I usually try to get at least some Halloween decorations up by October 1st, but this year I let it slip until Columbus Day.
We’ve just added a big jack-o-lantern decoration for our street light. We got it at Bronner’s, the giant Christmas store, in Frankenmuth. I love it both in the daytime and at night.
But I know we’re really getting into the Halloween spirit when the stories of Charlie start up again around the dinner table.
Who is Charlie? See these bits of skeleton:
When we first got this creepy thing as part of a Halloween set about 3-4 years ago, I didn’t want to put it out. I thought it might be too scary for the then-preschool-aged C and E, not to mention the little ones who come trick or treating.
The twins wanted to know who the skeleton was. I kept saying, “It’s just a decoration,” and “It’s not real,” but they wouldn’t let it rest until they knew who it was.
On the 100,413th time that they asked, my oldest child, the mild-mannered M, suddenly piped in with, “That’s Charlie.”
Well, as you can imagine, that really got their attention. Who was Charlie? What had happened to the poor guy and why were we keeping his (styrofoam) bones?
“Charlie was my older brother,” M told them. “You never knew him. He was gone before you were born.”
C and E were riveted. “What happened to him?”
M leaned in and whispered something I couldn’t hear. Then the twins shrieked, and M shushed them, saying, “So learn from him. Remember what I said.” And with that they ran from the room.
I asked M what he’d told them, and he said, “I told them that he messed with your knitting and was never heard from again.”
Isn’t that equal parts awful and brilliant? I crack up every time I think of it. At any rate, it’s been very effective. The twins used to pull the needles out of my knitting, and draw long strands from the edges and center of the yarn cake, twisting them into a tangled mess. That all changed after M told them that horror story.
The Legend of Charlie grows a little bit each year. Anytime someone refuses to eat his/her dinner, help clear the table, do homework, etc, etc, M (or my husband S) will chime in with “Well, Charlie used to do that too, until….” And usually everyone breaks up laughing and talking about their fake older brother that they never knew.
If you have the funds for what I’m sure will be a hefty therapy bill later, I highly recommend M’s tactics.
Between you and me, I love the Charlie stories. It wouldn’t be Halloween without them.