/ Parenting, Travel & Leisure

Why I love Halloween

Pumpkins carved with hearts

To me, Halloween means dressing up, enjoying some fun and games and getting into the community spirit. To many others it’s a time to turn the lights out and pretend you’re not in. Which camp are you in?

Put me in a cauldron and cast a spell on me, but I’m going to say it anyway: I love Halloween.

My pumpkin has been sat in the cupboard waiting to be hollowed out since the start of the week, a few days ago I dug out all the Halloween decorations and I’ve been busily finding themed food and games online.

Admittedly, the latter is for my three-year-old daughter and her friends, but I’m not ashamed to say I’m glad to have an excuse to get properly involved in this spooky celebration every year.

Go and frighten somebody else

I’ve also got a few goodies tucked away in the hope that some trick-or-treaters come a-calling. I realise I’m in the minority here. Already this year I’ve heard all the usual excuses: they’re too aggressive and they scare old people; why should I give to people I don’t know; kids are getting lazier and greedier in terms of how much effort they make and how much they expect.

In fact, a survey by Quidco showed the extent of our Halloween misery. One in five said they’d rather pretend they’re not in than answer the door to trick-or-treaters. And a third will hide behind the sofa rather than give away any goodies! Why? Apparently they can’t afford it.

All this just makes me feel a bit depressed. There aren’t many annual events that encourage communities to interact, let alone ring on strangers’ doorbells. Isn’t this a great excuse to get to know neighbours and break down barriers?

Of course, I appreciate this isn’t always the case. Last year I experienced good and bad callers. The good generally involved kids who’d made a proper effort to dress up, were happy with two or three sweets to add to their collection, and were accompanied by older siblings or adults.

The bad ones, though, knocked too loudly (and too late), thought that wearing a mask constituted fancy dress and expected way more than I was willing to give. The ones that fall into this category can undoubtedly be aggressive, scary, lazy and greedy – and I’d happily not answer the door to them.

A few rotten apples shouldn’t spoil all the fun

But should they spoil the fun for everyone else? In the next year or two I’d like to start a trick-or-treating ritual with my daughter, and I’d hope there are some people like me who get into the spirit of things to make it a special event that she’ll remember. Contrary to what those Quidco voters think, it doesn’t have to cost a lot – I’ve spent about £3 on a few bumper bags of sweets.

And yet, if Seaford Town Council has anything to do with it, we could be stopped from ghoulish games altogether in future. In a move to crack down on people asking for cash on doorsteps, locals are being asked to vote on establishing a ‘no cold-calling’ ban within the town.

If they go ahead with the ban, Trading Standards are expected to investigate anyone who regularly defies it – which would include carol singers and trick-or-treaters. They won’t be fined or arrested but it is expected to put them off.

‘Bah ghostbug’ is all I’ve got to say to that!

Comments
Member

Try harder please? No more “My pumpkin has been sat in the cupboard waiting —- ”
Try ‘has been sitting”.instead,—- please.

Member
J Brodie says:
30 October 2011

>>> My pumpkin has been sat in the cupboard waiting to be hollowed out … <<<

This is hardly incorrect usage. It makes sense if you take the time to parse it properly, recognise the verb "to sit" has more than one meaning, and the different conjugations being used to show the sequence of events.

1) The pumpkin has been sat (placed) in the cupboard (by the author). Present perfect passive – correct usage for an action that occurred in the past, focussing on the pumpkin, not the agent.

2) It has been waiting to be hollowed out. Present perfect continuous – correct usage for an action that has yet to be completed.

Pumpkins are inanimate objects; they do not sit of their own accord, but they can wait for things to happen to them.

Member
Anonymous says:
20 March 2015

I Agree if your gonna talk then use proper grammer.

Member
holfl says:
26 January 2018

*you’re 🙂

Member

I doubt it. If Anonymous had used ‘proper grammer’ the comment might have been easier to understand.

Member

And technically ‘sat’ in this instance is simply a case of passivisation. As accurate now as it was seven years ago…

Member
Mr Blobby says:
30 October 2011

I don’t understand how anyone can defend the practice of trick or treating. Effectively what you are saying, if you engage in this odious activity, is “give me some sweets or I’ll do something to you that you won’t like”. At any other time of the year this would be called extortion or obtaining goods with menaces.
Why should we condone this stupid American tradition? What are we teaching our children – that is OK to threaten their neighbors with throwing flour all over their car unless they hand over chocolate?
If you want to build some community spirit and interact then why not do it in a nice way?

Member
Some Guy says:
1 November 2017

Besides, if you don’t like buying candy put a bowl on the porch(empty) that says take one. They will think “Oh, somebody dumped the bowl…” and then move to the next house.

Member
Sophie Gilbert says:
30 October 2011

Bah, humbug!