In the Philippines, Halloween is not such a big deal. It is considered a more Western tradition and is thus not really given all that much attention. Sure, it answers our inner need for dramatics and our seemingly inherent sweet tooth but, on the whole, the day and the event go by with not too much fanfare.
That doesn’t mean nothing happens at all.
In some villages in the suburbs, the association organizes a village trick or treat event which give the kids (and the parents!) the opportunity to dress up in their most creative costume. This is one part of what a lot of those involved find fun. Here, not every costume needs to be scary. In fact, dressing up like your favorite super hero or your favorite childhood character is more than enough. You will see the simplest Casper costume, to the elaborate Jesse of Toy Story, to any of the Disney Princess, to Ben 10, Justice League, even Thomas the Tank Engine! It really is that time to let the imagination run free.
But it isn’t just about getting all dressed up. This is just a part of the fun as was mentioned earlier. Another big part of the fun is dressing up your home’s entrance for the visiting ghosts, witches, princes and princesses. Since the kids and accompanying guardians don’t really go beyond your front door, all care is taken to dress up this block of wood, any front-facing window, or even the smallest patch of garden or front lawn.
For single moms like me, the cost of dressing the front portion of my home is just an expense that falls far below the list of essential expenses. But I also would like for my kids to experience the trick or treat and dress up fun that really only comes once a year. So it is a challenge for me to allot money towards this event.
Halloween decorating on a budget
Here was what I did this year. I decided to decorate my front door and two front windows with spiders, rats, and clay pots. Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Well, I thought it was and really, really easy and inexpensive too!
First, I bought 4 packs of these realistic looking rubber spiders (6 to a pack), about ping pong ball size each, for php60 ( 1 USD= 43 PHP by the way), and used super glue to glue white yarn to parts of their body. I then thumb tacked the other end of the yarn to the tops of my door and window frames to make them look like they were hanging down from the top of the door and windows, in the act of perhaps making a spider web.
I then bought 2 packs of again-realistic looking rubber rats, black with the red eyes, each about the size of a small empanada and 8 to a pack, for php70, and lined the rodents up on the edges of the windowsills.
Finally, I took 2 medium sized clay pots, filled them with some Christmas lights (handy to get these tested for the coming Holidays, too!) and them lightly covered them with orange reflective paper. I didn’t enclose them nor did I place the paper anywhere need the bulbs to avoid creating a fire hazard and I made sure that the lights I used were the outdoor, all-surface ones. This gave off an orange glow. Then I placed the remaining rodents around each pot.
These were super cheap, super easy things to prepare and to fix up for Halloween. They are also really easy to put away after. The best part is that I can use these props again next year, for another Halloween design. All in all I spent around less than $15 on everything.
Although Halloween is not a major activity in my country, it is still a day that brings joy to a lot of kids playing dress up, running from house to house, asking for sweets and treats. It feels great to join in on the fun without breaking my wallet.
How do you save money on decorating for Halloween?