Lowest Common Denominator

originally in Abilene Families magazine

It was a gorgeous fall afternoon, if a bit on the breezy side -- not that fall afternoons come in many other varieties than breezy in West Texas. I had to leave one job early to go claim a child from middle school to shuttle her to the most recent athletic event.

As I drove along, my head swimming with deadlines unmet, emails to return, projects piling up, and family errands that must be done, I noticed what I thought was a neighborhood construction project. With a double-take on the tombstones, I realized it was simply Halloween decorations. Of course. Halloween decorations when it isn’t even October. For the love.

If you have been by or inside my home, you know that my landscaping, interior decorating, and holiday decorating can all be described as ‘minimalist’ at most generous. I’m just so darn happy to get food on the table and clean clothes in the drawers, anything in addition to that is considered extraneous and bordering on obsessively overachieving.

I actually do decorate for the holiday celebrating the birth of our Savior, but every year I get out less and less, and delegate more and more. I figure in a few years I’ll be down to having the kids put out one strand of lights each and call it good.

When the kids were little I would even get out a bunny or two at Easter, but that quickly declined to me crawling through the attic the day before Easter just to find the box with the baskets in it for the egg hunt. My own hunt before the hunt, if you will. Of course this was immediately followed by me crawling back into the attic the day after Easter to toss the baskets back in a random box, making next year’s hunt all the more exciting.

But to decorate for the holiday that is celebrated by going to beg candy off of the neighbors while dressed as a geometrically clad underwater creature? Um, no. Now, I could go down the pious religious road and say that it’s a Pagan holiday, All Hallow’s Eve, blah-dee blah. But the truth is, I simply do not have the wherewithal to decorate for such a short-lived event.

I think the entire reason I am able to decorate at all for Christmas is that school and life comes to a halt around Thanksgiving, allowing for decorating time, and if I am really on top of things I can get decorations thrown back in the attic before school gets too cranked back up in the new year.

With apologies to Halloween die-hards, I just can’t pull it off amongst soccer, band, volleyball, PTA, tennis, Open House, algebra homework, and the million six other things my family is juggling at this point.

So, instead of agreeing to disagree on the whole decorating for Halloween thing, let’s do it this way: if your home, especially your front yard is decorated for Halloween to the point that I mayenjoy it while I drive by, thank you. Thank you for giving my family something to enjoy about the season and the fun and frivolity that comes with Halloween that won’t be taking place at my house.

I, on the other hand, will be the lowest common denominator. I will be the house that the rest of you may look at to say, “Well, I didn’t do much, but at least it isn’t the Stirman’s house. Bless ‘em.”

You’re welcome. We all have our place in this world. I have found mine, and I am claimin’ it.

So, what about you? Decorate for Halloween or no? How extensively? I am actually considering buying a pumpkin...

To enter for today's drawing, leave a comment telling me about Halloween decorations. Anything: memories, a favorite, pro or con. Whatev.

Prizes for today's drawing include these books:

Prizes for today's drawing do not include this dog, who felt the need to hide under the table for some reason:

Who needs Halloween decorations with that under the table?


Roxanne said...

A) our floors DO look very similar

B) I now have THE PERFECT porch to decorate. . .some pumpkins and potted mums and I'd be done. HOWEVER, I'd have to clean up pumpkin massacre and stare at mum stems the next morning because the coons, deer, possums, etc. would have a FEAST overnight.

C) I DO have a ceramic pumpkin atop our entertainment center. It was IN the entertainment center where I had stashed it in July because it had nowhere better to go. Our entertainment center is really falling down on the job, because it has not t.v., but I opened it the other day to find something and VOILA!!! decorated for fall all in one fell swoop.

Scott F said...

Well, we kind of got a good idea and got it started but never had time to finish! We put out the Halloween stuff in the yard, pumpkin lights outlining the garage, the big moster thing in the yard, an electric jack-o-lantern, the fog machines that go in our fountatin, etc. But then it got dark and we weren't done. That was 3 weeks ago. We still aren't done. Still haven't plugged any of it in. And the monster has blown over and is laying in the yard and the pumpkin now has a crack in it. Yes, we are THAT family this year. The one that caused the invention of HOAs.

Mom said...

I LOVE fall decorations--which can be misconstrued to be Halloween decorations. Because I've been out of town, then very busy, and now out of town again, I've not yet done anything, but will toward the end of this week. I like pumpkins, gourds, large "fuzzy" acorns (they're real and not really fuzzy, but they have that appearance) that my sister gave us, leaves, pinecones, etc. We have several ceramic jack-o-lanterns that I put out and when Halloween is over, I turn them around and they become Thanksgiving decorations. Scarecrows fit in the same category; they are fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving decorations. Anyway, I decorate middle of October and what I do lasts through Thanksgiving. Early in November I put out some ceramic turkeys that Mom gave us when she closed down her house and that does the transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving. I know that Sarah is wondering when this became a tradition at our house; it was long after kids left and married and toward the end of my teaching career so that I actually felt like I had time to do it. And I do love it and I'm always a little sorry to take it down until next year.

mstirman said...

I do extensive decorating for all holidays. I have a select group of wreaths that hang on my front door. The spring wreath covers everything after New Years, the summer one covers the 4th of July. The fall wreath takes care of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the winter once covers Christmas and New Years. What a deal. No climbing in the attic or attacking annonymous boxes. Just go to the closet, pull out the next one in line and hang up the old one. Done deal!

ChristyCate said...

I'm with mstirman!

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