Updated: Sep 26, 2019
It's that time of year again. Is it just me or does it feel like we just celebrated Halloween? It seems to come around faster every year... and to be completely honest, I'm not a fan. Ok, I know that's an unpopular opinion to hold here in the Bay Area (i.e. Halloween Town), but before you annihilate me on social media, hear me out.
I am what my family and close friends like to call a "Halloween baby." Here's the rub... I wasn't born on Halloween. I was born four full days before, yet as a child and even as a young adult, year after year, the theme of my birthday parties was Halloween because those with the deciding vote worked hard convincing me that "everyone loves Halloween... so why wouldn't you want to have a Halloween party (every year for the rest of your life?)" I'm pretty sure that between the ages of 5 & 10, I was a little witch with a busted broom and a torn hat for three years in a row. My husband says that explains a lot, but I digress.
I will admit, I did enjoyed the trick-or-treating when I wasn't attending my own Halloween Birthday Party, but I was really just into the candy. By the time I was about 12, I longed to break free of spooky, costume-themed celebrations and just have a normal birthday party with balloons that were white or pink. My friends told me that their mothers told my mother how much they loved my Halloween parties because instead of having to take their kids trick-or-treating throughout the neighborhood, they could just come to my party. "Well, that's just lazy parenting!"... I thought to myself. It wasn't my fault that some adults preferred a Halloween party over taking their kids trick-or-treating. I guess I was lucky, my parents took me and my sisters trick-or-treating AND they threw me a birthday party.
When I was growing up, I attended a lot of Sweet Sixteen birthday parties. They were a right of passage and a very big deal. Being invited to one often seemed as much fun as having one. I remember the Sweet Sixteen party that drove me to distraction for weeks. The cake was a large, gorgeous 3-tiered concoction that looked like a wedding cake, only better. The frosting resembled fluffy white clouds of yummy goodness, and the perfectly placed soft pink edible flowers looked so real that I was convinced they were fragrant. This is what I wanted for MY Sweet Sixteen. The days of Halloween birthday parties were over, and I made sure my family knew it.
So, here's how it went down. I'm not really sure if I just wasn't taken seriously, or if it was meant to be a swan song to Halloween parties for me, but instead of the beautiful, towering white birthday cake (with those amazing, edible pink roses) I was anticipating, I nearly passed out when it was time to sing, Happy Birthday, and my cousin shoved me towards a large, flat, rectangular cake that was anything but white and pink. It was a cemetery of soil (crushed Oreo cookies) with graham cracker and burnt marshmallow tomb stones, black roses, and tiny white and gold skeletons. And the icing on the cake, wait for it... my name was written in "blood" (deep red frosting.) Oh, and there were black balloons... LOTS of black balloons.
Ah... you were judging me before, but maybe now you see why I'm not a fan.
As you might imagine, I made sure there were no more Halloween birthday parties thrown for me after that. Never again, and as time passed, I got over the trauma of enduring one Halloween birthday party after another, year after year. I even found that I could now attend and almost enjoy other people's Halloween parties. Maybe it wasn't so bad. I even entered a company Halloween party and won best costume, though the rebel in me is purposely omitting a photo of said costume from this post.
And then it happened. I wasn't expecting it... and even if someone would have warned me, it wouldn't have mattered. I met, fell in love with and married, "Mr. Halloween." If you're thinking there's no such thing, I promise you there is, and I am married to him. Halloween is my husband's absolute favorite holiday. We all know that person that gets up early the day after Christmas to hit the sales and get first pick at the ornaments, wrapping paper and all the holiday accoutrement that's 50% off. Well, picture the 'Spirit Halloween Store' on November 1st, and that person is my husband. The way that I feel about miniatures pales in comparison to the way Patrick Knight feels about Halloween. And to add insult to injury, our children, or the "Knightmares" as we have affectionately named them, love the holiday as much as their Dad. Who's kids could possibly love Halloween more than Christmas? My kids.
So, I've finally made peace with how ridiculously ironic life can be, and over the past two decades I have surrendered to my fate. I've visited the Spirit Store with my husband and shopped for Halloween costumes. I've made up the faces of zombies, corpses (not the same thing), princesses and monsters. I've taken my little ones trick-or-treating and even teared up as I saw their little faces light up when someone complemented their costumes. I've even assisted Patrick and our Knightmares with turning our home into one of the "must see" haunted houses on the block. I'm not kidding... enormous spiders and webs, howling sounds, fog machines, bats, skeletons, tombstones, heads in cages... the works. October truly brings out the haunt in the Knight family. The compliments of parents and kids that knock on our door on Halloween night only fuels the madness. Every year, the decorations grow in number as Patrick attempts to up his game and compete with the other haunted houses in the neighborhood. It's really quite impressive. Please don't tell him I said that.
Daylight doesn't do justice to the Knight Family Haunted House of 2016, but my camera didn't do a very good job of capturing the details in the dark, so at the request of a friend, I took these photos the morning of November 1st. Patrick was already at the Spirit Store, and there's no shame in his game as he pushes the envelope each year leaving his Haunted House in tact until the start of the second week of November. This is just a taste, people...
When our son, Gareth was little, he LOVED Halloween, but he would sometimes get spooked by the sounds and some of the costumes that could scare any small child. And like many young children, he was also afraid of the dark. I created the electrified 'Trick-or-Treat on Hallow's Eve' room box as the solution, since it was both fun and functional.
As the years passed and Gareth outgrew his Halloween "night-light", I removed it from his bedroom and packed it up, but he and his sister began to ask about it as the month of October approached. It soon became a family tradition to bring the room box out and use it as a table centerpiece every Halloween, which in the Knight house begins at the stroke of midnight on October 1st and goes until the last ring of the door bell on October 31st.
To this day, the 'Trick-or-Treat on Hallow's Eve' room box remains one of the only miniature scenes I had ever made that includes people. Well, little people.