Tonight it’s Halloween and to some children this only means one thing -Trick or Treat!
When I was a child we weren’t allowed to go knocking on doors for Halloween to ‘Trick or Treat’. There was one year when I was very young (around 5) that my mum held a Halloween party for my brother and I and some of our friends (and parents). I remember that one year we were allowed to go to the neighbours on each side to say ‘Trick or Treat’ as my mum had already given them sweets to give to us. All other years though it was a no.
Each year during my childhood I would dread Halloween, more specifically I’d dread anyone knocking on to our house to Trick or Treat because my dad would get in a bad mood . He hated it, he just doesn’t agree with it. My mum would try and make it nice for us by making a lovely dinner of witches brew (which was soup and bread) Consequently when I got my own home, hubby and I would always avoid Halloween by going out for dinner or to the cinema. I didn’t like the thought of horrible children knocking on to disturb us. Asking essentially for us to give them something. I couldn’t understand people who liked Halloween and who looked forward to Trick or Treat children to come round.
Changing my View
Over the years as I have grown up Halloween has become much more of a thing. More people decorate their homes, and enjoy the night. Children seem more enthusiastic about it, and enjoy celebrating.For them it’s exciting. I’ve also been very lucky to celebrate Halloween in Walt Disney World a couple of times. Over in America, essentially Halloween is fun for most people. People make an effort to take part and enjoy the night itself.
Since having children things have changed. I’ve had to stay at home for Halloween. No late night trips to the cinema! Or staying out at the pub having a relaxing meal with a glass of wine (I don’t think I’d done that in a long time!) I’ve discovered that it can be fun. When the doorbell goes the our boys go out to see who’s there, we have a bowl of sweets ready and waiting to offer the Trick or Treaters. We admire the costumes and offer out a treat to each person. Thankfully although I know it can happen we have never had a bad experience. Everyone who has ever knocked on the door has been pleasant and polite.
Trick or Treat Rules
Last year and the year before we took the boys out ourselves to Trick or Treat but we ALWAYS stick to these rules:
Only go to houses with Halloween decorations up. Either full decorations which can be seen or an indication they are taking part in Halloween i.e. a pumpkin. I never let the children go to houses with nothing out.
Only knock or ring once, if no one answers then we move on.
Be polite. We say Trick or Treat and see what happens, if offered a treat then the children must say Thank you. If the thank you’s stop then we go straight home!
The children stay within sight of a grown up at all times. I let them go up a path whilst I wait at the bottom but they must always stay with me.
Always respect other peoples property. We only use the paths to get to a door and never walk over a garden to get in or out.
Go out dressed up in costumes not just a token effort, after all it is a tradition to dress up!
If everyone stuck to these rules then the night could be made fun for those who want to take part. For those who don’t or are scared then the night would no longer be a worry. Only going to decorated houses is the main rule for my boys. If a house has decorations up then I’d say they are taking part and are happy to have Trick or Treaters at the door.
Taking Part – Having Fun
I know this time of year can be worrying or frightening or annoying for many people and I want to let them know that we for one won’t be bothering them tonight by knocking on their doors. I hope this reassures them too that not all Trick or Treaters are a nuisance and the night can be fun for some people who want to take part.
Before I became mummy I used to hate Halloween! I hated that children would knock on the door and trick or treat. I didn’t like the scary factor to it. It was not my favourite day by any means and I always used to avoid it by going out in the evenings. It used to be my first Christmas shopping night of the year. I would go to my local big shopping centre and spend the night shopping avoiding any knocks on the door. However since having children I’ve ended up staying in and waiting for the knocks on the door. For the past two years the boy has been a bit to young to understand what was going on, however I have dressed him up to try to get in the spirit.
This year however has been different. I have really enjoyed the time leading up to Halloween as well as the night itself. This year I threw myself into decorating the house. I bought a few decorations and put them up with the help of the boy.
The boy was delighted when we put a couple of things up on his bedroom door.
On Friday itself we had planned to have an inside day so I took the opportunity to do some Halloween activities together. We first spent quite a while messing about with the face paints. Since last week was the first time he had had his face painted whilst we were out I thought we could try again at home whilst he still remembered what face paints were. His costume was a skeleton so I tried to make a skeleton face for him to go with it. As you can imagine keeping a 3 year old still is hard so it didn’t come out too well, but it was good enough for him!
I had bought a pumpkin carving kit this year to avoid using a kitchen knife on our pumpkin as I knew the boy would want to get involved. I wasn’t sure if it would be any good as it only cost £1 but I highly recommend them. You get a scoop, a carving tool and a poking tool.
I wasn’t sure at first if it would be suitable for a 3 year old to use but the carving tool wasn’t particularly sharp so with some supervision the boy soon got the hang of poking the face shapes out and then using the carving tool to cut them. It did take quite a while with the scoop to get out all the seeds but that’s part of the fun and the boy really enjoyed himself.
Once evening came I changed him into his costume and we waited for any trick or treaters. He was so excited, he thought that his friends from nursery would come to our house (despite them living no where near where we live!) I guessed they must have been talking about it at nursery during the week. He was so excited that he put the bucket of sweets on the stairs by the door in readiness. This was the first year ever that I was hoping some people would come. I didn’t want to have to tell him that nobody was coming. Our house is the tucked away on the end of a small row of houses and quite well hidden by a large hedge so often people have trouble finding it. On dark evenings its even harder to find so I made sure the outside light was on and I turned on some lights in the house to try and encourage them to call!
It wasn’t too long before there was a little knock on the door, the boy rushed to answer it with me and was eager to try and put treats in the two children’s buckets, it was very sweet. Daddy came home soon after and the boy asked to go out trick or treating. I’ve never really agreed with it but he asked so nicely and his eyes were full of hope so Daddy agreed to take him out to just a few houses. I’m not sure he knew what you really did as he wanted to take out our full bucket of sweets to each house! We live on an estate of newish built houses so they went out and knocked on a few doors that were decorated and where they knew that people were participating. I think that is a fair compromise. If a house is decorated for Halloween then its fair to say they probably don’t mind small children knocking on to trick or treat. It wasn’t long before they were back and the boy was very happy and excited to tell me about it. After he got home we had a few more knocks and the boy got to give out more sweets. It was lovely to see him trying to give everyone treats. Thankfully all the children we had were lovely and polite and all said thank you before leaving.
After both boys were in bed I sat down to reflect on how much I’ve actually enjoyed Halloween this year. I’m excited to make it even more fun next year. I’ll certainly be looking out for decorations in the sale to keep for 2015!