I always thought I was sort of an odd duck since I start thinking about my favorite holiday in earnest just about the middle of August. I try to hold off on actually putting out any Autumn decorations until at least September though. October 31 might seem a long way off, but I like to celebrate for at least a month.... or two. Two and a half. As many Autumn holidays as possible in as many ways. I feel completely in my element with pumpkins and harvesting tomatoes late at night before a threatening frost and leaves crunching underfoot and bats and witches flying outside or in my kitchen and balanced between the summer's bounty and the winter's rest. But with the internet, I'm beginning to discover that I'm far from alone in my feelings.
Apparently I'm already "cutting it close", too late even, for most Halloween and Autumn art swaps or Challenges!!!! A girl wanders off into the land of the fae for a bit, comes back to discover that everyone else seems to have moved past into Autumn while I was missing! Everywhere I go, Halloween Swap Buttons are showing up on blog sidebars and the original posts announcing them and the deadlines for joining are long past. And I thought I was an autumn early bird... early crow?
Here's my dining room window scene last October. All those smiling jack-o-lanterns and dancing skeletons make me clap my hands in glee!
Honestly, it's just as well that I'm too late to consider joining all those swaps. I was fortunate to get into the swap I enjoyed last year, Artsymama's Sweet and Sinister Swap. I have not only an official swap partner but at first I thought I had missed getting in and I hooked up with another of last year's swappers who missed signing up this year, so I have TWO partners. Yah me! I've already got a bunch of fun ideas to get started on. I had soooo much fun making things last year.
But if I joined all those other wonderful swaps out there, I probably would get so stressed out my head would explode. As decorative as an exploding head might be this time of year, I think I'd rather keep it on my shoulders, thank you. Besides, I have lots and lots of other autumn activities to keep me busy.
Here's my grandbaby Joli "giving me a hand" in setting out the outdoor decorations last year. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter, with DIL's friend in tow, are coming to help decorate and celebrate again this October. It's quickly becoming a tradition to have a full house for Halloween. No one else does it up quite like I do and who wants to miss out on that! Too, there's no competition from other relatives like there is for Thanksgiving or December. But it's really the fact that I have people to help me enjoy all the activities that make it the special time that it is. The pumpkin patch, raking leaves, buying candy, setting up an ancestral altar, making a graveyard in the front yard, making Halloween art, eating candy, watching favorite Halloween specials and movies, picking out and making costumes, candy (did I mention candy already?), decorating the Halloween tree, trick or treating... All fun things to do regardless. But doing them with others increases the fun exponentially. It can't get any better than that, having family and friends help me celebrate my favorite time of the year. It turns fun into FUN!