Posts Tagged 'Halloween'

Vestiges of Halloween Hoopla

Trick or treatingAfter spending more than $100 on candy and costumes, hiking up steep wet driveways to procure treats and watching the kids eat way too many lollipops, I can safely say that Halloween ’09 was a success.

It was the first official Halloween for the kids, and for my British husband, and it came with a reminder of home — the drizzly rain that fell through most of last night’s festivities was just like London’s autumn weather (and actually, spring, summer and winter weather, too).

We were mildly alarmed when the double buggy slipped on wet leaves while heading down our neighbors’ driveways, but that added to the spookiness.

Our house was by far the least decorated on the block, but the locals patronized it anyway. When I saw how much trouble our neighbors had gone to in stringing lights and cobwebs around their yard, I resolved to be better prepared next year.

We left a big bowl of unattended candy outside our front door while we took our kids trick or treating, and it was empty when we returned at 8:30.

So was one of the three mini pumpkins I had put out in a last ditch attempt to look festive. I hope the thief found a good use for it — I am stumped about what to do with mini pumpkins post Halloween.

Halloween Hysteria

Target Halloween display
Having spent the past seven or so Halloweens living outside of the US, I am now blown away by the level of haunted decor that our new neighbors use to mark the holiday.

In London, it was easy to forget that Halloween had arrived. There were few, if any, decorations — at least in our West London neighborhood.
Headless ghouls
Here, it’s impossible to ignore. Each house has more elaborate — and more terrifying — decorations, from store bought headless ghouls, to homemade cotton spider webs.

One neighbor has built a mini graveyard, complete with ghoulish hands reaching out from the ground. Another has made an incredibly creepy looking parade of skeletons wearing suits.

Candy in the aislesI had forgotten about the over-the-top store displays, with an orgy of candy in each aisle.

You could find Halloween candy in UK super markets, but not nearly as much as you see here. And it was much more discreetly presented.

We asked a neighbor here how much candy we should buy for trick or treaters. Her eyes grew wide. “Tons,” she said.

Doctors' door
Even our kids’ pediatrician’s office is in on the fun — with smiling jack o’ lanterns pasted on the door, as though to welcome trick or treaters.

If I were a kid, I’d have nightmares about the skeletons, ghosts and ghouls I saw in front of nearly every house. But if you grow up with it, you must get used to it. Kids seem to love it. In fact, I saw our neighbor’s son helping to craft the skeleton parade in his front lawn.

It all feels a world away from last Halloween, which we spent in Paris. It was a bit cold, rainy, and devoid of any spooky decor, but lots of fun anyway.