Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Halloween Recap!

Every year I always like to sit down and type up a little reflection piece the day after Halloween. For me it is a fun way to wrap everything up and a great way to bring a conclusion to the holiday. I have plenty to say about the 2011 Halloween Season and I will get to all of that here in just a minute but first I have one last surprise in store for everyone!

If you look up towards the front of the page you will see a new tab entitled "Halloween Town!" I put a lot of work into this countdown and the very nature of running a blog / website hybrid like this is that newer articles push older articles down the page and eventually end up buried in internet obscurity. Unless you where sort of here periodically checking the blog throughout September and October there is a good chance you will miss these older articles. I decided to change that. Halloween Town is an archive of sorts that will be active year round and will feature every article that I covered. That way new readers can easily locate everything Halloween related in one quick and convenient location. Next year I will update it with all the 2012 Halloween Season articles and so on and so fourth. So no matter what time of year it is, you will always have something spooky to read about! Now onto the rest of the 2011 Halloween Recap post.

Halloween is one of those holidays that is either really good or really poor, I've never been able to pinpoint exactly why but at the end of some seasons you can just feel that it wasn't really worth the effort. 2010 was exactly like that and it sort of left a sour taste in my mouth coming into the 2011 season. Oh sure I was excited but I am always excited, after all it is my favorite time of the year, but I felt much more content to just sort of let things play out and see where I ended up at the end of it all. I am pleased to report that 2011 was a fantastic upswing from previous years. All of the little pieces of the puzzle fell in place. Little things that are tough to pinpoint until you can take a step back and view the entire picture.

In recent years I have gotten used to the idea that retail wise, Halloween starts in early September and generally gets ushered out by mid October. No matter how much we love the season Christmas will always be there to overshadow it. Since this early September retail trend has started I to have began celebrating "Two Months of Halloween" as a way to sort of counter the seemingly earlier and earlier push towards Christmas. The 2011 Halloween Season started right on track but I am pleasantly surprised to report that for the most part Christmas has managed to stay out the way. This is a big deal. Usually we have full blown sprawling sections with lighted trees and decorated displays playing endless loops of "Jingle Bells" by the third week of October. Halloween typically gets pushed off to the side as quickly as possible. But this year, it seemed to stick around for just as long as it was needed. Oh sure, Christmas decorations have been in stores for weeks now but they have not completely infested everything like they typically do late October.

Of course just simply sticking around longer doesn't do anyone much good if it hasn't been fun to partake in. 2011 has brought us all kinds of great items that I have wrote about. I'll save you a rundown of everything (for that check out the new section at the top of the website!) but I will say that a lot of the little items making returns or first appearances have gone a long way into making 2011 a memorable year. Old favorites like Count Chocula and Halloween Oreo's combined with the return of Ghoul-Aid all provided lots of interesting ways to either eat or drink the season.

I also really enjoyed writing about these TMNT Universal Horror Figures and telling the story of the Masters of the Universe Scare Glow toy. These are two of my favorite entries that I have ever wrote so if you have not already, please give them a look! All in all I ended up writing 33 different entries in the 2011 Halloween Countdown. Even before I started writing about the season as in depth as I do now I always worried that pretty soon companies would quit making themed Halloween products. This year especially, where I was trying to write as many Triple A blog entries as possible, I kept thinking I was going to run out of material. But every time I went to the store I seemed to spot something else that was worthy of a couple thousand words and seventeen photographs. Fact of the matter is there are lots of seasonal items out there... and for as many as I wrote about there are probably dozens that I didn't get a chance to. Sometimes all you have to do is go to the store and look. You don't even have to try that hard but if you put forth a little effort I believe you can have just as much fun as an adult celebrating Halloween that you did as a child.

Another important factor that helps for a great month of October is the weather. In the past two or three years it has been nothing but rain and near freezing cold temperatures. Not only has this combination ruined most of my outdoor decorations, it turned every day into a constant task of fixing things that got blown over by the wind and rain. It also made it really cold outside. So cold that most kids were not even wearing costumes, but basically winter gear with the occasional mask thrown over top of it. Not exactly ideal conditions for Trick or Treating. 2011 couldn't have been more opposite, weather wise it was just about as perfect as you could draw up. Almost all month long it has been in the 70s with some days even reaching upper 80s. Its provided an actual change in the seasons. Typically we just go from really hot to really cold here in Iowa, this year... we had fall weather. Here are some photos I snapped and turned into a quick slideshow for everyone:

I really don't think you could have asked for a better Halloween Season than what we have gotten here in 2011. But with that said, I do have to admit I am sort of ready for it to be over. Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween, I've loved doing this countdown, but after two full months of living and breathing severed this and limited edition that. Staying up until one or two in the morning laying out blacklights and stringing up strands of orange lights for photographs... I'm glad the end is finally here. And I am really excited to be moving on to the 2011 Christmas Countdown. I have not decided exactly when I will be switching the website over to its winter theme, but I am sure the mood will strike here very shortly.

To all my new readers, thank you so very much for checking out these articles! I don't like to get into things like page views but I will say that I set a goal a long time ago that I thought I would never cross page view wise, and you guys surpassed it and then tacked on about another 500+ on top of that. Hopefully some of you guys will stick around for the Christmas coverage, but even if that is not your thing I hope you bookmark the page and visit it periodically. I have all kinds of stuff planned not only for Christmas but throughout 2012. Including the return of the 2012 Halloween Countdown! So thank you all very much and I hope your Halloween was as memorable as mine!

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