In my neighbourhood here in Houston, people go completely insane when it comes to Halloween. Starting about 2 weeks after the school year begins, houses in my area start putting pumpkins out on their front porch, there are "bats" hanging from the trees, fake cobwebs and tombstones all over the front yards. At first, I thought it was the homes that had hyper-excited young children who had been forced into putting out all the decorations, but now I'm not so sure: the house with the most decorations, to my knowledge, is owned by a childless couple.
I'm not sure I get it.
I grew up on the Caribbean, where Halloween isn't a huge thing; however, because I went to an American elementary school, we did dress up and trick or treat. No one, however, ever actually put Halloween decorations up, and even when my family moved to the States when I was a teenager, I don't remember seeing any Halloween decorations, save for the occasional party that I attended. In fact, it seems like it's only been the last 5 years or so that decorations are all-of-a-sudden a big deal.
I think, left to our own devices, my husband Marcus and I would opt out of decorating our home for Halloween, and simply dress our child for trick-or-treating. However, a few years ago, a friend with a macabre sense of humour bought my husband a "Marcus the Carcass" -- a glow-in-the-dark lawn decoration that looks like a corpse trying to crawl its way out of the ground. It's truly horrifying, but each year, we now feel compelled to put it on our lawn, despite our shame.
Although, secretly, I think it's funny.
How about you -- are you a big Halloween decorator? Is it me, or is this something that seems to have become more popular recently?
Karen is a writer and photographer in Houston, Texas. You can read and see more of her work at Chookooloonks.
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