Halloween was a bit of a non-entity when I was growing up. I vaguely remember a friend and her sister coming over and us dressing up as witches curtesy of some black bin liners. My mum would have done some food, but it wouldn’t have been themed. Trick or treating would NOT have happened.
As soon as the children have gone back to school after summer, the pencil cases and uniforms on the supermarket shelves are replaced with tubs of sweets and Halloween costumes and accessories. Shops go to town with massive window displays and loads of fright night stock. John Lewis as well as Halloween wreaths and other spooky accoutrements even has a ‘Black Pre Lit Halloween Tree,‘ which retails at 80 quid. Madness!
Two out of three of my children are totally obsessed (the other is more about the sweets). They’ve literally been on count down since July and have ideas about their costumes weeks before!?! This enthusiasm has not come from me; I’ve always found the idea of trick or treating cringe. Thankfully, in our local area, people who are happy to have sweet-seeking ghouls, vampires and witches on their doorsteps make it extremely clear.
Despite not being a fan, like usual, I get swept away by the children’s’ enthusiasm. My eldest was invited to a Halloween party weeks ago and has a great TX Maxx Maleficent outfit lined up; I bought a vampire cape for one of my twins last month from Claire’s (which has a huge Halloween range #Ghoulpower) that we’ll be accessorising, and Very.co.uk came up trumps for my less enthusiastic daughter.
I do like the pumpkin carving though. Last year we went to Garsons to pick our own and it’s a great family activity. I can recommend pumpkin and amaretti ravioli to use up the scooped out flesh.
A Few Tips
- Gauge your child’s appetite for all things ghoulish – sometimes children can talk the talk but when confronted with lots of older children in scary costumes they can get very intimidated
- A small party can be the way to go to replace trick or treating for younger ones
- Similarly, instead of going trick or treating yourselves, decorate the house, get the kids to dress up and scare any visitors
- Pinterest is your friend for Halloween inspiration… from arts and crafts to decoration and party ideas
- If you are staying in, do stock up on treats (unless you are going to ignore all visitors)
- If trick or treating, only go to houses that have Halloween decorations: it saves embarrassment
- If not going the whole hog, a bit of baking or pumpkin carving can bridge the gap. Bakerdays has some great Halloween cake ideas
- Don’t spend a fortune on Halloween outfits. You can definitely accessorise to lessen the cost. My daughters’ white sheet ghost outfit last year was actually really frightening. Also charity shops usually have a lot of stuff in
- Halloween night movies with a PG rating: Maleficent, Hocus Pocus, Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Goosebumps, Casper, The Addams Family, Ghostbusters, Halloweentown… Feel free to post your favourites below.