Shh…I’ve got a confession….
I don’t like Halloween. Never have and probably never will.
Every year, come the 31st October, a sign goes on the door saying ‘sorry no trick or treaters and we turn the lights out to make it look like we’re not in.
However, we have a daughter now and, while at nearly 6 months old, she won’t be old enough to get involved this year, this won’t be the case in the years to come. When she gets to primary school and her friends’ parents are holding Halloween parties and the kids are all going out trick or treating together, of course she’ll want to be involved.
For me, as a child, Halloween wasn’t a thing. Other kids may have been celebrating it but, if they were, I don’t remember. We lived at the end of a main road with elderly neighbours, no one came knocking on our door nor did we expect them to. By the time we moved to a more Halloween friendly neighbourhood I was 11. For the first time, mum bought sweets and chocolates and we waited in for trick or treaters, answering the door and dishing out sweets to all the local kids. The following year we decided to go out trick or treating ourselves. My sister as a witch and me as a devil, but when the big day arrived I found I was sick. I was kept off school, too poorly to leave the house. By evening, I really wanted to go out and celebrate Halloween for the first time, so I started getting ready, but then the bug hit me again and all I could manage was to crawl back into bed. The next year I was a teenager and thought I was too cool to dress up and go knocking on doors for a few lousy sweets. I guess that’s where my dislike of Halloween comes from.
I would never want my child to miss out on something just because I don’t like it, though. There is no reason for her not to dress up as a pumpkin and for us to take her trick or treating, for her to help carve a pumpkin, or decorate cupcakes with spiders and eyeballs. However, I will be setting rules. We’ll only go to houses clearly partaking in Halloween and I’ll monitor the treats she gets. In the past I’ve seen houses give kids unpackaged treats and you just can’t be too careful with what’s been put in them.
So, I’m going to have to embrace change – something I don’t like at the best of times – and learn to, if not love, but at least tolerate Halloween. I need to except that it’s now a big event in our country and that it’s happening whether I like it or not.
I might even buy a pumpkin this year…