31 October 2012

A give and take Halloween

New Zealand seems to be divided over Halloween - half of us think it's wrong because it's not traditional here, and it's greedy and demanding, while the other half think it's great fun for children and that we should go with it.

The children themselves all want it, of course. Resisting the demands of mine to go trick or treating would be like leaning against a tidal wave (trust me, I tried).

So I've invented a couple of rules that seem to keep everyone happy.

1. We only go to houses where we know we'll be welcome. This is made much easier by a clever person on a nearby street who posted these leaflets into everyone's letterbox:

This way we're not imposing on people who don't want to be part of it, and, in the case of elderly people, might even be scared. It also means that there is no need to play a trick on anyone, because they are all waiting armed with treats.

2. We give as well as take. This year I baked about 200 little chocolate chip biscuits. Fool, I thought to myself, as I battled through the afternoon to get them done! But it was absolutely worth it to see the delighted surprise on everyone's faces as they were offered a treat in return.

And because I baked so many, morning and afternoon tea is taken care of for a few days at least. Then, when I think I've run out, I'll turn to the nifty stash I put in the freezer.

Later update: I've just read a post from the delightful Soulemama on how she deals with the challenges of Halloween. She has a candy fairy who comes to visit during the night following Halloween, and whoever is willing to leave out their loot as an offering is given books and art supplies in exchange. Appealingly wholesome, I think.

I'm delighted to note that my children have each arranged their lolly stash beautifully in a box, and eaten very little of it! I think that will all change after school today though...


  1. Yes, a clever person indeed to orchestrate that. Then she threw a party and took the horde of about 30 children from (pumpkin-labelled) house to house!


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