Halloween last year was as it should be – in the northern hemisphere, in autumn (albeit living in Santa Barbara, California, wasn’t quite the northern hemisphere type of Halloween I remembered from my apple bobbing youth growing up in England, UK).
It was lovely to be living somewhere where pumpkins were plentiful (as we experienced in our visit to Avila Valley Barn) and the celebrations were very much embraced by all, in a fun, inviting and friendly way (as mentioned within this post I wrote, reflecting on the week that we experienced ‘Halloween’ – USA style – amongst many other moments to love and be thankful for).
This year we are back in the southern hemisphere – where Halloween has lost touch with its historic roots and seasonal ties – nevertheless, it’s fun – for the children who insist on it (and apple bobbing in spring is a lot more comfortable in a warmer climate!).
When my children, all born in New Zealand, first started to ask about Halloween – and asked to ‘celebrate’ – in Spring – I was really ‘bah humbug’ about it. Over the years I’ve mellowed and decided to go with it and let them enjoy dressing up and decorating the house a little (or the garden – if it’s a sunshine, blue sky, spring day – light till nearly 8pm!).
The children now join in with ‘trick or treat’ – which has become a friendly community event in our local suburb, in Wellington, New Zealand. Householders that wish to partake put up a sign on their mailbox (all the mailboxes are at the end of the driveway, not on the door – as in the UK) and the children learn to only knock on the doors that are participating.
The whole day of Halloween has been a ton of fun; making ghosts to hang from the trees and adorning the garden in cobwebs. We made green jelly, with spiders in the mix, and had lots of fun creating a ‘Stamylongnose’ cat mask / box (Minecraft fans will understand!) – which the wonderful man of our house wore for the trick and treat rounds!!
Our oldest daughter was, of course (at age 11) too ‘cool’ to go trick or treating with Mum or Dad chaperoning – but headed out in our friendly neighbourhood with a friend (well, Mum was wearing a Dr. Who ‘Fez’ and Dad looked like a strange cat!).
Meanwhile, my hubby and I accompanied our four and eight year old, along with our lovely next door neighbour’s son, along a local street – where the views were as captivating as the costumes and treats!! We bumped into some old friends and neighbourhood acquaintances, we hooked up a couple of BBQ’s for the upcoming summer season, and felt a little more ‘at home’ – all positive stuff, just four weeks after landing back in New Zealand (feels like a lot longer!).
A fun evening, which topped off a good day (which included our four year old having her immunisations – no tears – amazing lass – she even inspired the staff on reception to make tissue paper ghosts!). I even got my eight year old to her softball practice in time (nearly forgot about it – owing to having so much fun apple bobbing and spraying my offspring with the hosepipe!) – and never mind the fact my face was covered in glitter paint from painting up the ‘Stampylongnose’ box mask!!
To finish up, here’s a poem from my eight year old daughter for Halloween (she’s a home schooler – so I try to tie in some learning every day…!):-
Halloween is fun, dressing up in costumes,
Around the world it’s celebrated,
Lots of fun for everyone.
Laughter, tricks and treats,
‘Oh my gosh!’ Lots of scares,
Watch out for monsters under the stairs…
Eyeballs floating in bloody cauldrons,
Evil witches on their broom-sticks,
Now it’s time, to say goodbye, ‘Rah!!’
Hope you have a happy and safe Halloween (or festival of the lights / Beltane – depending on where you are in the world and how you feel about this seasonal festivity – that really ought to be stuck in the autumn!! Just saying…!).
Love and peace x
Joining in with…