I was never one of those moms who decorated for holidays. It's not that I have anything against holiday decorations, I just dreaded hauling them to the attic every year and storing them, only to bring them back down again a year later. So, as a result, I have always had a minimalist approach to holiday decorating.
"Mom, you should see the neighbors' house. They have tombstones, cobwebs, and a spooky noise machine. Why can't we have that," my younger daughter said when we passed all the decorated houses on our street.
As I pulled in the driveway, I eyed my feeble attempt at decorating - a small skeletal figure stuck in the garden and some pretty sad looking pumpkins on the stoop.
So, I really can't explain what came over me this year when my daughter told me she might have some friends over for a little Halloween get together. I happened to be at Target and thought I would take a swing through the holiday aisle.
I was overwhelmed. There were creepy skeletons, light-up cobwebs, glittery skulls and pumpkins. Who knew all of this cool stuff existed? I guess I had lived in my minimalist holiday world for so long that I had no idea what was even possible.
Well, you can imagine what happened next. Yes, the skeleton ended up in my cart along with flashing skull lights, a light-up cobweb (you saw that one coming), black glitter pumpkins and an assortment of paper goods with a Halloween motif. I was so excited to tell my younger daughter about my purchases that I could barely wait to call her from the car.
"I got a few holiday decorations for Halloween!" I said in a sing song voice.
"It's not that kind of a party," she said in her surly new teenager way. "I don't want you to decorate the house for Halloween. That's so weird."
I eyed the skeleton in the passenger seat and the bags in the backseat bulging with Halloween swag. I was too late. I had missed the window for holiday decorating. It apparently wasn't cool anymore. Who knew there was an expiration date on holiday decorating?
I could have turned around, gone back to the store and returned everything and sulked all the way home. But I decided not to. Who says I was decorating for the kids? Maybe I just wanted a festive house for Halloween.
So, I forged ahead, hanging the skeleton in the den for everyone to see despite lots of eye rolls and deep sighs. Just wait until they see the inflatable snowman ...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.