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Discussion Starter #1
By prepping so hard for Halloween every year that you are missing much of what the season has to offer?

Like most of us here, I put a lot of time and energy into my home haunt. Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. I LOVE every minute of it. But October is a very demanding time of year for me at work. This past October, I only had SIX days off. So you can imagine that every spare minute was about H-Day/ToT prep.

Now that it's November, I am once again feeling like October went by way too fast and that I didn't get to take part in much of anything except my own haunt prep. Yes, my choice - but darn! No haunted hayrides, no time to settle in with popcorn and classic movies, Halloween TV or read ghost stories, no Halloween tourism, baking creative H-Day goodies or fall festivals, etc.

This isn't the first year I've felt this way. And while I'm not going to stop doing what I do - I think I need ways to add even MORE Halloween to the season... or maybe into another season?

Will y'all think I'm crazy if I declare Halloween in March?!

How do you lot pack all the Halloween you can into each year?
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Have a Halfway to Halloween party? People do Christmas in July all the time, so why not a Spooky Spring Fling or Morbid May? In Memorium Day? Could even do an early summer "Creepy Tiki" beach theme party and have a haunted house/yard setup... there are so many possibilities!

I used to also make sure to have ONE weekend in late September or October where I would not work on my own stuff and go venture out to see whatever hayride/haunt/fall festival I could find (I tried to pick the weekend that had the most if at all possible) so I could be a participant instead of a provider of Halloween fun.

It gets easier once you stop doing new build stuff and coast with what decor/themes you already have at hand. I have 2 full-on themes and 1 very basic and last couple of years I've done the basic (which is still waaaaay more than most in my area) and been able to participate more in community stuff.
 

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Oh, yes, very much so. I used to do BOTH the home/yard haunt AND work Friday and Saturday nights for the local pro haunt, and that was just WAYYYYY too much. Plus my health is kind of increasingly... crap. So that doesn't help. We did more go-to-haunts stuff this year than usual, which was fun, but my body is still in desperate need of a month or two to hibernate. I was glad to see some of the local pro haunts opening up the weekend after, but I was too exhausted and busy taking stuff down to go do anything!

I need one of these shirts (from the appropriately named Halloween Shirt Company)

 

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Mostly I am missing out on virtual stuff. This year was so rough and everything took so long I completely missed out of doing a lot of popular blueprints for planet coaster on steam. Otherwise I am fine with it.
 

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Several things you list can be done any time of year....Just last night I was in the basement making a fire in the stove and decided to mount a shelf to the wall beside it....I wanted to put a TV there I could watch when I'm sitting watching the fire....It's a smart TV so I brought up the apps and found an SNL Halloween special episode....I kicked the recliner back and enjoyed watching with the fire kicking out warm air, I felt pretty snug and enjoyed the show every bit as if it was October....My point is there is plenty of things on your list you can do all year long...Why try to cram it all into just 31 days?.....The things on your list that can only be done in Oct will have to be accommodated for....Simple math - X amount of available hours....If you don't have enough available hours to go to an event then you'll have to add more available hours either by scheduling vacation or cutting back on the amount you put out in your yard or taking a year off all together....It's worth it to figure out what you feel your missing out on....You may find your not missing out on anything and you can go back to just doing your yard the following year but at least you'll know....You may find out putting less in your yard and going to events is more fulfilling....Only one way to find out....LOL.... ZR
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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This can definitely be an issue. This is a weird hobby that will consume as much time, energy, and money as we allow, and can definitely make it challenging to get out and enjoy things beyond the haunt.

This year I decided to get out in front of that a bit, and we went to Disney for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party the last weekend of September to help get things kicked off. Ordinarily, I would have looked at that as time I could have been building a new prop, but decided I wanted us to be able to extend the season a bit, and get some additional enjoyment away from the haunt.

We also made space each weekend to ensure we got to watch at least one seasonally appropriate movie, and then in the final week, we carved jacks and put them around town as part of the Great Pumpkin Project

Some of these things were big undertakings (e.g., time / expense of travel), while others were really simple (setting a couple of hours aside to watch movies and eat / drink seasonal foods), and it really did help ensure we celebrated the season a bit more.
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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I hear you 100%. And while you can make anytime feel like Halloween, so many events (haunted house, etc) only happen in September/October. The solution, I think, is to start prepping earlier so the Halloween season can be less packed, but saying that and doing it are two very different things. 😄
 

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Have a Halfway to Halloween party? People do Christmas in July all the time, so why not a Spooky Spring Fling or Morbid May? In Memorium Day? Could even do an early summer "Creepy Tiki" beach theme party and have a haunted house/yard setup... there are so many possibilities!

I used to also make sure to have ONE weekend in late September or October where I would not work on my own stuff and go venture out to see whatever hayride/haunt/fall festival I could find (I tried to pick the weekend that had the most if at all possible) so I could be a participant instead of a provider of Halloween fun.

It gets easier once you stop doing new build stuff and coast with what decor/themes you already have at hand. I have 2 full-on themes and 1 very basic and last couple of years I've done the basic (which is still waaaaay more than most in my area) and been able to participate more in community stuff.

Similarly, I try to have all builds wrapped up by October so that I only have to set up. If it's not done, it can wait till next year.
 

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This year I have discovered that I don't like building things in October. For the last several years I've waited too long to start projects, and then get into a mad rush to finish things by the big day. This means I don't end up really enjoying the season, just enjoying the building/prep, and it flies right by. And I Always end up with several projects that I didn't quite get to.

I think this year I'm going to take a different tack and spend the winter planning what props to build, spend the summer building them, and spend the fall enjoying them.
 

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Similarly, I try to have all builds wrapped up by October so that I only have to set up. If it's not done, it can wait till next year.
As far as I'm concerned, any major project that isn't done by September 1 doesn't get done this year. Minor stuff, sure, but if I have to build it, it's done by September or it waits until the next year.
 

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This can definitely be an issue. This is a weird hobby that will consume as much time, energy, and money as we allow, and can definitely make it challenging to get out and enjoy things beyond the haunt.

This year I decided to get out in front of that a bit, and we went to Disney for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party the last weekend of September to help get things kicked off. Ordinarily, I would have looked at that as time I could have been building a new prop, but decided I wanted us to be able to extend the season a bit, and get some additional enjoyment away from the haunt.

We also made space each weekend to ensure we got to watch at least one seasonally appropriate movie, and then in the final week, we carved jacks and put them around town as part of the Great Pumpkin Project

Some of these things were big undertakings (e.g., time / expense of travel), while others were really simple (setting a couple of hours aside to watch movies and eat / drink seasonal foods), and it really did help ensure we celebrated the season a bit more.
I have not heard of the Great Pumpkin Project. It is awesome! Lots of great pictures on the Instagram page!
 

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In the past I felt the same way (overwhelmed and missing out on everything) as I worked year round, had a new theme each year, and a very ambitious schedule. I felt like I was spending every waking hour working on Halloween stuff. I then realized what I enjoy doing isn’t really even about Halloween; that’s right it’s not about Halloween. What I really enjoy doing is creating macabre art that is displayed once a year on Halloween. No schedule, no deadline, no stress. All year long I collect images, scribble sketches, create renderings, build models and make prototypes. I do what I feel like doing at that time. If I get bored with something I move on to something else. Basically the props get finished when they get finished. It has taken a while for my neighbors to understand as they will see me working on something all summer (even for a year or two) and then wonder why I didn’t put it out on Halloween. My reply is that it’s not ready, it may never be ready and that’s o.k. For me it’s about the creative process. My advice (and this is what I have started doing); enjoy the journey, leave time for life, throw a “Summerween” party at the end of June (half way point between Halloween), stop working on props by late September, and celebrate all of October. Regarding celebrating Halloween all year, it’s a life-style preference, just do it. I have all kinds of vintage Halloween art, décor, signs etc.. throughout my home that are permanently displayed.
 

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Totally understand @boo who? My biggest disappointment is not seeing other people's displays on the night.

In AUS a lot of displays aren't put up until a few days before, or like mine are mostly put up on the day and then mostly taken down again at the end of the night. So there's not much chance of going around to see other displays.

I plan to have as much ready to go the weekend before Halloween next year so I can go and check out some of the other displays in the area before Halloween. But I did say that this year.
 

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I'm very new to going all out for Halloween decorating; so it's still a thrill just to actually GET trick-r-treaters in this new neighborhood! I've had neighbors compliment the yard and tell me they're glad i do it, which feels great because I'm really doing it for them. The folks that still take their kids trick-r-treating and keeping the tradition alive deserve some effort on my part to give the kids some spooky Halloween haunt to visit. I guess what I'm getting at is - I'm still in that giddy neophyte home haunting stage and having fun learning what works and what doesn't.

To the OP's point: this year it did seem tricky balancing everything I had planned along with visits to haunts, special movie showings, sightseeing through neighborhoods after dark and more. I really great Halloween season oughtn't feel rushed, but this one did a bit. 🦇
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh yeah - I completely forgot to add seeing other people's displays! Guess it's because that has always been sooooo out of the question.
 

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I feel this way every year, and every year I swear I’ll start earlier and be finished building before Fall hits. But then life gets in the way, time flies, and BAM, it’s summer. For this coming year, I’m making my two oldest sons hold me accountable. They want to build some props for next year, too, so maybe that will help keep me on task.
 

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Have a Halfway to Halloween party? People do Christmas in July all the time, so why not a Spooky Spring Fling or Morbid May? In Memorium Day? Could even do an early summer "Creepy Tiki" beach theme party and have a haunted house/yard setup... there are so many possibilities!

I used to also make sure to have ONE weekend in late September or October where I would not work on my own stuff and go venture out to see whatever hayride/haunt/fall festival I could find (I tried to pick the weekend that had the most if at all possible) so I could be a participant instead of a provider of Halloween fun.

It gets easier once you stop doing new build stuff and coast with what decor/themes you already have at hand. I have 2 full-on themes and 1 very basic and last couple of years I've done the basic (which is still waaaaay more than most in my area) and been able to participate more in community stuff.
My ex and I had a "Halloween and a Half" party for years. It really does scratch the itch. lol
 

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By prepping so hard for Halloween every year that you are missing much of what the season has to offer?

How do you lot pack all the Halloween you can into each year?
I do feel like I miss a lot of Halloween. Every year i try to start earlier so i have a little more free time in October but it hasn't really worked yet. ;-)
 

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Have a Halfway to Halloween party? People do Christmas in July all the time, so why not a Spooky Spring Fling or Morbid May? In Memorium Day? Could even do an early summer "Creepy Tiki" beach theme party and have a haunted house/yard setup... there are so many possibilities!

I used to also make sure to have ONE weekend in late September or October where I would not work on my own stuff and go venture out to see whatever hayride/haunt/fall festival I could find (I tried to pick the weekend that had the most if at all possible) so I could be a participant instead of a provider of Halloween fun.

It gets easier once you stop doing new build stuff and coast with what decor/themes you already have at hand. I have 2 full-on themes and 1 very basic and last couple of years I've done the basic (which is still waaaaay more than most in my area) and been able to participate more in community stuff.
Ha Ha Ha Ha. Finished with Build! You're killing me! I have 4 or 5 themes in the warehouse and I still build every year. Dont get me wrong - I enjoy it but I agree with poster its time consuming and I miss a lot.
 

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I ABSOLUTELY agree. This year especially I thought the same thing. Being near LA there are so many great Haunt options that I love; Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, Knott's Scary Farm, and even one a few miles away, but I missed them all. I wondered if I can help the problem by starting earlier next year, but I think it's mostly mental. I make it into WORK, something I HAVE TO DO, almost contradicting the "I do this for fun" aspect.
 
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