Halloween spooks me. Yes, I know, that’s the whole point but, it honestly scares the hell out of me. Even as a child, I never really embraced the whole concept. My main memories are shivering along the dark streets of my home town, in a scratchy, uncomfortable outfit, knocking on stranger’s doors, begging for sweets. Kids (frankly too old to be taking part) seemed to knock on our door long after I had gone to bed and I would hide on my duvet hoping no one was going to throw eggs at my windows.
We spend most of our time protecting our children from the idea of ghosts and skeletons, witches and Dracula yet, when Halloween comes along, it’s a bloody free for all!
Apparently a black bin liner and pointy hat doesn’t cut it any more. We are talking Zombie Surgeon’s, Vampire Bats and Deluxe Grim Reapers. A few bandages tied around your limbs is a cop out and “off the peg” Halloween chic is all the rage. You’ve made the last minute dash to the shop, dug out the last age 5 outfit available and are feeling relatively smug. Don’t get too comfortable. You think the costume is enough? Think again. Time to dust off those face paints. Full theatre make-up is obligatory, as you tenderly dribble red liquid blood down your child’s face. Nope, nothing weird about that at all… not one bit!
Decorating the house
Pumpkins. The bane of my life. Every year I vow that I will not try to be clever with pumpkins but every year I am back googling templates and soup recipes. I brought a carving kit, basically a plastic spoon and a toothpick that snaps under pressure. The kids hack away with a blunt knife until they make an almighty mess and nearly lose a finger. I secretly curse everyone else’s efforts, shamelessly touted on Instagram #halloween #lookhowbloodybrilliantweareatcarvingpumpkins #smug.
Trick or Treat
- You get your kids to knock on stranger’s doors
- You get your kids to beg for sweets
- You get your kids to threaten the stranger if they don’t get sweets
I mean, come on! Isn’t it against every parenting rule out there? Apply the same rules to an average Saturday night in November and you’ll be in the back of a patrol car before you can say ‘unfit parent’.
All you can hope for is another parent, more exciting and fun than you, who will throw an elaborate Halloween party, so you don’t have to. They will be dressed up in an adult-sized costume, will have at least 30 delicately carved pumpkins and will be positively encouraging people to knock on their door and purge all their sweets. It’s all apple bobbing, scary storytelling and pin the bone on the skeleton at their house. The look of glee on their faces make me want to run for the hills.
Before I had children, I use to close the curtains, keep lights turned low and the door firmly shut at all times. Since I’ve had kids, I close the curtains, keep lights turned low and the door firmly shut at all times. Sometimes I have to relent and hand out the odd bag of Haribo but, it is under duress. You can probably find me hidden under my duvet hoping the scary kids won’t come and get me. Happy Halloween people!