This post is a little late as I’ve been writing it on and off for a week. My daughter seemed to spend two whole weeks doing things with a Halloween theme. The days when All Hallows’ Eve was a religious festival celebrated on 31st October are long gone. To all the children that I know, Halloween is a time for partying and chocolate. Munchkin asked me to buy her a cat costume and it’s had a lot of use.
Our Halloween started on Friday 13th October with a Halloween fancy dress party at school. This was my first experience of helping with a children’s event there. I feel as if I’m turning into my mother, who was an active member of the PTA when I was little. The children partook in party games, dancing and biscuit decorating. I think a good time was had by all.
The cat costume came out again for the launch of The Giant Kangaroo in the Colourful Hat by Jennifer Acton. Children were invited to wear Halloween fancy dress. I was at work that day and haven’t got round to reading the book yet, but Munchkin enjoyed it. She entered a competition for drawings of the kangaroo to appear in the book and was one of the lucky winners. I won a painting competition when I was her age – though that’s a whole other story – so it feels as if she’s following in my footsteps.
Halloween celebrations continued the weekend before 31st October. We went to Warwickshire to spend the weekend with my husband’s family. Munchkin and her cousin did a Halloween Hunt and decorated spooky cupcakes. The Halloween Hunt has evolved from Easter Egg Hunts. The girls enjoyed hunting for eggs so much that they now do two hunts a year. Treats are left by the Halloween Fairy because Munchkin found the idea of a witch too scary when we first started doing this a year or two ago.
On the Saturday evening, they went to a fancy dress roller disco. Munchkin’s cousin is a much better skater than her so they spent quite a lot of doing their own things.
Finally, 31st October arrived. Last year, my husband promised Munchkin she could go trick or treating. He seemed to have forgotten but she hadn’t. Up until this year, we’ve tried to avoid trick or treaters. This year, I decided, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. We put a pumpkin out and I bought two buckets of sweets.
At this point, I should mention that trick or treating is massive where we live. I’ve never experienced an American Halloween but I imagine it would be fairly similar. Our housing estate becomes overrun with families from the surrounding area. It gets a little manic and someone has suggested that we set up a means of making charity donations next year, to make up for all the people who are getting sweets from local residents but not providing sweets for children on the estate.
The Rotary gives a cup to the best decorated house. My favourite was the Harry Potter house with the Hogwarts Express next to it but the judges had other ideas.
Next year, we’ll be buying more sweets and going out earlier. Our 2kg of sweets lasted about an hour, and several people had run out of goodies by the time we went out at about 5:15pm.