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Since downsizing to my little loft in the heart of Bentonville, I've greatly reduced the size of my holiday decor. Whereas once I had a dozen Halloween knick-knacks and 20 Thanksgiving baubles strewn about, I now have a couple -- an iron black cat and a denim pumpkin -- commanding center stage. I think the little buggers stand straighter these days, as though they know they beat out the competition.

I also no longer go all out with skeletons, dry ice and screeching owl effects that scare children so badly they drop their buckets and run because the candy isn't worth it. Instead, I've become "that" person who turns out every light and hunkers down in hopes no one will ring the doorbell and trigger a cacophony of cataclysmic proportion. Skeletons are nothing compared to the sight of a gal in curlers, cold cream and slippers surrounded by a howling dog, two thumping rabbits and two screaming cats clamoring for the top of her head. Although ... that could be fun for next year.

So this Halloween, I lit some candles, snuggled with Baxter and flipped through channels, coming across the 1978 movie Halloween starring Jamie Lee Curtis. I'd not seen it before, and frankly, it looked pretty cheesy, but I thought, "Hey, it's a classic, and it's Halloween. It can't be a complete waste of time, even if it's not that scary."

I was so certain I'd be bored to tears that I grabbed my crochet needles and yarn -- lest you had any doubt as to the level of my uncoolness -- and hit "play." I marveled at Jamie's youthful appearance and smiled in recognition of clothing I, too, wore in the 1970s. The pace was slow, just as I knew it would be, and I crocheted away the first half of the film.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point, Baxter whimpered. Seems I might have been holding onto him a bit tightly. I gently let him go, removed the blanket covering my head,and triple-checked the door locks while telling Jamie to do likewise. That girl does not listen.

Jamie proceeded to ignore every piece of advice I caterwauled during the next hour. "Turn around! He's behind you! Don't open that door, that sucker's locked for a reason! Don't leave the knife next to the bad guy! Turn on the lights! What's wrong with your feet, did you forget how to run?!"

Candlelight flickered, making the iron cat appear to rise up from behind the denim pumpkin, at which point I tried to toss my crocheting aside, except that I might have crocheted my hair into a scarf and was physically attacked by a giant Super Saver skein of yarn when I leapt to turn on every light in the house.

Thankfully, there are no scary movies for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we can all just have a relaxing time together with family and friends. I'll choose something that sounds nice ... maybe this Home for the Holidays with Sally Field. How bad could that be?

NAN Our Town on 11/16/2017

Print Headline: Holiday horror hideout

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