The front of our homes!


What would Halloween be without decorations? It's true that fall wouldn't be quite the same without the perennial Halloween decorations that bring life to this dreary time of the year.

Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. The warm cup of hot chocolate in my hands is soothing, and one whiff of its sweet aroma brings me right back to my childhood. I'm at the arena for my daughter's figure skating lessons. I have not forgotten the snacks and homework for her younger brother. This has been the routine since the school year began, which leaves no doubt that fall has definitely arrived. Snapping out of my reverie, I turn to my son and ask him, "Do you like fall?" And my darling son answers me, "Yeah, that's cool."

I keep the conversation on topic, talking to him about going back to school, hockey starting again and his birthday approaching, but I quickly realize what matters most to him: Halloween. Listening to him, I understand that, for young people like my son, Halloween bridges the gap between summer vacation and the holiday season. It's as if this holiday was meant to be at this point in time, only to bring some sense to fall, making this season more exciting.

With the days getting shorter and the day-to-day routine that comes back to life, getting ready for this holiday is a moment of pure joy for kids. As early as the last week of September, Halloween already takes up a huge chunk of our lives — we must think about finding costumes and start stocking up on candy, something very important for my children. They want to give their neighborhood friends the best and most popular candy — especially not St. Catherine’s Taffy. So whenever we go to the grocery store, they never fail to remind me what we have to buy.

But what would Halloween be without decorations? My son loves looking at the pumpkins, spiders and other Halloween ornaments that adorn the homes in our neighbourhood — quite normal for a child of a designer, you might say. Whether we're in the car or on foot, he comments on every home we see with decorations in front, and I'm pretty sure he does the same with his friends on the bus.

It's true that fall wouldn't be quite the same without the perennial Halloween decorations that bring life to this dreary time of the year. Once the trees are stripped of their colourful foliage and the weather turns gray and gloomy, it's good to see vivid orange colours in front of houses and feel that there's still some life left in the neighbourhood — where our children play in the streets and our neighbours make fall warmer and much more alive with their decorations.

Of course, when imagination, talent and budget come together, it's much easier to succeed in creating a spectacular façade. For me, though, it's not the ostentatious side that matters. I find homes decorated in a minimalist way quite interesting. Often, some squash along the edges of walkways, a family-decorated pumpkin on the stairs or a wreath hung over the door are just enough to do the trick. These little touches on the homes in our neighborhood are what break the monotony of fall.

Finishing the conversation with my darling son, I realize that children see things differently in their environment — they do not need to analyze everything like us. They "like" or "do not like" things in life. What we need to do, as adults, is to nurture magic moments — like the transition from summer to autumn — mostly by lining the edges of your walkway with a few pumpkins or decorating the front of your home.
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About the author

Caroline Larocque began her career as a kitchen designer right after she completed her studies.

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