I’d like to be able to report that I had a Master Plan from the beginning, but that would be a lie.
I’m talking about Halloween 2017 At The Darby’s.
I’m about to let you in on my creative process and how my family works with me to
make me crazy help me make it happen.
In this case, I had seen a friend’s Facebook post last year. (Last year!) There was a house in her neighborhood that was showing a movie – it was The Nightmare Before Christmas – on the garage door on Halloween night. I made a note to myself in the little black Moleskine notebook that serves as my external brain and where I keep my inspiration. I completely forgot about it – for a year, anyway.
My daughter, Amy is awesome at getting things done. Of course, she works from home and has a toddler, so it behooves her to pre-plan, but that’s not important right now.
FINDING A THEME
So, she found an adorable lion costume for Sebastian – you may call him, “Bash” – for Halloween.
Then she said, “Hey! If I go as Dorothy, you can be Glinda…” and that’s how the whole thing escalated.
You know, we have a big movie screen where we show our Darby Outdoor Movies all summer long? Hmm… *insert a lightbulb over my head right here*
I always love Halloween for multiple reasons, but one of them is that it’s the friendliest holiday of all. What other time of the year does everyone in the neighborhood knock on each other’s doors and willingly hand over treats? It’s the most genius way to be hospitable.
So it was decided: we would set up the movie projector and screen out in the front yard, and show The Wizard of Oz. We would all dress up as the characters. All because we had an adorable little lion.
Full disclosure: I never ever dress up. I’m always the one behind the camera.
I am usually a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-and-call-it-good type of party planner, but Amy kept us all on task.
THE EMERALD CITY
Besides the screen, we put up green Christmas lights. Because Emerald City.
And pumpkins. We bought some of those ceramic paintable pumpkins from Michael’s and painted them green and added green glitter. Because we were now marrying Oz and Halloween.
We didn’t carve pumpkins this year. We were making a different kind of magic. Paint and glitter goes a long way to making magic.
Also, I have a tutorial for making your own DIY Ruby Slippers, in case you’re interested.
What exactly did we do with these beautiful Ruby Slippers, you’re wondering? Well, we stuffed some striped leg warmers into them and made it look like our house fell on a the Wicked Witch of the East. I know. Shut up.
You’ve probably just noticed that our bricks look yellow. Yes, we (and when I say, “we” I mean Jon) chalked our bricks with yellow chalk because Yellow Brick Road. I warned you that this thing escalated quickly.
And just before it got completely dark, we started the movie.
And we parked ourselves outside to wait for the trick-or-treaters.
I have to give kudos and credit to our good friend and photographer, Dan Shalaby who very kindly hung out with us and captured all the magic.
We were the hit of the neighborhood. (I think that goes without saying.)
All the parents of the trick-or-treaters wanted to hang out and talk. And many of them took photos of us in all our Wizard of Ozian glory.
Sebastian drew the most “OMG’s” of the night. And it was cool enough that the lion suit kept him warm. Which brings me all the way back to how this whole thing started with that sweet little lion costume.
He was a little confused and amazed at what we were all wearing. And he managed to squeek out a passable “tee-co-tee.”
Can I just tell you that one of my favorite things about my family is their willingness to step it up when I get an idea? (Well, technically, it was Amy’s idea, but that’s not important right now, either.)
They didn’t even bat an eye as characters were assigned to them. Please appreciate Jon as the witch and soon-to-be son-in-law, Marc as the Tin Man.
So, the movie played for those 2 hours and we sat outside and greeted neighbors and gave away candy and took lots of pictures.
Jon and I had a lot of fun recreating the iconic “Wicked” poster. (LOL!)
Was it worth it? Absolutely. Even though our sweet lion got a little tired of the festivities, but I maintain he was just getting into character.
As our kids have grown up, we have done Halloween parties and carved pumpkins and all those things. But this year we took Halloween up to the next level.
So what is different?
Just call me “Wella.”