There’s a vampire costume hanging on my son’s wardrobe door. A can of white hairspray is lined up on his chest of drawers with a mirror set up beside it. There’s a plastic spider wrapped up in many layers of paper ready for the pass the parcel. But best of all, there’s a wicker basket in the kitchen with a handwritten note sellotaped to the side, which reads ‘bag ov doom’.
The note was written when he got home from school, on a tiny notepad found in my car. He’d spent the short journey home asking me what to write on it, then decided ‘doom’ would be good for a basket which he’d pre-filled with things for his Halloween party. These essentials include a bag of polyester cobwebs, some paper plates, cups and napkins and a selection of books with scary stuff in. I’m not convinced on the books as they’re either about dinosaurs, sharks or Star Wars Lego. I’m not sure what’s especially doom-mongering about that, but the cuteness more than makes up for it.
Ever since halloween last year, my first born has been asking me how long until the next one. When I say asking, I mean asking me at least once a week, every week, for nearly a year now. ‘How many days is it til Halloween?’ Or ‘how many weeks is it, Mum? But how many hours?’
For the past few years, we’ve ended up having a party at ours before going out trick or treating. Nothing major, just a few friends for tea, plenty of dressing up, food, a bit of wine for the grown ups before plundering the sweet supplies of our neighbours.
Last year, baby gal was so small she was overwhelmed and in bed for half six. My husband was in hospital – about six months into his eight-month stay – so I stayed in, tidied up and had another glass of wine while the other parents took the kids out trick or treating.
This year, we’ll all be here, ready to take on the big night!
Two years ago, I had a go at making a costume for my son, and even went to the bother of borrowing a friend’s sewing machine, buying some glitzy fabric from John Lewis, and making a spangly wizard cape. It was rejected in favour of a supermarket skeleton suit, but at least I get some wear out of it.
This year, it’s definitely vampire outfit for my son, but I’ve yet to find a costume for my daughter. Little girls’ outfits all seem to have tiny straps instead of sleeves, all a bit scratchy and cold for October, don’t you think? I’ll keep you posted on what we go for. In the meantime, I’m going to be looking up some ideas for halloween crafts, seeing as it’s half term in the week leading up to it and there’s always making going on round here, and usually I’m not allowed to join in with first born’s big ideas but I can offer some inspiration I’m sure.