the mental parentals: Hallowe’en

with Hallowe’en fast-approaching, it got me thinking about what Hallowe’en traditions we would like to pass on to Oliver.

i have some awesome memories of Hallowe’en growing up.  my dad would carve Jack O’ Lanterns from swedes.  my brother & i dressing up as ghouls, witches or vampires, using clothes we already had, face paints & a hat or false fangs were usually what our costumes consisted of – none of these fancy costumes were so cheap back then and my parents couldn’t afford them.  but this didn’t hinder our fun!  we’d be taken by our dad trick or treating around our estate, but of course we never had any intention of playing a trick on anyone!  my dad carrying the jack o’ lantern, my brother and i excitedly running from door to door, trying to pull our most gruesome or scary of poses for when the unsuspecting neighbour opened their door.  any child that didn’t go trick or treating doesn’t know what they missed out on – why wouldn’t you want a bag full of sweeties and coppers?! 

what really grinds my gears about trick or treating nowadays is kids seem to do it throughout the whole of october!  it should only be done on Hallowe’en night in my opinion.  otherwise, it’s not Hallowe’en and you’re threatening neighbours you’ll do something terrible unless they provide you sweets wearing a stupid mask.  practically a mugging!!  and many kids don’t make an effort.  many a time have a group of kids turned up on my doorstep wearing a hooded jumper, jeans and a mask.  a mask does not constitute a costume!  especially those god awful “scream” masks. 

when i was about 10 years old, my family moved us into an old farmhouse in a quiet village just outside town.  it had stood empty for some time and so seemed fitting that we hold our first Hallowe’en party here.  mum went all out on the cheesy decorations, hanging false cobwebs from the meat hooks on the kitchen ceiling, jack o’ lanterns in the porch greeting our guests and skulls and witches fingers dotted about the place.  we played bobbing for apples, had a costume competition and played other party games; everyone had such a great time!

i hope to re-create such an event on an annual basis for Oliver and his cousins as they get older.  there’s nothing better than a good party when you’re a kid, and i hope to give Oliver a magical childhood with many great memories.  after all, it doesn’t take a lot more than a bit of effort to make something interesting.

as I aged (god that makes me sound old!!), I found myself in a group of friends that took Hallowe’en very seriously.  our ‘local’ pub was traditionally where bikers met, but now was home to the rockers, metalheads, punks, ‘moshers’ and goths.  September would see the planning start of costumes, many involving wounds made from latex, coloured contact lenses, ripped clothing and lots of fake blood.  the Hallowe’en party at the pub was the biggest night of the year.  Vampires, ghouls, dead brides, robots, zombies, you name it – it’s been done!  Costume competitions were held and bands provided music all night long. I have some brilliant memories (or lack of due to being such a good night) of these parties…

this august, Oliver turned 2.  he’s still too young to take trick or treating around the estate, but we’ll make him a costume and a jack o’ lantern, take him trick or treating to his grandparents houses, and play some party games with his cousins.  heck, me and Dave might even dress up 😉  

what are your plans this Hallowe’en?

if you don’t know, @Matalan are hosting a twitter party on wednesday 25th september ’13 between 1-2pm where you can share your Hallowe’en ideas, tips, tricks and treats 🙂


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It