We’ve never really celebrated Halloween. In fact, I’d go as far as saying I really disliked it. It seemed a pointless ‘celebration’, one that just encouraged spending money and I hated the idea of kids going around, disturbing people on an evening, and asking strangers for sweets. It went against everything I believed in. Add to the fact that when we lived in Birmingham, it was an excuse for the local yobs to put on a crap mask, knock on doors for a week around Halloween and throw eggs at your car if you didn’t give them something.
Then came 2020, which, let’s face it, has been one big horror story. A night of ghouls and ghosts is nothing compared to everything else.
We didn’t make a conscious effort to celebrate it this year, but I decided with everything going on, and with everything that the kids were missing out, we needed to grab any excuse to have some fun and bring some happiness into our lives.
It started off with a few little decorations. A light-up leaf garland here, some Halloween coloured bunting there. Then came the crafting.
We started off with ‘Boo’ handprints and a ‘thumbkin patch’. Then, much to Elizabeth’s disgust, I painted her cute little bum orange and plonked her down on some paper to make a ‘bum-kin’. She was not amused, I tell you. We also made some toilet roll monsters.
The next thing I know, I’m setting up a little Halloween photo shoot for Elizabeth. Isn’t she the cutest little pumpkin?
I also ended up decorating our living room window with Little Brian Paint Sticks.
On Halloween itself, we intended to close the curtains, order a takeaway, and eat lots of popcorn and watch movies as a late celebration of Alex’s birthday. We ended up doing a Halloween hunt around the house for chocolate covered apples and then wrapping up and going for a walk in the dark to see the decorations in the local neighbourhood. So many local residents went all out with their Halloween decorations, flashing lights, and projectors, moving witches, smoking cauldrons, and plenty of pumpkins. We are in complete lockdown here in Wales, so traditional trick or treating was out of the question, but many of them had left out buckets or bags of sweets for children to take. I think this is a much safer and better way of doing it – hopefully something that carries on every year, rather than knocking on doors. We saw lots of other families doing the same and there was a lovely, friendly atmosphere. The kids came home with a bag of treats each.
We’ve promised the kids that next year, we will celebrate Halloween properly. We will dress up, decorate the house and go for a walk. The kids enjoyed it, and so did we. The pandemic has shown us that we should celebrate everything and take all these little moments and make them ones to remember.