That time is drawing near once again. October 31st is Halloween! Time to get out those fake skeletons, little ghosties and witches to decorate your house.
I love Halloween. It’s a bit unfortunate that I live in New Zealand because it’s not widely celebrated. It sort of defeats the purpose down here in the southern hemisphere, since it’s spring time. Halloween traditionally marks the beginning of winter or fall (as they like to say in the States) so having bursting spring buds, beautiful long sunny days and chirping birds doesn’t really promote a ‘spooky’ atmosphere. Neither does NZ’s ever-green sub-tropical foliage.
No matter, I will make up for that…
I see Halloween more of a way to farewell winter and a bit of fun.
Each year the school down the road holds a Light Party, you know, a ‘wholesome’ alternative to Halloween. That’s fine, it’s not really for me but heaps of kids go. When we moved into this neighbourhood we noticed that there were a lot of children who would go to the Light Party then go trick-or-treating afterward (I think they’re missing the point of the Light Party).
We were caught out with no sweets and had to apologetically tell the cute little demons, fairies and witches that we didn’t have any ‘treats’. We felt terrible and rushed down the the dairy to pick up a few bags of lollies. By the time we got home all the children had finished trick-or-treating and we ended up devouring two bags ourselves. Predictable.
The following year I was prepared and stocked up. I also bought a few decorations and spent a small fortune at the craft store making them. It was great! I now have tonnes of decorations I can pull out each year, although I find myself making more and more each time. Compulsive crafter I am.
New to Halloween? Here are a few ideas to get you started
- Choose one area to work on, say the entrance to your house. If you you live in an area that gets lots of trick-or-treaters they will really appreciate the effort. For the past few years I’ve had a life sized ghostie which I’ve hung from my drain pipe. Every time kids (and parents) comment on it.
- Tidy any clutter, get the broom out and clear away old cobwebs and dust. Move those pot plants somewhere else for the time being.
- If you are pressed for time you can get some cheap decorations from the $2 shop or any equivalent – think paper lanterns decorated with dancing skeletons, fake spider webs, plastic snakes, cauldrons, and Halloween wreaths. If you want to stick to a budget and get a big crafty get some black card stock and make some silhouettes of owls, ravens and old lanterns. But stay tuned because I will soon write another post on crafty Halloween decorations!
Put out a sign
- A sign at your letterbox is an easy way to let trick-or-treaters know you’re getting in the Halloween spirit. It’s also handy if you’re on a back section (like us) because it lets them know it’s worth the effort of walking down the driveway.
- Instead of putting out a sign, my neighbour puts out a cute ceramic jack-o-lantern on top of her letter box, works just as well.
- If you’re really not into Halloween and you don’t want trick-or-treaters knocking on your door then a polite sign is a good deterrent – but then, I doubt you’d be reading this post if you weren’t into Halloween so…
Wear a costume
- Come on! It’s one of the only times in the year you can legitimately dress up as anything you want.
- To be honest, I’m pretty lax on this, my costume consists of a witch’s hat which I normally stop wearing by the end of the evening because it blows off my head as soon as I open the door (damn you spring time wind in Auckland!). But this year I’m adding striped stockings to my repertoire and next year will buy a dress. The point is, it doesn’t have to be anything major. This is supposed to be fun after all. But kids like seeing adults dressing up and playing make-believe too.
Candy, candy candy
- For me a lot of the fun is dishing out treats to kids and then sending them off on their merry way to terrorize their parents in a haze of hyperactivity. Plus, there’s always leftovers for me!
- If you object to the thought of handing over sweets to kids then one thing I did last year was go to the $2 shop and buy some cheap stickers and plastic toys (spiders and bouncy glitter balls) and threw them in to the mix for a bit of fun. I had a girl bucket and a boy bucket. Worked like a charm.
- If you’re going to a Halloween party and won’t be home why not leave a small bucket of lollies on your doorstep saying
“Happy Halloween! Please take two of whatever you like but be nice and leave some for others…or else…”