Two years ago, probably a day after Halloween, I was struck with another of those impossible-to-ignore urges to throw a specific party for my favorite little kiddos.
A Halloween party.
In the woods.
And I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like…
I saw a spread in Country Living once (hey look! I found it: click here) featuring an outdoor Halloween party inspired by festivities of yore where costumes were less “dress-like-your-favorite-Disney-princess” and more festive and Halloweenish. Here’s an example of one of the antique costumes at the party:
I was completely taken with the idea, and tucked it away in the back of my brain where it sat for years. Every Halloween, I would think about it and pine for such a party and costumage (you can go ahead and add that word to your handy-dandy-Mrs. Gore-Dictionary); and as Halloween 2011 drew to a close, I made a decision. We would have our old-school Halloween party next year, or I would die trying.
Only one problem.
Vintage Halloween clothes are ‘spensive. And rare. And just like there weren’t a lot of WWII-kids-party supplies out there when it was time for Gid’s 6th birthday, I had trouble finding any reproductions of old-school Halloween clothes on the market today. I know, right? Cray-cray.
So we did the next best thing and bought every Halloween dress and accessory that Cracker Barrel had to offer. Every year, they sell an assortment of black, orange, purple or gold dresses with lots of tulle, and by the time we bought them after Halloween, they cost about as much as an Arby’s value meal.
Thus, for a full year, my Mom had bags of poofy dresses and funny hats hidden in her closet, waiting to surprise the children on a beautiful October afternoon in 2012.
Oh, and there was one bright orange shirt for Gideon from the hunting section at Wal-Mart.
And here were the goals of our party: 1. The entire concept had to be a surprise – when the kids arrived at Grandmother’s house for the party, we wanted them to have NO IDEA where they would be going or what they would be wearing, 2. We wanted to allow them to walk through the woods to the party alone – with the oldest being 8, this would be a big and memorable deal for them (and Amy would shadow them with her camera, of course!), and 3. Have a festive and magical hole-in-the-wall-type party all set up when they arrived.
And shiver me broomstick, we did it! I will admit, I almost died of fatigue before this party even started, loading and unloading mountains of supplies, single-handedly arranging all those haybales and pumpkins, and then there were the three giant wasps nests we discovered above the party table about an hour before go-time (my Mom is a rockstar and slayed every single one of them without fear)…
but this afternoon will forever be cherished in my heart as one of my favorites. The kids loved it. And I loved watching them love it. Take a look…
As a fittingly full moon began to shine through the trees…
our Halloween party in the Woods mozied to an end and we made our way back to Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house…
With a huge mess to clean up?
But our Halloween-lovin’ hearts were oh so full and happy…
Happy Halloween, dear friends!