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)

Posted in Paint It Black | 8 Comments »

8 Responses

  1. Fiend4Halloween Says:

    That would really mean a lot to a home haunter. I decorate my home, i’m the only one within blocks that does it and it usually takes a month to finish. Balls out is the only way to go and i get about the same amount of adults as children, that want to come over and look around. Always nice people, asking if they can take pix/vids and i encourage them to come up and walk around. The “thank you’s” I get are enough but if someone came around with some cool award, I’d be jazzed!

  2. Mim Says:

    That sounds great. Some businesses in my uncle’s town did a ‘Halloween trail’ this year, and as he always makes so much effort – very unusual in the UK – they asked if he’d mind them putting his house on it. He was so chuffed to be appreciated.

  3. Craft Says:

    Great idea! I hope in our next house to finally start doing a real Halloween Party and going all out. As the kids outgrow huge birthday parties I’m going to need an outlet…

  4. KJ Says:

    What a great idea. Not only do I decorate the yard every year but I give out full-sized peanut-free chocolate bars. People come from blocks away during the month of October to see my progress and to see what is new that year.
    I get a lot of thank yous and job well dones but a badge of merit would be great. It could become part of the display. :)

    This year the main yard was a pumpkin patch, including a 6 foot tall man-eating pumpkin. Next year, that area will be a graveyard. Mix it up and keep them intrigued, I say. :)

    By the way, so sorry you cannot decorate. I know it must be very disappointing.

  5. Oldhalloween Says:

    We gave out little packages of cookie mix and Halloween cookie cutters to yard haunters to say nice job! Ordered them by the case to save money.

    Its hard to find many homes decorated locally. Making a point of rewarding the effort and giving a prize just reinforces how important it is to keep the Halloween spirit in your heart!

    Can’t wait to see what you have made up. At costume conventions you get hallway ribbons so I love the badge idea!

  6. Hillenmansion Says:

    We put a lot of time and effort into making our Halloween yard unique. We make all of our own decorations and have had neighbors tell us that they look forward to it all year. This year was a Nightmare Before Christmas/Disney Haunted Mansion theme. We set up the Holiday trees with Scarecrow Jack up front as a photo backdrop for the kids. I think we get as much out of it as they do. But hearing a thank you or ‘nice job’ is always appreciated.

  7. Frances Says:

    What a lovely idea! I’d be jazzed if anyone showed up to my Halloween display, let alone gave me a prize for effort! Like you, we’re well off the beaten path and there are no kids in the area, so usually no one but family sees it. I did put a small tombstone display at the end of our lane this year and had one of the neighbors call me a devil worshipper. That’s some recognition I guess. :) I took it as a compliment!

  8. StoneMaven Says:

    This is a fantastic idea! I will look into doing it around here.

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