The Art of Darkness

Halloween Awards

November 4th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Skull ScoutsTo my vast and ongoing dismay, we live in a non-trick-or-treat-friendly location.* This means that I have no reason to decorate my yard (sob!), and Shadowboy has always trick-or-treated with friends in their more candy-accessible neighborhoods.

For the past several Halloweens we’ve tagged along with the same friend, and every year the neighborhood has become more and more lackluster, with long stretches of darkened houses and few decorations. This year, since Shadowboy and a different friend were dressing as Marty McFly and Doc Brown, we accompanied that friend instead. Walking into that kid’s neighborhood was like Dorothy getting her first look at Oz: Nearly every house was lit and there were decorations galore. Several people had done such a bang-up job of decorating that I walked up and thanked them for putting in the time and effort, and that’s when it occurred to me: Next year I need to carry a supply of “Good Job on Halloween!” awards to give out at particularly sincere houses.

My first thought was a merit badge-type patch; various scouting organizations have “unofficial” patches for holidays, which can be ordered inexpensively, and it’s even possible to have custom patches created. There’s also an Etsy shop which sells “Mythical Merits:” A variety of spooky merit badge designs that can be ordered as buttons or magnets (there’s a full list of designs here).

I like the idea of a small, lightweight item, since they’d be cheap to order in quantity and easy to carry around–you could keep a few handy all year, just in case you feel the need to reward someone displaying the Halloween spirit in the off-season–but it turns out that trophies and medals are also surprisingly inexpensive. Online suppliers like Trophy Depot and Crown Awards have a large selection, and if you wanted to bring along one or two as awards for particularly well-done yards, you’d probably make some home haunter’s whole week. (If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could even hand out a different design each year so dedicated haunters could collect the whole set.)

People who spend the time and money to decorate certainly like to have their efforts appreciated; this would be a neat way to thank them for making the neighborhood a little spookier.


*It’s a hugely long driveway immediately off of a highway, with swathes of woods between it and the nearby houses (which are all arranged similarly). To trick-or-treat in our neighborhood, you’d need a compass and a bloodhound.

(Image from Skull-a-Day)

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