Halloween is my favourite time of year! I absolutely love it and always have. My twin and I have our birthday on November 1st so it was a special time of year of celebration in our household. The fact that we could eat junk food two days in a row was worth celebrating alone.
The build up to Halloween was so exciting. We would plan our outfits for weeks and even had some of them handmade. Pumpkin picking and carving would start early.
We would plan our routes of which houses to trick or treat at for days. And most years a big gang of us would meet up to travel around the neighbourhood together.
But the biggest excitement of the day was finally emptying our loot bag out onto the floor, then mapping our which treats you were going to eat first.
For my sister, Karen, and I getting to sleep on Halloween night was near impossible.
It was twofold: we were full of sugar and super full of excitement for our birthdays the next day. We kept this tradition of making Halloween a big deal right through our teen years and into our twenties.
Making elaborate costumes, carving pretty spectacular pumpkins and hosting big parties which were Halloween/birthday combos when we got older.
But when I moved to Ireland in 1999, Halloween wasn’t as big a thing. I will always remember my first year and the blank looks I got off my roomies asking them what our Halloween plans were.
“Nothing” they all said. So I trotted off with a heavy heart to the local shop hunting for a pumpkin only to find none and eventually picked up a sad looking turnip and tried to turn it into something magical, but failed.
The following year I was determined to celebrate Halloween and was going to make my pals join me. It was a small gathering that year and I think I even managed to find a pumpkin.
But the following year I really pushed it on them and insisted we all dress up. We threw a big boozy house party and everyone looked amazing. We are all still talking about that one “Halloween party” of 2001.
So when my daughter, Joan, came along many years later I wanted to make sure it was a special part of the year for her too. I can pretty much list all of the costumes she has had so far, starting with the most adorable pumpkin outfit when she was just six months old. Thankfully, she has always loved it!
She looks forward to decorating the house each October and making her own Halloween art. She starts wearing spooky tops, cat skirts or bat tops at the start of the month. And she absolutely loves pumpkin carving.
Each year we have been getting more elaborate. Last year she helped me with five different pumpkins, including a Poop emoji and a silhouette of a cat on a fence, very intricate.
It is such a great thing to do together, to plan out the design, to get our hands ‘dirty’ and to see our finished product. Plus she helps me roast and eat the seeds.
But the nicest tradition for Halloween in our family is my sister always buys Joan’s costume each year and sends it over from Canada.
One year it was the most amazing ball-like witch’s dress made from the softest velvet material.
When she was just four Karen sent Joan the sweetest Little Red Riding Hood outfit and this year, as Joan is a bit older, we have gone for something less sweet with a Zombie Cheerleader costume.
So whatever your plans are , I hope you enjoy and wish you a very Happy Halloween.