It’s officially fall now, which means women ages 21-45 have become pumpkin zealots and that Halloween is just around the corner.
So to help you prepare for the holiday season and prove you don’t have to spend a fortune to be festive, I’m sharing my absolutely finite wisdom.
First of all, we’ll start inside. Stop dusting your house right now.* By avoiding the removal of dust, you will accumulate a layer of spookiness and cobwebs that people pay good money to artificially replicate.
*This does not apply to me, of course, as I have to dust everything every weekend—OCD trumps festiveness.
Once you’ve set the mood, there are simple household objects that can make cheap and easy decorations with minimal effort.
For example, if you put a tiny cape on a staple remover—and possibly some googly eyes if you’re really feeling ambitious— you have a quick and easy vampire decoration.
And what Halloween scene would be complete without a ghost or two? Considering my penchant for delightful smells, I suggest you pull double duty and simply drape a gel air freshener with a napkin, add a couple of eyes and voila! A spooky scented spirit to delight the masses. If you’re lucky, the “trick or treat” aroma will mask the slight odor of broken dreams and steamed broccoli that’s wafting through your kitchen.
If you’re only concerned with the external appearance of your home, cease all yard work two weeks ago and move to the next point below.
There have been orange construction cones just down my street for the past month or so (evidently they’re not in a hurry to finish whatever they’re doing.) And while most people simply see an annoyance, I see cheap Halloween candy corn decorations for my lawn.
Now I am in no way suggesting you (allegedly) take something that doesn’t belong to you, but if a strong wind happens to blow a couple cones your way—along with the leaves from your yard into the neighbor’s—that’s simply nature’s way of getting into the holiday spirit.
True, suggesting that you paint them to be exact replicas of the waxy candy might make things look suspicious, but most people will be too impressed with your creative prowess to be upset at the borrowing of said cone —allegedly.
In fact, they will probably stand in your yard clapping so hard it will set off the lame motion-sensored Halloween witch the other neighbors PAID for and put out.
Once your house and yard are set, it’s time to prepare to pass out the treats. Candy can be expensive, and given the fact that everyone else passes out candy—not very creative, now are we?—I have a much more economical and creative solution.
Sometimes you even get jelly and jams.
Set yourself apart from the crowd by passing out more practical samples treats you’ve accumulated throughout the year. Traveling? Make sure to stock up on things like shampoos, hand wipes, coffee packets and jelly from the hotel room.
Stuck waiting in the doctor’s office? Cotton balls, tongue depressors and plastic gloves (do not give to children under age 3) make for hours of creative artistic play.
This step also requires a bit of planning, but if you start now you can be set for next Halloween. And while the kids might not initially realize the benefit of these alternative treats, when their hands are sticky from egging your house, they’ll certainly appreciate the hand wipes.
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