The 2013 Halloween Mood Table!


It’s October. Officially October. Undeniably October.

I’m happy it’s here, but I’m also petrified. The Halloween season is moving so FAST this year! September flew by in what felt like a week, and I’m sure October will be no different. Be sure to make the most of it, guys.

A good way to start? Build your Halloween Mood Table!

Many of you will remember last year’s version, but longtime readers know that this tradition started way back in 2007. Life threw me a few curveballs that year, and I just couldn’t get into the Halloween spirit. The Halloween Mood Table was my last ditch effort to get back in the groove, and while I won’t pretend that it turned rust to gold and made everything in the universe stink of caramel apples, it was an always-present reminder of why Halloween is awesome.

The concept: Grab a small table. Like a coffee table, or something even smaller. Anything, really. Anything that could be loosely construed as a table. Cover it with Halloween shit, and put it in a place of prominence. At heart, that’s all it is. A shrine to Halloween. An immediate spirit-booster. A chance to decorate!

Here’s what I came up with for this year’s Mood Table:


She’s a trash heap, but a beautiful one. I wanted to go a bit bigger than usual, so this is actually two tables. (Look close and you’ll spot a taller “tray table” behind the standard tiled one I use every year.)

It’s loaded with toys, books, DVDs, candy, and all sorts of decorations. You can’t look at this and not love Halloween. You also can’t walk within five feet of it without somehow knocking half of it over. It’s like Mutant Stupid Dominoes.

Thinking about creating your own Halloween Mood Table? Great! I’ve prepared a FAQ to help guide you through…

Halloween Mood Table FAQ
Note: Not all questions have been asked frequently, or at all.
Version 1
October 2013

What is a Halloween Mood Table?
A small table covered with Halloween goodies of all types, preferably stationed in a part of your home where you’ll very often see it.

What is the point of a Halloween Mood Table?
Aside from just looking good, your Mood Table should constantly reinvigorate your love of the Halloween season – and maybe even provide direct ways for you to enjoy it.

What kind of table should I use?
That’s totally up to you, but you don’t need to “go big.” Even the smallest table will work. Hell, things that aren’t even tables will work. An old TV tray with flip-out legs would do just fine, for example.

What should I put on my Mood Table?
The things you choose should “move you” in one way or another. When you look at my Mood Table, you only see a pile of decorations, toys and garbage. But so many of those items have personal meaning.

Should my Mood Table be as “saturated” as yours?
It certainly doesn’t have to be. If you want to turn it into a major project, great. They’re fun to build. But the true point of a Mood Table is to be a visual reminder that it’s the Halloween season. So long as you look at yours and are inspired to “do Halloween things,” it doesn’t matter if it’s topped with one thing or a hundred things.

You said that my Mood Table could provide “direct ways” for me to enjoy the season?
This step is not mandatory, but I like to stuff my Mood Table with spooky books, horror DVDs and other things that fall under the umbrella of “activities.” (Past Mood Tables have included everything from pads and crayons to a small television.) The theory is that you’ll be more likely to read/watch/do those things if they’re out on your Mood Table.

When should I set up my Mood Table?
October 1st is my chosen day. Some people may prefer to start earlier. I like starting in October because it’s a good way to signal a major difference between celebrating Halloween in September and celebrating Halloween NOW. If you feel like a whole month is too much of a spatial commitment, you can also start later.

Any other tips?
I’ve found that Mood Tables work best when they have some sort of illumination. (That’s why I dumped a strand of orange lights on mine.) Adding a bit of a glow can transform your Mood Table into a really interesting nightlight, too. If outlets are in short supply, you can always eke by with candles. Just avoid setting your house on fire, Clark.

I also like to include a bowl of Halloween candy. Even if don’t eat much of it, consulting that bowl is as close as I’ll get to trick-or-treating.

Of course, the biggest tip is to HAVE FUN. Have fun building it, have fun looking at it, and have fun trying to keep your dogs and cats away from it.

You know, I almost didn’t build a Mood Table this year. For once, my Halloween spirit is in no danger of a nosedive, and it’s not like I “needed” one. Now that it’s done, I’m so glad I continued the tradition.

Traditions are important. Even dumb traditions are important. As we grow older, many of the Halloween traditions we used to love are no longer doable. The best defense? Create new ones!.

Good luck with your Halloween Mood Table.

Happy October!