Halloween decorating do's and don’ts

Oct 1, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. ET

One of the truly frightening things about Halloween is the over-decorating that often occurs: The copious window stickers, skeletons, pumpkins, cackling witches etc. You don't want to be "that person"

easy on the noise

Allow noisy decorations only if you must. You know the types: The cackling witch (such as this one below from Barmy Gifts), the scary skeleton and the weird Frankenstein on eBay that has motion sensors designed to freak out unsuspecting little trick-or-treaters. If you think these gimmicks are too good to pass up, we advise bringing it out only on the actual day of Halloween. There's no need to scare your postal carrier or the neighborhood animals!


go for cute

How "scary" do you want to be? If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of young children, you may want to opt for cute over creepy -- like these homeowners did in this Hasbrouck Heights neighborhood in New Jersey. There are plenty of ways to make your Halloween decorated home kid-friendly. Incorporate scarecrows, pumpkins and friendly-looking jack-o-lanterns. Even spider webs and plastic spiders aren't too much for most kids to handle.


Keep of the lawn

Beware of lawn decor. Lawn decorations are risky for any holiday, and Halloween is no exception. The plastic ghosts, goblins and witches that can clutter up your yard tend to fall under the category of "less is more." Fake graveyards (such as these found by a blogger on smarter.com), tacky plastic orange pumpkins and ghosts hanging from trees are all instances in which you should exercise restraint.


pumpkins are perfect

A jack-o-lantern goes a long way! Carving a pumpkin for Halloween is a must-do no matter what your age. It's a great traditional activity for your family, from picking the pumpkins to carving them and displaying them in front of your home. It provides the perfect DIY decoration that is usually neither cheesy or overly silly.

More on Halloween

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