Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin decoration, carving pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns
Happy Halloween!

Halloween is the one holiday that really is just for the kids. I'm not the least bit interested in Halloween - that is, I wouldn't be if I didn't have children. I don't think I'd even bother decorating if it weren't for the boys. It just not my thing. But the kids love it: Dressing up! Free candy! Jack-o-lanterns! Free candy! Haunted houses! FREE CANDY! And I love how excited they get and how much fun it is to dress them up and decorate and all the fun little things that go along with Halloween.

My husband is into Halloween. Very into Halloween. He loves horror movies and cinematography and special effects. He goes all out with full movie make-up for his costume and his pumpkin is always an intricately carved work of art. Mine's your traditional two triangle eyes and a half-moon mouth. He decorates the front of the house with spiderwebs, strobe lights and a spooky fog machine and answers the door to trick-or-treaters in a straightjacket.

If it were up to me there'd probably be a single pathetic pumpkin sitting on the front porch.

kids' crafts
But because the rest of the family is so into Halloween, it has become a very big thing around here.

Halloween treats, Halloween mealsHalloween crafts adorn every corner of the house - construction paper ghosts, toilet roll jack-o-lanterns and bats, and pumpkin-print placemats. We carve five pumpkins - every member of the family gets their own. My pumpkin is used to make Pumpkin Man, who sits on our front porch for the season. (Pumpkin Mom this year - the only old clothes we could find for him were some of mine, so unless he's cross-dressing it looks like he's a she this Halloween.)

And I always make a special spooky Halloween dinner with stuffed pepper jack-o-lanterns as the piece de resistance before we head out trick-or-treating.

The town hosts a Haunted Forest Fright Night event in the local woods - everyone has to dress up (parents included!) and bring their flashlights for a spooky walk through the woods with creepy creatures around every corner and under every tree. The jack-o-lantern-and-gravestone-lined path finishes at a haunted house, followed by a campfire and cauldron of witches' brew for the kids, mini-golf with skeleton bones and eyeballs, and graveyard ring toss. Lots of fun.

Mario, Luigi, mushroom
And then there's the fun of trick-or-treating! This year the boys decided to do themed costumes - Mario, Luigi and Yoshi. Mario and Luigi were easy enough to find, and absolutely adorable. But I could not find an infant Yoshi costume anywhere in North America. After weeks of searching with no luck I tried to make one - but I am not a very good seamstress and it looked more like a worm than a cartoon dinosaur. I can't even begin to describe how much time and effort went into trying to figure out this costume (ridiculous, I know) - but it just didn't happen. I finally gave up last week and decided Baby would just wear one of his brothers' old costumes. But the fact that the three boys' costumes wouldn't be themed anymore - and that the older boys had come up with the idea on their own and would be so disappointed if we couldn't do it - kept nagging at me so the night before Halloween I went out and bought some blue fleece and white felt for a Mario Brothers mushroom, which I subsequently spent the entire night sewing and stuffing and doing and re-doing.

This was literally the extent of my crafting skills - but I think it was recognizable. And the kids were ecstatic that their baby brother was in a Mario Brothers costume too. 

The boys had a blast, their costumes were adorable, the house decor was a hit and we've all had way more chocolate and candy than we should. Halloween was a success - and now it's time to pack it all away and start looking forward to Christmas!

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