Growing up, Halloween wasn’t really a big thing in my house! We did bobbing apples and as far as I can remember real pumpkins just didn’t exist... well not in Wales at least. I recall a very frustrating time trying to hollow out a swede! Now, this vegetable bears no resemblance to the good old American pumpkin in looks or texture, the centre of a swede is rock hard and not designed to be chiseled out with the back of a spoon. You really cannot compare the charming haunted face of a round glowing Jack-o’-lantern to a brown little swede! Any family reading will now understand my yearning to visit a Pumpkin Patch!
As a child ‘trick or treating’ wasn’t really a thing either, and when my children came along I wasn’t keen on letting them go. It felt a little strange letting them knock on strangers doors asking for treats. A perfect mixture of being somewhat overprotective and introverted sometimes makes these things slightly overwhelming. This year with many of us unable to go trick or treating due to restrictions, I’ve seen some lovely ideas for young family nights. Hiding sweets and chocolate all around the house, turning off the lights and going on a hunt with torches and lanterns. Or bundle the family into the car and give out the treats every time they spot a ‘Spooky house’. But we enjoyed our family nights, the kids didn’t need to be asked twice to dress up, and we have a very funny home video of a huge meltdown as mum had hung the doughnut string too high for one particular child, causing the ultimate meltdown, and while chaos ensued our youngest at the time quietly crept in and stole said doughnut. All caught on camera!
As the family has grown older we probably would have moved away from many of the Halloween traditions but our youngest who, unbelievably, was 18 this year has loved this time of year more than any other. Halloween is her favourite holiday! And every year she decorates the house with witches, cats, pumpkins and spiders galore! Classy and not tacky if that’s even a thing at Halloween?
But regardless of how old they all get, when the lanterns are lit and the pumpkins begin to glow, it’s time for scary movies. Well... not really scary movies because some of us would never sleep. Hocus Pocus has been a family favourite since way back when and has to be watched every year. This year we started early and watched the whole series of ‘Haunting of Hill House’ just the right amount of ‘fright’ for us. And 'A Quiet Place’ could make it as a part of our Halloween traditions.
This year, nothing will be as it once was for most of us. And like so much of our lives already, Halloween is going to be ‘Zoom on a broom’. How very modern! Enjoy All Hallows Night in whatever way suits you best.