Monday, October 18, 2010

A Dollar Tree Halloween

You would think I'd be sick of Halloween by now. Considering the fact that I've been dealing with ghosts, zombies, and an assortment of creatures of the night (collect all 4!) since, oh, let's conservatively say September '09, you'd think I'd be sick of the sight of anything even remotely creepy. Turns out, not so much.

To be fair, this can most likely be attributed a phone call, and the owner of the now-slightly-husky voice on the other end:

"Um, Sis? Can you and Thomas help me decorate for Halloween this year? I want to do something really cool."

Well, crud. How do you say no to that? Although, frankly, he had me at "Um, Sis," but he doesn't need to know that.

So, the Short One (for the next month, or so, until he hits another growth spurt) requested his big sister's help. That doesn't happen too often, so I jumped at it. Thomas is an only child and has really gotten into this whole "big brother" thing, so he was tickled to get to hang out with Curt, and Mom was thrilled to have all her kids working together on something. It's family time! With tombstones! We're an odd lot.

Things are a little tight around both households, right now. Not terrible, but the economy sucks, Thomas changed jobs, we moved, Mom is selling a house and the new house had to have some work done on know, the stuff everybody's dealing with now. We didn't want to spend a lot of money on things that'll be seen for a couple of weeks, then either thrown out, donated, or boxed up for another year. We decided to have what I have dubbed, "A Dollar Tree Halloween".

In reality, not everything came from Dollar Tree (one of those everything's-a-dollar stores, for those of you unfamiliar with the place). Some things were recycled from the movie. Some things were from last Halloween. Some things were picked up at last year's After-Halloween sales, and one or two things were (gasp!) just bought outright because they were cute and we happened to have a couple of extra dollars to spend. However, the majority of the new stuff came from Dollar Tree. Here's a breakdown of the yard/house decorations and what we actually spent this year:

Tombstones: Dollar Tree/movie leftovers--$4
Cobwebs: Dollar Tree/movie leftovers--$1
Zombie Hand: Dollar Tree--$1
Raven: Dollar Tree--$.50 (sale)
Creepy Cloths (ugly gauze curtains): Dollar Tree--$1
Moss: Dollar Tree--$1
Spider Lights: Old Time Pottery--$6
Skeleton Wind Chime: Old Time Pottery--$3
Caution Tape: Party City--$3
Fog Machine: movie leftover--$0
Pumpkin Lanterns: bought last year--$0
Skull: movie leftover--$0
Gargoyles: movie leftover--$0
Trick or Treat Signs: Old Time Pottery--$10
Hedge Shaker: Big Lots--$10

Total: $40.50. Forty dollars and fifty cents. Looks on the faces of the Homeowner's Association members: Priceless. That's also $40.50 split between three people. Yes, some of the stuff that was just lying around our house wouldn't normally be lying around anyone else's house, but they're just a small portion of what we're using, and if you can catch the sales Nov. 1st (some even start on Halloween, itself), you can score a great deal for next year. Honestly, that's what we did.

So, for less than it would have cost for us to go to the movies (and nothing's playing, anyway), we met up at Mom's, had her fantastic chocolate chip pancakes, and played around in the yard for a couple of hours. Thomas and Curt wrapped trees (and each other) in cobwebs and caution tape. I put together lanterns and hung lights. All in all, it might as well have been a twisted Norman Rockwell painting. And it was fun.

We're also going the economic route with costumes this year. Thomas pulled his old Ghostbuster's jumpsuit out of mothballs, and I'm turning an off-white, stained formal into a ghost costume--just add makeup. Actually, even the makeup has come, for the most part, from Dollar Tree. The only thing I couldn't get there was the white greasepaint base.

With Halloween stores popping up right and left, and the constant bombardment of TV ads touting expensive, unnecessarily slutty costumes, one can forget the true meaning of the holiday: free candy and looking silly. Oh, and scaring the bejeezus out of unsuspecting neighborhood children. One mustn't forget that. There's no need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on decorating or dressing up. Grab something from the closet, make a trip to the discount store, and have yourself a merry little DIY Halloween.

1 comment:

  1. ah, the dollar tree halloween. amazing. i'll bet it looks awesome, too!

    i'm going the free route myself - i already had the costume i'm using. however, i am contributing to the futurama group costume that the people i'll be with are using. i'll be sewing - yes, that's right, with a machine and everything - a zapp branigan costume. sigh. how do i get myself into these messes?


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