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Wednesday 31 October 2012

Halloween: scary or just good fun? How my reluctance morphed into enthusiasm


Does the word send a shiver up your spine, or excite you ("woo, another reason to dress up!")?

Last week - for me - it was the former.

My daughter said something about Halloween when I picked her up from daycare during our usual daycare-round-up conversation, and immediately my head went to: "Oh no, they've told them about Halloween!" I can't 'hide' this 'festival' from them any longer!"

My head also went to: me reluctantly buying outfits and scary skulls, and sugary lollies and other things in the category I call waste-of-money. I'm no Grinch but it was something I didn't really want my kids to take part in. I am not sure why, but I am sure that reluctance to be 'Americanised' (too late for that) floated around in my head. (And really, most of the time, I do enjoy 'Americanisation').

I hadn't given it much thought since last week. My daughter wanted me to buy a witch hat and a bag of skull-logo lollies on a random trip to Big W on Saturday, and I did. I had no interest in trick or treating and certainly wasn't going to introduce the idea... well at least not until she begged me to when she found out all her friends were doing it...

But today... today, yes... it was a different story.

I was happy to dress up my daughter in a Halloween outfit someone gifted her last year, as all the kids were invited to put on their Halloween best at daycare (I will admit I called the daycare this AM to check: "Are they dressing up in Halloween gear today?"). My daughter loves any excuse for a dress-up (so do I!) and it was a thrill to see her so excited about her outfit and how to coordinate it (again, it in her DNA).

I was not prepared at all for my son, and so popped over to Big W where all the Halloween motif tees were sold out, so I had to make do with a rather funky pair of khaki shorts with tiny skulls all over. A flouro tee with something scary I now can't remember on the front also made the cut. He hates things on his head but he bravely put on those ridiculously fun headband things with horns or some-such scary madness. I am sure he took them off two minutes later, cute little poppet.

The Reject Shop also got a visit... again, they were mostly sold out of spooky merchandise but I did find a silver tinsel skull garland, a fabulous little 'Beware' sign which plays that spooky organ music (Bach's 'Toccata'), and witches hats with flowy black hair. Perfect. Fun enough to be a part of Halloween - not scary enough to freak them the hell out.

And so: will I embrace the Halloween tradition with each passing year? Highly likely. I am already starting to feel twinges of being "peer-pressured mum" - that is, wanting to conform to what everyone else's kids are doing so my kids don't feel left out (trust me, you'll do the same for your kiddies).

But I actually find that I DO enjoy the notion of camaraderie and fun and dress-ups for the kids... and what's so scary about that?

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