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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at it, this has really been 4 years in coming.

For years, working on Halloween has worked as stress relief for me. That begun to change in 2014.

I was out of work, and the Halloween budget was a casualty. In addition, being out of work I had different home budget and time needs, so began making more elaborate meals that would work for my wife to take to work or I could freeze to make 2 meals out of.

2015, back to work, I went right back to Halloween and did a fairly large double-build for me.

2016, we started the house construction/addition/remodel. Part of that was getting a storage shed, which half the Halloween budget was used on. Again, putting Halloween work aside for working on the house.

2017, just over the weekend, we finally emptied out that storage shed. It's practically June. While the house is finished, the yard is a disaster, and there's no way I'm finishing the back yard/patio/etc by October.

I got looking at it, and when I get stressed now, I want to work on the yard, or do a big dinner. Halloween isn't #1 on my mind. In fact, I have been a little stressed about things I wanted to get done for Halloween. So, we are letting those go. It's supposed to be relief, not more stress.

No full yard walk-through this year. Front yard only.

Still doing the pumpkin party, and still have 1 project I want to do (and Talia wants to do one as well), but not going to stress about getting a big theme done for the whole yard, and figuring out how to move people around the mud hole back yard like we did last year. This lets me shift budget to finishing the back yard for future years as well, since most of what I need for the projects we WANT to do is already finished.

Even toying with going display only in the front.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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It all makes sense. At some point, the scale of one's Halloween display/haunt/walk-through, ceases to become the #1 priority. Sounds like you have sound reasoning here and even with just a front yard display it'll be fantastic as usual. We're in the same boat. Last year, Halloween kicked our butts. A lot of fun but a ton of work, stress, worry, etc.. This is the last year for the full sized walkthrough (pardon me for jumping in on your thread!). We're going to do a smaller build next year with one main room, an entrance and exit and a very detailed themed scene. I think it's a step in the same direction your headed and smaller can be just as good and just as fun without all the added expense of time and energy. Will look forward to seeing your new layout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Oh, everyone jump in.

I know we get these threads every year.

I think I see myself going back to a full walk-through if Talia decides she wants to in a couple years, or if I get the backyard finished the way I want (that would basically leave the back halloween-ready more or less year round) and it's easy enough. But I would just rather have one completed scene than a whole walkthrough half-finished everywhere. No, the public don't notice as much, but I do.
 

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When it becomes more stress than fun, definitely time to throttle back. My wife and I took a year off last season and drove around to see other's displays. We're re-energized this year and looking forward to doing ours.
 

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I have work here I should be doing but things I won't be mentioning here stop me.
I have projects I really want to get done (everyone likes "New" things) Sunshine has been so far in very short supply.. maybe that will change?
This Memorial Day weekend was So much fun for me!
I love reading their reviews,seeing myself and my house through "Other's" eyes... it can be very "educational".. sometimes.
One reviewer even called me a "Mid-western P.T. Barnum!" (I think in a good way!)
Today was a perfect climate for work to get done.. but I had to walk behind a lawn Mower for 3 hours, yes, I got "something" done. "Blah!"
 

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"GO BIG OR GO HOME" , sounds good ,BUT when it becomes work or stressful its time to evaluate.
I keep some detail that only I'm aware of, but have cut back other decorations that took too much work with little being notice and instead added other more noticeable items, Even when scaled backed it will be enjoyed all who view it.

My question to J-Man, did you still have TOTers, or did you go lights out?

Jerseyscare
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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We've been scaling back the last two years, and likely will be small scale for several more years to come. Just too much going on right now and too many life stressors that interfere.

Doesn't help that we had terrible weather several years in a row that destroyed some items and made others unable to be used at all. And it sort of takes the fun out of planning and execution if there aren't any TOTs due to hurricane force rain/wind. :(
 

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I took last year off myself. I pushed myself very hard to get everything done and a few days before things started going wrong. So I decided I needed to step back and gather myself. Now I am getting ready to refocus and fix what broke just days before last year. With that being said everyone needs to step back every now and then. It will make the next time even better, fresh and new.
 

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It's certainly not something you stress over, so scale back. You'll probably end up enjoying the season more if you do. If you get everything done then maybe the urge will strike you to go back and do a larger display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sooooooooo.........

Month later, and have worked on nothing Halloween wise. Even went through the shed and downsized a number of things.

In the cleaning, Alec found the scarecrows we made back in 2010. Just old clothes stuffed with corn stalks...they've literally been rotting between the shed and fence ever since. He wants to salvage 2 of them into something. I told him to go ahead.

I've got a week's vacation coming up, and will get started on my main project during that week.

Halloween in Summer is the 15th, and Talia's costume is nearly ready.
 

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Annd this is why I haven't pursued a "real" haunt yet. I know myself, and I know I tend to take too much on by myself, and I don't want this to not be fun anymore. I love Halloween! I'd like to keep it that way. So, for now, I'm volunteering on the makeup team at a haunt, I take my own appointments for Halloween, and I haunt my mom's yard with a cemetery that grows every year. Gotta keep it fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Annd this is why I haven't pursued a "real" haunt yet. I know myself, and I know I tend to take too much on by myself, and I don't want this to not be fun anymore. I love Halloween! I'd like to keep it that way. So, for now, I'm volunteering on the makeup team at a haunt, I take my own appointments for Halloween, and I haunt my mom's yard with a cemetery that grows every year. Gotta keep it fun.
Which is why I quit the professional scene and decided to stick to 'just' doing my house...

The trick is just to know when you've gone too much over and roll it back. I've yo-yo'd at the house a few times now. Go big, go 'little'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Neighbor stopped by.

His brother is getting married and wanted to know if they could borrow one of my things for the wedding.

No, not any of the things I really put a lot of time on, just me being silly with some costco skeletons.



Specifically asking how I had managed to get the 'hearts' in there at Christmas.

 

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I have used the "scale back" phrase for a couple of years now. Each time I do, the wife, kids, friends or neighbors put me right back into full over the top mode. I started decorating smarter, less work, a couple of years ago. Examples are projections on windows and walls. Everything I create has just as much thought into take down and storage. This has helped me smooth out the build and take down time. (LoL, it still takes me September to set up and a week in November to take down.

Best thing I did was create a room (basement) dedicated to horror, Halloween all year round. This has become my storage mecca!
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Ox, I hear you. Because of work commitments ( out of town a lot) we've scaled back the last 4 seasons. Now I'm home full-time, we are ramping up again. Not crazy-crazy like many years ago, but a happy medium. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, party night last night. The wind cropped up during the day and would have been a major disaster if I had gone 'full sized'. But with just the front yard, and only 2 major props out, I had plenty of my heavy rebars to secure things like the corn bundles.

New lighting design, just messing around.

Probably more people than ever come over for the party, with only a couple commenting on the lack of the back yard, though everyone understood why we scaled it back to the front only.

I was a lot less busy with it all up front, not needing to continually hop back and forth to see if kids were breaking something as well.

The wind subsided for the start of the party, but picked back up around 8:30, which meant I didn't get my normal photo shoot after everyone left. I'll have to do that tonight.







I'm always impressed with the wonderful diversity having this community carve makes. From crude faces to real artwork, I love it all next to each other, making it look like a real psychopath carved them all...





Hector





 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Looks like it was a great turnout even with the scaleback tho! :)
 
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