By KATE HUNTER
I need somewhere to go next Wednesday night. I must to be able to take my children and we need stay for at least three hours. I am hiding from Halloween. I can’t stand it. And consequently, my children can’t stand me – today anyway.
I don’t know who the Halloween equivalent of Ebeneezer Scrooge is, but call me that. I will do anything to escape it, but I realise I’m but a voice in an increasingly pumpkin-filled wilderness.
Maybe I’m over-reacting. Trick-or-treating in our street is considerate and well organised. One mum takes charge and drops note into each letterbox asking who wants to be involved. Then, from the replies, she compiles a list of homes happy to be visited by groups of little ghouls (each must have an adult with them).
‘How bad can it be?’ My friends ask, ‘Halloween’s here to stay, why not go along with it? Surely that’s easier than trying to stop it?’
People assume I’m railing against the importation of an American tradition, but it’s not that. I love American-ness. I don’t have a problem when chips are called fries and I’d rather visit Washington than Canberra. We took the kids to Disneyland at Halloween two years ago. Mickey was wearing his pumpkin and purple tux and we had a ball – and quite a lot of candy (note casual use of Americanism). I’m all for sharing traditions and customs if we understand their meaning. But to so many Australian kids, Halloween is nothing but a lolly-grab.
There’s not a lot of neighbourhood bonding happening. The sugar-fuelled rush from house-to-house happens in an anonymous whirlwind of face-paint and rubber masks. No one knows who’s who and everyone imports school friends anyway. For parents, it’s nothing but a work, stress and expense. I suppose I just can’t be bothered with it and frankly, I don’t see why I should.
When my daughter is able to fashion her own bat costume from old umbrellas (she Googled it) or my son can hack into a pumpkin unsupervised, then fine – they can go for it. Until then, this mummy is jumping on her broomstick and getting the hell out of here.
If you DO celebrate Halloween and you are after a little inspiration click here.
Do you “celebrate” Halloween? Are you going to dress up? Have you decorated your house or are you staying away from pumpkins in any shape or form?