Halloween is supposed to be fun, but let’s admit it, there are downsides to Halloween. It can be a hassle to dig the decorations out and put them up only to take them down and put them away in a couple of weeks. Buy some ready-made decorations and they can look cheesy, and they’ll set you back more than a few bucks. Halloween is second only to Christmas in how much people spend. In homes with children under 18, the average American family spends $54 a year on Halloween candy and decorations. The cost of one single family’s Halloween splurge in one year is enough to pay for that entire family’s lifetime supply of nose tweezers. In regions where people can’t afford nose tweezers, that means there’s a lot of unnecessarily hairy noses.
So what would you think about some easily available, cheap Halloween decorations? And what if, instead of mom or dad getting stuck with the lion’s share of the labor, decorating was a quick, easy, fun-for-the-whole-family activity? How much would you pay for that?
But wait, there’s more! What if these decorations help the whole family to learn revisualization and enhance creativity? Now, how much would you pay? But hold on to your wallet because there’s even more. What if all these decorations could fit in a little baggy and take up no more space in a drawer than, say, a packet of shoestrings, which by the way is the kind of budget you can work with to subsidize the decoration of every room in your home. NOW, how much would you pay?
Don’t worry. You won’t have to pay much because what we’re talking about here are googly eyes. That’s right. You read it right. Googly eyes. You know–the little white, flattish eyes with plastic casings that keep the black plastic pupil within the territorial limits of the eyeball. These, my friends, are the Halloween decoration of the future. And for the young or impish at heart, they are perfect, thank you, for your year-long decorating needs.
But what we’re talking about now is how to meet your Halloween decorating urges; moreover, how to do so without having to skip a cable payment, and without ever having to rummage through the attic, basement or garage looking for the boxes of Halloween decorations. Here’s the deal. Below, I’ve listed the instructions for how this decorating program works:
(1) Find, buy, borrow or otherwise obtain some googly eyes.
(2) Stick ’em on things.
Let’s expound a bit. Step one. You can go exotic and get the googly eyes that have sticky-glue on the back, and these will serve your googly eye purposes for a year or so. But–and this, like what you would find on the back side of Rush Limbaugh, is a big but-you will find that with repeated use the backs of the eyes will get gnarly and will lose that special stickability that you found so attractive in them in the first place. Alternatively, you can just use a glue-stick, double sided tape, or roll yourself a wee bit of masking tape and stick it on the back of the afore mentioned googly eyes. That there strategy is more penny wise as you will not be paying unnecessarily for fancy-schmancy sticky-glue-googly eyes that within a year just become eyes with hair on the back of them, which I suppose doesn’t sound that bad as a Halloween decoration, but believe me, you want to stay away from the hairy eyeball situation. The non-sticky-glue googly eye approach is the way that makes good economic sense. That is the way my dad would do it. That is, if my dad were to ever invest money in googly eyes. Which he would never do. But if he did, that is the way he would do it.
So we are all in agreement that you should go with the regular, non-sticky-glue googly eyes. But there are two other considerations here. First, you gotta gotta gotta get a variety of sizes of googly eyes. This is because, as you will soon see, you can’t exactly anticipate where these eyes will end up, so be prepared for a diversity of situations. My general advice here is go with the Big-Tent approach to googly eyes. Be all-inclusive. Get teeny tiny ones, and get some big ones. Second, and this is perhaps way more important than you can imagine, get a least a couple of pairs of glow-in-the-dark googly eyes. Okay. It isn’t important. None of this is actually important. We’re just having fun here. And glow-in-the-dark googly eyes are fun. Period. Get them. I command you.
Sorry. I got carried away there. This is America. You make your own free-will based decision as to whether you should get glow-in-the-dark googly eyes (yes) or get nothing but regular googly eyes (no), possibly disappointing your children and resulting in the need for tens of thousands of dollars in therapy and a life-time of simmering resentment that eventually rots away your relationship with your children and that burns deep within their souls even years after you are dead and buried. Do what you think is best. The choice is yours.
Now for step two, “Stick ’em on things”. This is where I pause and get serious. Pause. Really, folks, let’s spend some creative time with the kids. What kind of imagination does it take to stick a cardboard witch to the wall? Let’s get the kids’ left hemisphere humming. Heck. Get your own left hemisphere fired up. First give the kidsters the idea of what you’re doing in this decorating project by putting a couple of googly eyes on just about anything. Stick them on a salt shaker and suddenly you have” Ol’ Salty”. Put them on a plant, and you’ve got “Ms. Green”. Turn most anything into a little critter. Remember Pee Wee Herman’s chair, Cherry? It was pretty much nothing more than a chair with big googly eyes. And Pee Wee got 22 Emmys for this.
Reserve the glow-in-the-dark eyes for objects near lamps. “Charge up the eyes”, then turn down the lights. The kids will love it. You can even turn the lamp itself into a critter. A couple of strategically placed googly eyes transform an ordinary bedside light into “Whitey the Lighty”.
See if you can find things that appear to have a nose or mouth-shaped shading, contour or texture. If you like, name your critters as you make them. Experiment with what things “come to life” with a pair of eyes attached. Get the kids to start looking at everyday objects in a different way. This is exactly what creative thinking is: looking at things in a different way. Help foster your kids’ imagination by stretching their vision. Oddly enough, googly eyes are perfect for the “widening the vision” thing. Most importantly, have fun. That, after all, is the main point of Halloween.
For some examples of creative use of googly eyes check out this website: http://googlyeyewatch.blogspot.com/.