BOO!  My daughter is giddy with excitement.   “Put it higher,”  she tells our driver who is hanging jack o’ lanterns on the garage ceiling.   “I think it should be lower,” I chimed in.  “No, higher… higher,” my four-year old insists.   “I’m  Diego’s assistant, Mom.  This is the best Halloween ever!”    She runs to her nanny who is making sure that all the ten spiders we bought  earlier from the toy store were all accounted for.

Beware of the witch!

This is a yearly tradition in our household.   Decorating the house in spooky but quirky-cute Halloween knicknakcs is as much fun as the actual celebration itself.    We definitely outdid ourselves this year, methinks.  Glow-in-the-dark spider webs on the   window panels,  a caged witch hanging from our molave tree,  a pair of grey gargoyles, white and purple cobwebs spread across the front lawn with eight-legged creepy crawlers strewn on them — We have it all!

Our spooky front lawn. The eyes of the black spider lights up in different colors at night!

To set the stage for this freakish festivity, here are my tried and tested tips:
1.Prepare early. A month before the actual day,  I’m already thinking of costumes for the brood.  Don’t wait until the last minute when all that will be left are costumes that everyone has passed up on.  If you want to create your own ghoulish wardrobe, you’ll really need to plan ahead.   In addition, start buying candy bags two weeks in advance.  This way, you’ll have time to do the rounds of  groceries  and choose the best treats.

2.  Get your creative juices flowing!   Once I cut out a hole on an egg made from styro board , spray painted it grey, stuck a bamboo stick behind it and put some bamboo twigs in front.  My son had a dinosaur costume and I thought I would give it that extra oomph by letting him carry the egg with his face peeping from behind the hole.  My newly hatched baby stegosaurus won best costume in school and in the village pageant!  Actually he was the village Halloween pageant champion in the cute category for three consecutive years.  I was one proud mama.

the BQP as the Black Swan and her baby Ladybug.

3.  Safe Sweets –  Take a look at the expiration dates of the candies and chocolate bars before purhasing.   Remember dressing up as The Walking Dead is acceptable but ushering the unsuspecting  revelers to the netherworld is a big no no!
4. Let the Halloween spirit take over.  Over the years, I’ve had scary pumpkin nail art done,  donned ebony wings as The Black Swan, and ordered  ghoulish cupcakes and cookies.  My excitement for Hallow’s Eve has rubbed off on everyone.  Even my nanny asked me if  I can get spooky headbands for her and the other help. I happily obliged of course.

My Nightmare before Christmas inspired nails

5.   Give, Get and Share.  We give out enormous amounts of goodies.  The kids get bags of treats from our neighbors too.  After the village street party, my husband and I ask them to sift through their loot and choose whatever they like to keep.   Whatever treats they don’t want to keeo, I pack  into little plastic bags and we give the candy to streetchildren the next day.
My now twelve year old son insists on choosing  his costume this year.  In an hour or so, I’ll be fetching him from school so we can head to the mall.  I already took photos of the available costumes and his eyes lit up when I showed him The Headless Horseman,  Ghost Rider and  Mr. Zombie.  What will he be?  Stay tuned  next week  for the second installment of our ghastly, ghost-filled adventure!

My son’s ever changing Halloween costume choices.

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With a pocketful of glitter,
tbqp signature - white background


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