So, yesterday was Halloween – the one night of the year when it’s perfectly acceptable to turn up at your neighbour’s door and demand lollies. I was lucky to be invited by some of my nieces to join them as they toured their neighbourhood and collected a bizarre assortment of candies in big buckets shaped like pumpkins. Good times.
The main unofficial rule of the evening are that you can only stop by houses that have decorations outside, showing that they’re on board with the whole idea. Although even the decorated houses participate in different ways – some welcome you to their door and personally hand out treats (with a few even making their own lolly bags), while others leave a basket outside the door or gate with a sign that optimistically suggests that you take ONE ONLY, and then there was the man who didn’t even open his security gate as he struggled to pass the kids their chocolates through the bars of the fence.
We had a good time and got a great haul of jelly body parts, eyeballs, jelly pizzas, sherbets and even some sugar-free lollies from one of the houses. A lot of people in the neighbourhood made a huge effort to make their homes spooky and really got into the spirit of the day. It was lovely to see so many kids of all ages (even the dreaded teenagers spraying their silly string) dressed up and walking around the ‘hood. Wandering around in the late afternoon sun, it was a really nice community feeling as people admired outfits and decorations while sugar-filled kids squealed and laughed – I think Halloween is a great excuse to make that happen. ‘Til next year!
Halloween is next week. It was never a thing when I was growing up in Sydney, but now it definitely is becoming a big thing here. You can tell because the $2 shops are full of pumpkin-shaped buckets, wizard dress-up kits, bags of spiders and webs – and the price of the humble straw broom has tripled. Last year, I went trick-or-treating with some of my nieces, in the streets around their neighbourhood. It was a great community set up and people really got into it – of course, I was there just for supervisory purposes and to enforce good manners…but I did manage to sneak a jelly rat and a sugared skull or two into my pocket. Some of the residents were delighted to come out and meet the kids and admire their costumes – others must have felt compelled to join in, as they just left buckets of lollies at the very perimeter of their property, presumably so they could barricade themselves inside and not be interrupted by the neighbourhood goblins.
I’m not sure if we’re going again this year, but I really feel like I should make up for the lifetime of trick-or-treating that I’ve missed. I need to find a costume though – the danger of turning up without one is that the kids will say, “Oh, you came as a witch – good one”. And it would take a lot of sugary treats to get over that…
Happy Halloween, one and all. And please feel free to share any pics or tales of your Halloween festivities!