Monday, 2 November 2009

Halloween Decorations

halloween decorations

jack o lantern

So, turns out that if you live where we do (in one of the few converted houses amongst mainly large family homes) then putting up halloween decorations indicates that you are *open* for trick or treaters. Who knew?

Not that we minded. We gave away all those horrid Bounty bars from the celebrations box I bought half price the other week. Still, once we'd given all the Snickers away and then all of the Mars Bars, I drew the line. I wasn't expecting the backlash though. One charming child, on being informed that he was in fact too late for chocolate, as it had all gone (which it had. I gave away some & had eaten the few remaining milkyways & malteasers), shouted "We have come all this way. You had better give us something" in a very menacing manner, much to the horror of the parent who was accompanying them (he explained to me the child was a friend of his son's). As he walked back through our front garden he shouted to Husband, visible through the kitchen window, that he "would remember our house & return to mess it up". He couldn't have been more than 7 or 8. How sad.

I was also sad to see that for most parents, costume making seems to involve going to a shop and purchasing one. I have never worn anything other than a handmade creation and do not intend to start now, whether we have children or not. One Mum clearly couldn't even run to a sheet for a ghost outfit, e-mailing this to our freecycle group last week:

"My little boy has been invited to a fancy dress party this Saturday. Was wondering if anyone had a boys fancy dress outfit that their child no longer needs. At present not to fussed what costume it is."

I don't know what the response rate was like but I should have responded that I had plenty of empty loo rolls in the recycling and lots of bubble wrap and that perhaps she & her son could create a monster outfit out of them. We always used to make our own fancy dress outfits for various school things and I can still clearly remember the feeling of immense satisfaction on creating myself a lantern out of black card in which I could carry a candle when dressing up as the original Guy Fawkes.

Satisfaction which almost rivalled that of the feeling I had last night after successfully retrieving Husband's phone which I had managed to flip down the back of the radiator in our bedroom. Having presumed that it would just fall out the bottom I was surprised to find that the skirting board makes a secure seal at the bottom meaning that the only way to get it out was the way it fell in. 45 minutes later and both of us suffering from neck-ache from peering down the very small gap, I had rigged up a greaseproof paper contraption and we managed to get the phone back using a bamboo cane. The phone was extremely dusty (which goes someway to explaining why our flat is always so dusty - it literally is collecting in great lumps back there with no way to remove it) but working.

And it is bonfire night this week. We are having a party with pumpkin whoopie pies, mulled wine, sparklers & s'mores (courtesy of our American guests) whilst we show them what a proper English autumn celebration is like. We may even have a 'bonfire' & apple bobbing...

(Post to come later in the week explaining why we celebrate this event, in case readers are unaware...)


Marie-Ève said...

LOL about kids coming when you have no more candy! Nowadays we stop giving them away early and go trick or treating ourselves, but it happened to us a couple of years. We would shut all the lights down, go into hiding, cross our fingers and hope no more kids would come by...

And I agree with you about the costumes... For me they HAVE to be homemade, or at least self-assembled. Growing up my mother would make us fabulous ones, and she still does for my son (I could do it, but she WANTS to do it so much). After I left home I started scouring vintage shops and such, and I remember wonderful parties of being a (sarcastic) beauty pageant queen, '80s Madonna, all-glammed-up Ella Fitzerald, etc...

Bells said...

We always made our own costumes too and the making was almost more fun than the wearing if I remember!
However, when reading this I had to think of my collegue who is constantly killing herself with guilt because she has little time to make stuff with her kids. She was looking everywhere for a spiderman outfit for her son as that is what he wanted and was so happy to find one on freecycle. She did do the most amazingly elaborate face painting on him in the end though - I think more for her own benifit that his!