Glowing "ghosts" hanging from the trees above the craft foam "graveyard." Tangled cotton "spiderwebs" all up the front walk and porch. Glowing glass "pumpkins" to light the way up the steps, green spider lights and spiders tangled in webs around the door and three enormous jack-o-lanterns grinning and flickering to welcome trick-or-treaters.
We made the ghosts by blowing up a balloon for the head, popping a glow stick inside, tying the balloon upside-down from a tree branch, then draping the whole thing in tulle.
For the glowing pumpkins we coated the inside of a clear mason jar with the contents of a glow stick (don't let the kids do that part - I'm sure there's something toxic about those things) topped up with water and decorated with black construction paper faces.
In the past we've always used one of our carved jack-o-lanterns as the head for Stan the Pumpkin Man who guards our front porch every October, but this Halloween - largely due to the absurdly large pumpkins we got which would never have fit on the upturned bucket we usually use for his body - we let Stan have a year off. I'm sure he appreciates it after last year, when the plaid shirt, jeans and workboots he normally wears went missing and he had to wear an old cable-knit sweater and fitted jeans of mine. We called him Stan/Fran, the transgendered Pumpkin Man. This year's jack-o-lantern display is much more Halloweeny.
The dinner menu:
Pita bread mini-pizzas with "spiderweb" cheese and black olive "spiders."
Stuffed pepper "skulls" stuffed with spaghetti "brains."
Chocolate cake "graveyard" with cookie "graves" and coconut banana "ghosts."
My kids like to do themed Halloween costumes - last year it was Mario Brothers (Mario, Luigi and the Mario Mushroom), the year before Transformers (Optimus Prime and Bumblebee), the year before that Star Wars (Darth Vader and a Clone Trooper) and the year before that dinosaurs (a t-rex and a pterodactyl). This year they went as pirates - very easy costumes to put together for a family as pirate-obsessed as ours!
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