This meta is based on the old joke “Why is Christmas the same as Halloween?” Answer: “because Dec 25 = Oct 31.” That is, decimal 25 = octal 31. (Trust me, we nerds find this hilarious.)
Here is the flavortext with the salient clues in bold:
“Christmas is the same as Halloween!” claimed Jack Skellington. But of course, it’s not—there are a number of basic differences, and the jolly Christmas folk just couldn’t get along with the scary Halloween folk. Who around here can make peace between them?
If you enter all the answers into the path in the correct order, each answer will have its shaded cells spell out one or two digits. For example, THE WOLF'S HOUR’s shaded cells spell TWO FOUR.
Answers alternate between Halloween and Christmas in the path, but it is up to solvers to find the unique ordering for entering answers that spells out digits in the shaded cells of each answer. The path gives some hints to what could go where, because the shading/outlining of shaded cells along the path is color-coded for the appropriate holiday (green and red for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween).
The digit(s) for each answer form a number which is a standard alphabetic index (A=1, B=2, etc.), and these spell a message in path order. The trick here is that while the Christmas answers are standard decimal numbers, the Halloween numbers must be interpreted as octal numbers. Here is the complete path:
|THE WOLF'S HOUR||TWO FOUR||248 = 20||T|
|TWELFTH NIGHT||EIGHT||810 = 8||H|
|NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD||FIVE||58 = 5||E|
|NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE||ONE THREE||1310 = 13||M|
|LOCH NESS MONSTER||ONE ONE||118 = 9||I|
|EIGHTEEN WHEELS AND A DOZEN ROSES||TWO ZERO||2010 = 20||T|
|DON'T FEAR THE REAPER||ONE THREE||138 = 11||K|
|DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT||ONE EIGHT||1810 = 18||R|
|SKELETON KEY||ONE||18 = 1||A|
|JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH||ONE THREE||1310 = 13||M|
|ROBERT EDWARD CROZIER LONG||TWO ZERO||208 = 16||P|
|STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING||TWO ONE||2110 = 21||U|
|RITA HAYWORTH AND SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION||TWO THREE||238 = 19||S|
The numbers, in path order, are 248, 810, 58, 1310, 118, 2010, 138, 1810, 18, 1310, 208, 2110, 238. With all in decimal this is 20, 8, 5, 13, 9, 20, 11, 18, 1, 13, 16, 21, 19, leading to the meta answer THE MIT KRAMPUS.