We’re used to seeing cars slow down in front of our house this time of year. Either the driver is smiling, because they love Halloween as much as we do, or they’re shaking their heads thinking “those people are over the top!”
My youngest son has been a fan of inflatables for as long as I can remember. He used to spend hours at the computer during the winter months, bookmarking page after page of inflatable decorations. He printed his favorites, and pasted them in a book. Every year we visit a local “parking lot patch” where he gleefully enjoys the enormous inflatable slides, bounce houses and the occasional obstacle course. One year he received fifty dollars for Christmas from one of his uncles, enough to buy a holiday inflatable at 50% off. And so it began.
My son saves his allowance and the occasional cash gift and “invests” in his inflatable treasures. Each inflatable has a story to go with it. The monstrous cat purchased at a discontinued price, hidden in the back yard until Halloween night so he could surprise everyone. The creepy spider, bought online with an annoying whistle whenever it turns its head. Finally, the pièce de résistance, the inflatable archway, complete with ghosts and tombstones. By the time we saw it in a party store they were sold out. The store agreed to sell us the floor model for, you guessed it, half off. I paid for half, he paid the rest.
My way of decorating before having children was more subtle. I would put out a pumpkin or two, a few fall plants and call it a day. Not any more. As my son ages, he wants everything a little scarier. By Halloween night we’ll have a spider with a moveable head, the enormous cat and the lighted entryway. He’ll stretch spider webbing from shrub to tree and my husband will add lights to the awning. The webbing catches falling Magnolia leaves, that twist and turn in the wind. We toss plastic spiders at the web for a naturalized effect and by October 31st we’re looking downright spooky.
Our garden, transformed.