Halloween is big business in the U.S. We are talking billions of dollars - and that is just for the treats.
I remember our first Halloween when we had hardly any decorations but the very natural looking bone from the previous day's leg of lamb, bought with this secondary use in mind.
Here are a couple of decoration tips (aside from preparing a leg of lamb one of the next couple of days.)
The illustration to this post is a "dry-cleaner ghost". The hanger is formed into a round head over which is hung 3-5 layers of dry-cleaner plastic. You may have the materials in the closet already. Sharpie and a glow stick (or in this case a red flashlight) finish the illusion. Glow sticks are available in most hardware stores, Earthquake supplies section.
Votive candle holders: Glass yogurt containers or jam jars with tea-lights. Again, a sharpie can do wonders.
Don't know what to use all those decorative small pumpkins for? Buy persimmons instead. For adding color to the table and giving the illusion of form. You can even draw Jack O' faces on them as you cut the rind of before eating the fruit after Halloween.
Tired of having candy for all these kids who make not show up and you have to hide the leftovers from your own children? Supplement the candy bowl with juice boxes, clementines, and small bags of crackers or cookies. The neighborhood kids have loved to get something to drink when they have been walking around for an hour and something salty to supplement all the sweet. Leftovers can be used in the lunchboxes.
Over the two decades we have lived in the U.S., our collection of scary stuff has increased, thanks mainly to other Danes who have moved back to Denmark and have used that as an excuse to scale down on their scary stuff.
Still, my Halloween-collection's biggest piece is the mosquito net from IKEA that my daughter had over her bed more than 10 years ago. Without the wooden ring that spreads it out over the bed, it makes a fabulous ghost hanging from a tree.
Now I will go carve a pumpkin to make pumpkin bread. Recipe here.