Halloween has recently had to tie with Thanksgiving for my personal favorite holiday, but up until then was the absolute fave. ‘Tis awesome. You get to dress up as someone else, you get to eat candy, you get to give other children candy and hand them back to their parents. And you get to do things to your front yard that involve bones and dead plants and it looks good.
This year I optioned not to do my traditional Halloween party — the personal party will be at Maris Farms in their Haunted Woods, and that’s all good and I will blather about that maybe after I actually go. To get my costume fetish on, though, I participated in our floor’s Halloween Contests.
That’s right. FLOOR. As in some 70-odd people on one of the 15 floors of Expedia got together under a common goal: beat the pants off of the other 14 floors for prizes and notoriety. And that’s right: Contests! The two up for grabs were for best kids activity and best decorations. Originally intending to do haunted pirate-age, we switched gears to Haunted Alice in Wonderland.
If you guessed yours truly, you are correct. Much to my everlasting chagrin, I put my most charming sweet innocent shy naive and unassuming self forward and got in Alice character for three hours yesterday. But this didn’t start yesterday.
Four weeks ago a small band of folks got together and charmed some cash from the higher-ups on the floor. (My higher up is the most awesome, by 250%). We committeed up and figured out games and theme and who could bring what. As the weeks crept by we had images in our head of the new Alice in Wonderland’s tea party (complete with Mad Hatter): a small pile of books in the corner of a long table, with mismatched linens and dishes, and of course, haunted items. (Did your Wonderland Tea Party include severed fingers, a skull, and some prepackaged brains? no?). Large paper mushrooms (and 3-d ones, with the help of redecorated umbrellas), trees, flowers, bats, spiders, a small graveyard, a castle, and a red mountain circled the periphery. The movie and soundtrack to Alice in Wonderland played in the room, Jabberwocky was written on the whiteboard, and Cupcake Royale donated 200 miniature cupcakes as an exit gift. Everyone brought in mismatched chairs, we spread spanish moss over the floor (plastic first!), and developed puzzle pieces and games (bean bag toss, find the coin in the pool, and “fishing”) for small children to play in order to get to the Grand Prize — a conference room table piled with candy and the Mad Hatter.
We didn’t win.
Here’s my quandary: we didn’t win, we didn’t even place, and I honestly do not know how that is possible (we checked out other floors and agree there was only 1 that was better). Even the lady running the event isn’t sure how it’s possible. Every parent and child who walked through that room had their jaw drop, were amazed at the depth of detail, and thrilled that not only did the kids have interactive games but little prizes along the way. People, I had parents requesting me to be in pictures with their kids. I had kids and parents saying “This is just like Disneyland!”. So yes, we didn’t win the contest.
But I haven’t seen the folks on my floor this excited about anything in a long, long time. We started decorating Thursday night at 2pm, folks got in early on a Friday to help decorate in the morning. We had volunteers for the games stations, people bringing in their GOOD dishes from home just to lend authenticity. The level of excitement and happiness and *care* on the floor was beyond anything I’ve experienced in my six plus years here.
I am personally proud of our floor.
And in my opinion, we *did* win. So there.