Tap, tap, tap. A scratch at the door. My heart skips a beat as I sink into the couch and reach for the mute button on the TV remote. Bang, bang, bang. The knocking gets louder. They know I am inside and they won’t leave until they get what they want. The problem is I don’t have what they want. My pantry is bare aside from some muesli bars, savoury crackers and a few packets of miso soup.
Halloween in Australia has traditionally been a non-event. Aside from a few Simpsons Halloween specials and the odd University Halloween party, October 31st is usually just another night. But it appears that this is changing. Halloween items are now more readily available in the supermarket aisles and costumes are abundant. Some would argue against Halloween as the last bastion of the US cultural invasion. I say, why not dress up, have some fun and try (I said try) and ration the kids’ lolly stash.
So, if you are going to participate in Halloween this year here are a few things you need to be prepared for.
1. Costume You can’t go trick-or-treating without a costume! If you don’t want to buy the kids a costume then be creative with what you already have at home in the kids wardrobe. Some eyeliner, a school uniform, a black robe and a pair of glasses from the dress up box and hey presto you have Harry Potter. Cut two holes in an old white sheet and you have a quick and easy ghost costume. A black dress paired with a cape and a piece of black cardboard rolled into a cone is the perfect simple witches outfit. Be creative and you will be amazed at what you can come up with.
2. Trick-or-treat? Whether you are participating in Halloween or not you may want to have something on hand for any trick-or-treaters who end up on your doorstep. It doesn’t have to be lollies either. A neat idea I saw at Costco (yes I buy in bulk and I love it) was small tubs of play dough in Halloween colours. It will last longer than a lolly and doesn’t send so much sugar racing through those already hyped up kids.
3. A pumpkin I remember when I was a child that a Canadian family friend was coming to a dinner party my parents were hosting which was coincidentally on Halloween. He had carved a pumpkin and brought it to the party. My sister and I were so impressed and had never seen anything quite so cool. Clearly we led quite sheltered lives, but it was a pumpkin, a pumpkin with a face. Woolworths have a free stencil on their website and instructions for carving your own pumpkin.
For all you wicked witches and crazy cats, or whatever your costume of choice is, enjoy Halloween and the fun of dressing up and letting your imagination take control. If you do get involved please send us photos or let us know what you got up to. We hear magical and mysterious things can happen on Halloween…
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