Tips for Handling Post-Halloween Depression

Well, it’s happened. Another Halloween season has come and gone, and it’ll be 11 long months until our favorite holiday comes back around. Post-Halloween Depression is real.  There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do during the month of October. While it’s easy to fall into the trappings of woulda, shoulda, coulda, guilt never brought back Halloween any sooner. If you have a serious issues, get help.  Young folks, talk to someone. For reals. Maybe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is the loneliest time of the year and it doesn’t have to be.

If you think you got a handle on it and you’re just looking for ways to squeeze the spookiness outta the holidays. Here’s a few helpful tips:

Find Your Tribe

Life is simply too short not to hang with people who don’t engage your interest, inspire your creativity or support your vision, even if it’s just turning your front yard into a cemetery every October.

Halloween groups on Pinterest, Reddit and Facebook are great places to find likeminded fans. Commiserating with others helps us not feel so alone, and trust me, you are not the only one who cannot bear to watch Freeform’s sugary programming on repeat for the next two months.

ALL my Friends are Spooky

Shop ’til You Drop

Don’t put away that credit card just yet because shopping for Halloween items is even better after Halloween. This is the time when stores are blowing out their stocks and have slashed prices from 50-80% off.  Spirit stores, Michaels, Joanns and World Market, just to name a few, all have big sales still going on. Never underestimate the power of retail therapy.

Scare up Your Next Halloween

There’s no time to cry when you’re a notebook deep full of ideas for next Halloween, and next year is gonna be a doozy. Halloween 2020 will be on a Saturday, there’ll be a full moon and that’s also the day we set our clocks back. Sounds auspicious already!

Let Autumn Linger

I don’t understand why people insist on rushing into Christmas when we have the beauty and wonder of the harvest to celebrate. Pumpkins, scarecrows, fall leaves, much of what we love about Autumn is what we love about Halloween, and nothing is better than natural spookiness of fall.

dark-autumn-days-inge-bovens

You can always decorate with autumn lights and harvest candles. Hang a fall wreath on the front door or somewhere over the mantle. Instead of the Christmas tree, put up an autumn tree during the month of November. Check out this fantastic autumn home decor from All for Fall & Halloween member Megan Sanders:

Give Thanks to Dark and Moody

Maybe you’re one that needs to feed your gothic soul all twelve months outta the year. Well, Wednesday, keep your striped socks on, because it’s quite easy to flip the holidays to satisfy our love for all things dark and brooding, as seen here in this incredibly beautiful dark holiday photography:

For more photos like these, check out our Dark and Moody Holidays board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/halloweenkristy/dark-and-moody-holidays/

Celebrate Bad Santa

Of all the bad Santa origin stories in the world, Germany’s Krampus is the clear winner. The half-goat, half-demon, schnapps loving, children whipping, horned god of the witches is the most recognizable of all holiday bad boys and has been depicted in numerous way, but the consistency has always been his long twisted horns, a long tail, snake-like tongue, razor-sharp claws, and black hooves for feet. Additionally, he often wears a long heavy coat, wrapped in heavy chains, with some type of big bell attached.

Krampus is bad cop to Santa’s good cop. He carries a bundle of birch branches for whipping naughty children and stuffs the really, really bad ones into a basket or sack that he takes home to torture, drown and eat.

How this devil ended up as Santa’s evil sidekick is a mystery but he’s the only one celebrated internationally, even has his own designated night, Krampusnacht on December 5th

Embrace the Spooky Side of the Holidays

Krampus is more proof that Halloween and Christmas go together like peanut butter and jelly. Artists, creators, and movie makers have been genre-bending and making the holidays scary for decades.

From twisted Santa histories to spooky holiday tales, there are plenty of the dark or supernatural elements to admire or revere during the holiday season.

So, dry your tears and get to planning, cuz the holiday scares are just beginning. Put some fangs on your snowman or hang some bloody reindeer antler bones on your front door and your relatives just might behave on Thanksgiving day.

 

Poe Sundays

mourningwidow1873

For Annie
by Edgar Allan Poe
(1849)

Thank Heaven! the crisis,
The danger, is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last—
And the fever called “Living”
Is conquered at last.
Sadly, I know
I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length—
But no matter!—I feel
I am better at length.
And I rest so composedly,
Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
Might fancy me dead—
Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.
The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing
At heart:—ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!
The sickness—the nausea—
The pitiless pain—
Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain—
With the fever called “Living”
That burned in my brain.
And oh! of all tortures
That torture the worst
Has abated—the terrible
Torture of thirst
For the naphthaline river
Of Passion accurst:—
I have drank of a water
That quenches all thirst:—
Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground—
From a cavern not very far
Down under ground.
And ah! let it never
Be foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy
And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
In a different bed—
And, to sleep, you must slumber
In just such a bed.
My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting, its roses—
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:
For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
About it, of pansies—
A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies—
With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.
And so it lies happily,
Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
And the beauty of Annie—
Drowned in a bath
Of the tresses of Annie.
She tenderly kissed me,
She fondly caressed,
And then I fell gently
To sleep on her breast—
Deeply to sleep
From the heaven of her breast.
When the light was extinguished,
She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
To keep me from harm—
To the queen of the angels
To shield me from harm.
And I lie so composedly,
Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
That you fancy me dead—
And I rest so contentedly,
Now in my bed
(With her love at my breast).
That you fancy me dead—
That you shudder to look at me,
Thinking me dead:—
But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
For it sparkles with Annie—
It glows with the light
Of the love of my Annie—
With the thought of the light
Of the eyes of my Annie.

6 More Things to Do When It’s not Halloween

Happy Walpurgisnacht! We are halfway to Halloween and another long, hot, miserable summer is just around the corner. Last year, around this time, I shared with you 10 Things to Do When It’s Not Halloween.  Sometimes, we tend to focus on the bad so much that we forget to concentrate on the good, like the fact there are plenty of Halloweenesque activities to do to keep us happy until October.

Plant a pumpkin

The Pumpkin is the ultimate symbol of Halloween. It’s the heralded icon. The shepherd of the holiday. One could argue it’s the whole reason that Halloween even exists. Planting your own pumpkin can be rewarding in a number of ways. For starters, you’re doing something nice for the environment. Your pumpkin can be insecticide and chemical-free. Second, it might be more economical than buying a pumpkin at the store, particularly if you live in rural areas. Next, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that gardening relieves stress. Watching your little pumpkin grow makes you happy. That alone is totally worth it. Next, you can brag about it on your Instagram and social media. Create a photo album tracking your pumpkins growth. Lastly, you’ll have an amazing pumpkin to carve into a jack-o’-lantern by Halloween!

The Farmer’s Almanac has all the info you need on growing pumpkins:
https://www.almanac.com/plant/pumpkins

bonnie plants pumpkin
©Bonnie Plants

Paint Halloween ceramics

Lemax and Department 56 are awesome, no doubt about it, but they’re also a little pricy.  Why not try and create your own Halloween village? Everything you need, ceramics, materials, and the tutorials that teach DIYers how to create certain looks with paint, can all be found online. Likewise, you can find paint, brushes and other materials at your local arts and crafts stores. You can paint your own ceramic haunted house and knick-knacks, or add new items to storebought villages piecemeal.

Bonus: Painting ceramics can be a soothing way to relax and hone in your concentration skills

Watch all 1225 episodes of Dark Shadows

ABC’s dark gothic soap opera Dark Shadows featuring vampires, witches, ghosts, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures, aired 30-minute episodes on weekdays from 1966-1971.

The first season sluggishly produced efficient melodrama, romance, and the usual family squabbles, as found in a typical daytime soap, until introducing the charismatic, creepy, and somewhat sexy character of Barnabas Collins, a centuries-old vampire played by Jonathan Frid. From that point, the show became his show and Frid’s portrayal of the powerful Barnabas helped boost audience viewership and eventually, made him a horror icon.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Create your own Halloween florals

You can certainly wait for fall to buy some artificial autumn florals or black roses, but it’s always been my belief that some fake flowers are “fuller” than others, during different times of the year. This is certainly just an opinion, based on no facts whatsoever, but if we always paid attention to facts, we’d have no fun at all!

For those of you looking to dye real flowers black, the good people over at Florist Chronicles have put together one of the most comprehensive tutorials on how to create black flowers that I’ve ever seen. Check it out: www.floristchronicles/2011/create-black-flowers

black vase Steph O Rama
©Steph O Rama

Create a spooky centerpiece

After you create some black florals, you may need a haunted vase to put them in. You can turn any dollar store vessel into a gothic or Halloween centerpiece with some black paint, a glue gun, some fake spiders and other Halloween objects.

spray painted vases paige taylor evans
©Paige Taylor Evans

Check out this amazing easy to make spider vase tutorial over at KS Craft Shack:
http://www.craftshackchronicles.com/dollar-store-crafting-spider-halloween/

spider vase ks craft shack
©KS Craft Shack

Need more ideas, check out the Halloween florals board on Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/halloweenkristy/gothic-halloween-florals/

Visit a cemetery

Cemeteries are lovely quiet little places, open all year around. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting under a tree and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature of a cemetery in the springtime, a time when the flowers and trees are in full bloom. There’s something meaningful, even bit ironic, about so much life flourishing among the dead. Just when you thought your little goth heart didn’t like pastels.

Go early and you’ll have a chance to photograph the gravestones before the morning mist burns off, or try in the late afternoon to catch those eerie shadows falling over the tombstones.

springtime greenwood cemetery
Springtime ©Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

 

Season’s Greetings from Halloween Haiku

Happy holidays!  After the busy Halloween season, it was good to take a little break in November and gear up for December festivities. I’ve mentioned before that I think Christmas and Halloween are close cousins. They go hand-in-hand and mix well like peanut butter and jelly. Point in case, Tim Burton’s classic Nightmare Before Christmas. There’s plenty to do and see during the holidays that appeal to Halloweenophiles, so there’s no need to reject December or feel blue. Get creative! Haunted holidays is an awesome theme for decorations. Make Halloween themed Christmas cookies. Make a scary gingerbread house. Watch a scary Christmas movie, and who doesn’t love shopping for cool Halloween items to fill your gothic or black stocking up with? Lastly, there’s the iconic Krampus. The antithesis of jolly Santa Clause. He’s scarier than any Universal monster and twice as old.

This month, is basically a chance for second Halloween.  So, check back often. Halloween Haiku is going to have plenty of new haiku, fun stuff and cool ideas that our pumpkin-loving hearts will enjoy.

Have yourself a scary little Christmas and beware of Krampus!

Gruss_vom_Krampus.jpg
Vintage Krampus postcard circa 1900