I never used to be a fan of Halloween and come the day pre-kids, you could find me and my other half with the blinds down, lights off, pretending not to be home. Of course, inside we’d be celebrating by watching a (PG) scary movie but no need to let the little demons outside know that.
Now I have an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old I’ve started to come around to the idea. We have a break booked for mid-term and will be signing up for all the Harry Potter-themed activities. I have their matching outfits bought and delivered (since August) and I’m busy browsing all the Halloween décor online.
The thing is, I’m still very 50/50 about the whole concept. Here’s what I love but also what I hate about Halloween.
Love: The Pretty Pumpkins
For me, pumpkins are the best bit about Halloween. When I was younger, it was simply a case of carving them and lighting up the spooky face on All Hallows Eve. However, now I like to use them to decorate the house the second Summer is over. We all want to get our money’s worth out of our Christmas trees and I feel the same about the Halloween décor!
Hate: The Clashing Colours
As someone who is allergic to colour in the home (of course, my boys’ bedrooms are the exception), I’ve always felt that pumpkins could do better. Step forward none other than Mrs Hinch with one of her home hacks. Last year, Sophie used Frenchic Al Fresco Chalk and Mineral Furniture Paint in shade "Wise Old Sage" to revamp her orange pumpkins and the finished result is enough to make a wicked witch cackle. The minute I finish typing this, I’m going to try and get my hands on some!
Love: The Cosiness Inside
Autumn means that regardless of how warm it is outside, it’s time to dig out your throw blankets, light your fire and candles and get your living room looking as cosy as can be. I’m feeling extra ambitious this year so I’m going to have a go at whipping up my own Pumpkin Spice Latte to enjoy in front of the fire. But should that fail miserably, then a standard hot chocolate and marshmallows will do just fine.
Hate: The Craziness Outside
Does anyone else think that Halloween brings out the worst in people (and by people I mean teenagers)? Thankfully, my kids are still young enough that I can have them safely tucked up in bed before the 9 o’clock watershed (I’m fully aware that they’ll be joining in the chaos in a few years). What happens when the little devils get their hands on bucket loads of candy, fake blood and fireworks? To be honest I’m hoping I won’t be awake to find out.
Love: The Treats
Trick or treating with little kids is great craic. Another thing I love about Halloween is getting them dressed up, knocking on all the neighbours’ doors, feeling the buzz in the air and seeing their excitement as their bags get filled up. Of course, no responsible parent would let their child eat all of their own sweets! Sharing is caring!
Hate: The Tricks
You know those doorbells that scream when you press them, the skeletons crawling out of coffins in people’s gardens and the see-sawing clowns? These are the things that I don't love about Halloween. I prefer to think of Halloween as a time for pumpkins, peanuts and fancy dress rather than being reminded that the ghosts of the dead are on their way. In fact, I no longer even want our carved pumpkins to look ghoulish. The boys are excited to pick some Disney characters each and we’ll work our magic using a stencil.
If our house bears any resemblance to the happiest place on earth on Halloween night, I’ll be delighted!