putting big blow-up characters all over your front yard. And most of the time - this is the weirdest part to me - it's not scary decorations, it's jolly pumpkins and smiling black cats, cute witches instead of gnarled ones. Some people barely keep to Halloween at all, but put up "harvest" decorations (these are probably the religious fundies). This year my neighbor across the street has the front window lined with orange lights already.

    I'm not giving into the Halloween lights trend. Am I crazy?
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  2. #2
    FORT Spaghettio Shayla's Avatar
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    You've gotten me excited about visiting SFO in mid-October, hepcat.

    Halloween is my favorite holiday. I'm co-hosting a huge party at the end of the month with a scary props designer.

    I don't have decorations up now but will soon turn into one of your freaky neighbors. OK, the decorations won't be too kitschy, but those are some good ideas

  3. #3
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    Around here EVERY holiday has lights and decorations.

    I mean EVERY holiday.

    It's crazy. Our house can't be seen from the road, so I have an excuse as my daughter always wants to put stuff up.

    "Yeah honey, I'll buy some "Clover Lights" for St. Patricks day"

    Hmmm, I don't think so.
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    It's crazy here on Halloween, too. When I met my husband, I thought he was weird for wanting to decorate so much for Halloween (we have more Halloween decorations than Christmas!). Then, we moved to this area where everyone is as crazy as he is. One of our neighbors have a full-scale replica of a cemetary in their front yard, complete with plastic flowers.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  5. #5
    Under Investigation Tirlittan's Avatar
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    Well, when I first moved to snowless south, I was appalled by abundant Halloween and Christmas decorations. Then I got used to the lights and other accessories, now I am thinking should I get some too. I figured that since the seasons are pretty much the same, except for leaves falling and occasional colder breeze, people put up these decorations to separate the seasons from each other. I assume the seasons change hardly any in California (between hot and still pleasant), so I can see why they would be especially drawn to throw a show even at Halloween. And Christmas time in north you have snow and snowmen, but in south there is nothing to make it special, so people go absolutely crazy with lights. This is my excuse/reasoning why there will be decorations on our yard this year
    ps. This is just my opinion in the matter.

  6. #6
    FORT Fogey
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    I live in the south and we have always put out "harvest decorations" not for religious reasons, but because they suffice for more than just Halloween but carry on into the Thanksgiving season too before we pull out the Christmas stuff.

    I think Fall decorating is one of my favorite times.

    I have an old "goat cart" I load it w/hay bales and pumpkins, gourds,and mums. I also have empty apple baskets I fill w/colorful fall leaves and set it all up in my yard. It looks so festive. I use indian corn and corn stallks too. I just love decorating that way. Sometimes I scoop out a few pumpkins and plant pansies in them as well.

    I was at Disney World this past week and they had main street all decorated for fall as well w/lots of corn stalks, hay bales and pumpkins!

  7. #7
    Under Investigation Tirlittan's Avatar
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    I like that pumpkins and pansies idea Firegirl I have never seen one, but it sounds neat.
    ps. This is just my opinion in the matter.

  8. #8
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Oooh Firegirl, I like your description much better than putting up lights.

    I was just reading in a parenting magazine the suggestion you put your baby monitor in your Jack-O-Lantern and make it "talk" when kids approach.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  9. #9
    FORT Regular Pandora's Box's Avatar
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    I used to decorate like a mad woman for Halloween. Our yard would be full of pumpkins, (some carved) bales of hay and cornstalks. Ghost and skeletons dangled from tree limbs.

    Every scary sound activated gadget I could get my hands on would be on the deck so when kids walked toward the door there would be a smorgasbord of sounds, from howling ghost to cackling witches. Cripes, the inside of my entire house would be decorated with witches, spider webs, black cats, etc. I drew the line at pumpkin lights and such.

    Now, I'm too lazy and tired to go to the effort. Plus, kids don't trick-or-treat where I live now (out in the boonies). These days all I do is throw some cornstalks, a few pumpkins and a few potted mums around the mailbox. My yard is the least decorated in the area. I should be ashamed.

    The inside of my house is really scary though (not with Halloween decorations) it's a mess!

    Firegirl, I like the idea of pansies in the pumpkins. Great idea.

  10. #10
    FORT Fogey
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    It is really pretty, one small note,, just don't drill a drain hole in the bottom of the pumpkin. You would think you would need one but you don't and it will make the pumpkin rot. But it is really pretty to get different sizes and plant a colorful mixture and then tuck them into other pumpkins and over turned apple bushels on haybales and stuff! I also plant just one tiny pansy into a mini-jack and let my daughter take it to her teacher. If you want you can toothpick the top you cut off to the side.

    We also do a "pumpkin village" it is always a blast. We cut out doors and windows in the pumpkins and then we bought a couple of years ago door and windows for doll house kits at a craft store. So we put them on the pumpkins where we cut them out and place candles inside. It looks like a little village and all the houses are lit up. It is really cute. We put it across the mantle or on a bar.

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