Saturday, December 12, 2009

Having a Happy Spooky Holiday

I love putting some creepiness into the holiday season. It's not about ghouls and ghosts and Frankenstein--we did that almost two months ago. It's about putting vintage and world market things into your holiday.

Take for instance this gift bag above. I got it at Cost Plus World Market for $2.99. You can't beat that. It has a definite creepiness-heck, I think nutcrackers are scary and freaky! It says to folks "this is coming from your friend who sees the world in an unsettling way."

Import/Old World looking items are fantastic for setting a traditional holiday mood. I know some people who decorate with besoms (witches brooms) and other old New England items to get an historic feel with a metal pot over the fireplace grate and an old fashioned popcorn popper used over the fire. On my Christmas Tree which is decorated with all colors of metal balls from gold to silver to bronze to copper, I also have ornaments--but only ones with meanings. I have a Viking ship and a Scottish bagpiper, a Virginia is for Lovers keychain, reindeer, and a few Halloween items to represent me, a Jack O'Lantern and an ornament I made to represent the local ghost hunting group I adore, "MVD Ghostchasers."

For more mood, you can take old photos (like the one above) and scan them. Print them out in black and white and decoupage them onto a little oval wood tile you can buy in the craft store. Decoupage with 1 part water to 3 parts glue and brush it onto the surface, put the photo down, then brush it atop of the photo as you smooth it out. Screw an eye hook into the top of it for hanging and you're done. If you use old family photos and do them in black and white, you can have a very nostalgic tree. You can also find things like old-fashioned looking lanterns and hurricane lamps at import shops and even at craft stores like Joann. Candlelight is the ultimate spooky feel, as are fires in the fireplace, and lights on dimmers. Honestly, I have a neighbor who likes to play opera on her home stereo and that to me is the ultimate moody feeling.

I suggest looking to the Victorian era and also the countries of your roots. When I was growing up, we did Norwegian Christmases. We would make paper woven heart-shaped ornaments and straw reindeer and hang them from the tree with live candles--yes! It's hard to believe we survived my childhood. Actually, we lit it on Christmas Eve when we had Smorgasbord and opened our gifts. Santa's gifts were the only ones on Christmas Day and all us five kids slept in one room together to be certain no one snuck out to peek.

During the year, keep in mind when at flea markets and antique shops to look at items as potential ornaments and you'll find yourself discovering many creepy and fascinating things that can add an Old World/Historic feel.

Have a happy moody atmospheric holiday!


  1. My dear friend, your creative pov makes me smile. It's great to have such a special friend that also doesn't see the box. Thanks for a great article. Hugs, Sue

  2. Hey Sue;
    Glad you stopped by! You're always welcome here. :-)

  3. Just found your blog. Great stuff. Will definitely be following.

  4. Hey Grimm;
    Glad you like my blog. You're welcome on-board. Love to get lots of responses and knock around theories and ideas.

  5. Autumnforest -I agree with the other commenters and also love it when a "new" commenter comes in!!
    I agree about your creative capacity and pov -that is a blessing to have right there-and i think this quote -usually attributed to A Einstein is the absolute truth and applies to people with great imaginations like yourself
    "Imagination is more important than intelligence." -I think never a truer words spoken by an incredibly smart man who also was able to think outside-up and down-and around the box -and gave us relativity theory etcetera
    I think it is cool how he said his biggest blunder in his life (the cosmological constant) because it was thought to be wrong-just may in the end be right!
    so keep up the great work and most importantly the "unique" and original work!!!
    all the best to you and also your family for this season -man its going by fast-haha good analogy for this comment "faster than light" :-)
    thanks again for your fantastic blog and fantastic comments!!!

  6. I liked that old world feel too. I think Dickens old English setting from A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite settings. The Scandinavian setting is good too. I remember reading a story in High School that took place around Christmas in a Scandinavian country and I remember enjoying it because I liked the setting. I don't remember the title or much about it now, but I think it was some sort of 'classic'.

  7. Dev;
    My the sun shining on my blog... Thanks for your compliments. You make me blush. I think you'll enjoy some of the upcoming posts. Lots of things to ponder. I can't seem to leave knowledge alone, I want to apply it and make connections and find new ways to use it. I have never fit in peg really, but you make me feel like I fit in all pegs. I guess that makes me a universal skeleton key. Cool! Thanks :-)

  8. Hey Jeff;
    When my son and I were looking around Cost Plus we found these beautiful Russian dishes with little Russian girls (reminded me of those nesting dolls the Russians make--one doll inside another inside another...) He got his girlfriend a pitcher with the design on it. She will totally flip. We go gah-gah over all things North Country. Our Norwegian tree was beautiful. I should write a short post about the Xmases. They were pretty amazingly cute! Thanks for the idea, actually. You always inspire me to go off on tangents that are serendipitous!

  9. I do like your decorating ideas. The gift bag does make for a cool picture to hang on the wall.