Having children has changed me.
I used to think Halloween was a waste of time – now I love it!
For many years I’ve been a fully paid-up member of the misery brigade, chomping about how Halloween is American and commercial and there’s no place for it in our society.
Now I welcome it with my devilishly, ghoulish, arms. We have so few times in the year to celebrate and party, why not embrace this occasion?
Although the origins are somewhat confusing (and dull), any opportunity we have to get dressed up and act like fools seems OK to me.
It is hard work in our house though as there’s a complex assortment of factors that have to be taken into consideration.
At 18 months old, Jack is scared rigid of hats and masks. He hasn’t grown up in a theatrical house where we’re all parading around in costume but this hatred must have sprung from somewhere.
Then there’s Molly. She’s a five-year-old that is breaking the rules. Bizarrely, she doesn’t like sweets!
She’ll have a nibble on a piece of chocolate from time to time. Put a joint of beef under her nose and she’d pull your arm off. But she has no interest in any other form of confectionary. So when it comes to the actual option of trick or treat, she’d prefer the trick.
That leads us into the next dilemma – where are the tricks?
Over the past few years, traipsing gaggles of youth have appeared on my doorstep challenging me to trick or treat. The younger ones tend to get a sweet and sent on their way with their parents but I’ll challenge the teenagers. Most of them just slink off muttering obscenities under their breath.
Don’t come knocking on my door unless you’ve got some form of high jinx to roll out. As much as I don’t want my car dismantled, the threat of a good egging helps to keep the spirits alive. You have to earn your Parma Violets in my world.
Last year I was door-stepped by a young chap who flipped up his hoodie and snivelled: ‘Trick or treat..mate.’
I was sad to inform him that we were out of treats, to which he replied he’d be happy to take cash or a cheque.
Why stop there? Pop in and give me your bank details and I’ll make an online transfer.
Of course it can be taken too far. The dressing up and door knocking I can handle.
Carving a pumpkin and lighting a few candles makes for a nice form of seasonal decoration, but you can now buy Halloween crackers with Halloween jokes inside…I say Halloween jokes but some look a little familiar.
‘Why didn’t the skeleton go to the ball? Because he didn’t have any body to go with’.