My mother went all out on holidays. She decorated generously for all of them. She was a more-is-more kind of woman, and I loved her for it! I certainly inherited some of that, but not so much for holidays. My decorating is sparse by comparison, and probably by most standards. Now that we have children (hooray for three!) it's much more fun to make a deal over Halloween. I am not quite to the point of sewing hours on costumes (but admire those who do); maybe that will come. But, it is fun to put out carved pumpkins and a few other things in October. Audrey helped me do it this year.
The tabletop seems like an easy, reasonable, and high-impact way to do up the current season. I have always loved linens, plates, serving pieces, etc.. So for Halloween we have bat placemats! They are eat-and-wipe-it-down vinyl (have to be honest here about all the issues surrounding PVC--these aren't food safe, so don't forget the plate, and some would argue not kid safe either...). My mother made these identical placemats when I was a child, and some for other holidays--you can probably imagine the possibilities. Such a simple and clever way to make mealtime fun.
A few years ago when my siblings and I were going through her holiday things we found the bats and made a template. Now I think we all have bat mats at Halloween. If you would like to make some for your table you can download the free template here:
Bat Placemat Template_AestheticNest.com_Oct 2010
They aren't bad for playing with either...