I recently read a great post by Nightwind on his blog, The Gothic Embrace, where he talks about his October Halloween traditions. What an excellent idea! So here are my own traditions, both current and those planned for the future (starting now!):
1. Every year I decorate my office space at the very beginning of the month. Skeletal hands crawl out of plant pots and off the top of my upper cabinet, a lovely graveyard scene (complete with witches doing their laundry) adorns the top of the large drawers next to my desk, and stuffed cats and bats decorate the plants. Death and a Trolls vampire with wild fuschia hair both leer down at me from the upper cabinet, right next to the Wild Rumpus from Where the Wild Things Are. And this year there is some shredded "mummy wrap" draped over my visitor's chair, along with a stuffed pumpkin made of black cotton with white spiderwebs on it. Lovely!! (Normally I take everything down right after Halloween. This year, though, I'm thinking of leaving at least some of it up and see if anyone notices.)
2. Visits to Walgreen's, CVS, Michael's, Jo-Ann's, and the Spirit Store are de rigueur in October! I've already stocked up on Halloween stickers (for letters and envelopes), some limited edition makeup, a Jack Skellington mug, a stuffed skeletal kitty, and new additions to my desk graveyard scene. (I'd really love to include a hearse in it, but I haven't found one yet!) Actually, I must admit I haven't been to the Spirit Store yet, but I AM planning to go this weekend. Of course, most of these things will be used throughout the year, not just in October.
3. Martin records all the Halloween specials from our favorite cartoons (The Simpson's, Courage the Cowardly Dog, FutureRama, and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy) so we can watch them together in the evening.
4. For the last several years, I've taken a vacation day every Halloween. This way I can celebrate in my own way, and I don't have to endure the terrible aspects of "the Office Halloween Party" (ugh!), or try to figure out what to wear that won't make me feel completely stupid and/or elicit comments like "Where's your costume? You ALWAYS dress like that." This year I'm taking the entire week off, woo-HOOO!!
5. Last year, I wore a "not-exactly-a-Halloween-costume-but-very-strange-by-most-standards" outfit to go grocery shopping at Lucky's on Halloween; it was a sort of Emilie Autumn-style number involving black and white striped bloomers and a parasol. I totally delighted a little girl wearing a vampire costume who was pretending to bite her dad by scurrying past her and gasping, "Please don't bite me!!" while cowering in fear. This was later followed up by a game of "Boo!-Eeek!" at the deli counter with a smaller child dressed in a costume of a less scary nature. I think I shall make this a yearly tradition as well. Well, I can't go Trick or Treating anymore, but that doesn't mean I can't roam around in some type of costume and delight small children! :-)
6. Yes, we do buy candy in case any Trick-or-Treaters should happen to ring our bell. No, we haven't had one come by in several years, as we live in a gated apartment complex. Yes, we eat the candy ourselves after 9pm. No, we're not sharing it with you. :-P
So, what are YOUR Halloween traditions? (Feel free to use any of mine if you wish!)