Halloween. Love it or hate it, it appears it is here to stay. I have a foot in both the loving and the hating camps to be honest. When I was young no-one trick or treated. It was generally viewed as a ridiculous American tradition that had no place here. Of course, with the invention of the internet, it is quite easy to do your research and find that it is not originally an American tradition, but generally reported to have Celtic roots. Interestingly, I read that there are some who believe it is more closely linked to a Catholic ceremony observed on the eve of All Saints’ Day, November 1. I can’t comment on the authenticity of this site, but you can read about that here.
And to put out another thought, there are plenty of people who join in the festivities of St Patrick’s Day, Bastille Day, Chinese New Year (just to name a few) when they are not of those cultures. I accept some of you will think these are completely different types of celebrations, and that is ok too.
I was quite unprepared and taken aback when I first moved to this house to have trick or treaters knock at my door. I was annoyed that I wasn’t really given the choice to participate. Thankfully, some community-minded local resident came up with the idea to deliver leaflets explaining that Halloween was coming up, and if you were happy to be part of it you attached the leaflet to you letterbox. This let the children know that it was ok to knock at your door. What a great idea!
Fast forward a few years, and I have a child of my own. He was absolutely intrigued with the groups of children wandering around all dressed up in a variety of colourful outfits. So we decided to participate and he enjoyed holding out a bowl of treats to the visitors.
And it has to be said that all of these groups of children have parents supervising them, and they (for the most part) have lovely manners.
He started school 3 years ago, so there was the first opportunity to go trick or treating with his group of friends. There were as many adults as children in our group. One mum has an older child as well so knew a few more families in the area. We only visited houses of people who were known to the group, and had decorations up. There are some who say why would you send your child to a stranger’s door begging for lollies on one night of the year, when the rest of the time you would tell them to stay away from strangers. But really, that’s not what is happening here.
So over the last 3 years we have done a little decorating. Each year there is something extra. Certainly not to the extent of some homes, but enough to know that it is Halloween.
Kids are going to be out and about whether you agree with it or not. Putting in a little bit of effort is going to make them happy.
And where do you go for decorating ideas? Surely I don’t need to answer that! Here is my Halloween Pinterest board
I printed out a few signs last year, and this year I decided to have them laminated so they last. You can tell which ones I made up myself 😉
Last year I loved the idea of a colony of bats which I saw at http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/31-days-of-halloween-bat-filled-front-door.
I printed up a few pages of bats which I found at http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/kidscraftsactivitiesblog/2011/10/how-to-make-a-bats-mobile-for-halloween/.
I decided to laminate these too, and I also printed up some more.
We have a newly prepared garden bed which is mostly still empty. Yesterday morning as I was putting up some other decorations I thought the bare earth needed something. So I very quickly made up some tombstones. If I had thought about it earlier, they could have been made with much sturdier materials, so I wasn’t quite sure how I could get the thin cardboard to stand up. Especially considering the wind that started up late afternoon! Thankfully the man of the house came up with a solution, and it was finished just in time for the trick or treaters to arrive. Even though they are very amateur-ish, they still attracted a lot of comments, and were even photographed by some visitors!
And just for fun, here are some more of our decorations:
As for the costume, well you can read about it here.
So around here there really is a great feeling of community spirit, and isn’t that a good thing to teach your children?
If nobody came to my door trick or treating then I would be perfectly happy. But since they do, I don’t mind joining in. If you choose not to join in, then that’s perfectly acceptable too.
To finish, I’ll leave you with a couple of cartoons from the world’s greatest shark cartoonist – although I may be the slightest bit biased since he is my brother! – Shaaark!
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