Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Lily the mermaid and Ladybird Emma 

As a Christian I have to admit that I have never known where to stand when it comes to Halloween. There's the whole 'evil' thing obviously, coupled with the fact that I hate anything scary or unpleasant anyway. However, there is no denying that Halloween is 'out there' and since I now have children I can no longer just ignore the Halloween displays in all the shops and wait quietly for November to roll around.

Tom and Lily go to a secular school (which thankfully doesn't do anything to mark Halloween), so all of their friends are excited about Halloween and trick or treating. I don't want my children to feel that they are missing out on something great as I feel that the surest way of driving a child towards something is to tell them they can't have it. We now mark Halloween as an evening of dressing up, family games and activities and a special tea and we keep the nasties out of it. I hope that by keeping Halloween a fun, family and above all wholesome evening, I can stop them wanting to go out dressed like the undead and begging door to door!

I shall now get off my soapbox and tell you that we had a really fun Halloween. I hung dressing up costumes all over the lounge, so when the Podlings got home from school they could put on what they wanted. We decorated apples, played some games, had a special tea and ate lots of sugar. Lily loves to give out the sweets to the trick or treaters, which I feel is a good lesson in giving to others and Emma loved shouting 'Bye!!' at the top of her voice and slamming the door after they had left. I don't allow the children to go trick or treating, but I do allow them to go outside the front door and trick or treat me. They do this several times and do quite well out of it!

I had a hard job getting them all to calm down and go to sleep when it came to bedtime, which I feel shows that they had a great time. I don't know how long I can get away with our current approach to Halloween, but for now the Podlings really love it.

Pirate Tom...arr! 

Halloween costumes, pumpkin baskets and clues to some of our evening activities greeted the Podlings when we got back from school.

 The Podlings needed new toothbrushes anyway, but it amused me to put them in their pumpkin baskets in anticipation of the large amount of sugar they would be consuming! The plate contained some pumpkin shaped ginger biscuits I found in Sainsbury's.

 Emma's new ladybird costume was one of the many costumes I hung around the lounge.

 Lily decorating her apple.

 Tom decorating his apple. Emma made one too, but I didn't get a picture of her as I was too busy making sure she didn't get melted chocolate all over the carpet!

 The cutest ladybird in town!

 I had serious trouble lighting our Jack o' Lantern. Of course you need a candle inside it and Emma is under the impression that you blow candles out since that's what you do at birthday parties. Every time I lit the lantern, she immediately blew it out. Finally, I tried lighting it really quickly and slamming the lid back on, at which point she bent over and blew the candle out through the mouth! We did get there eventually!

 Our little tea. It was very simple, but if I get the cake stands and pretty plates out the Podlings think we are having a party no matter what I serve!

 Emma wanted to change into her giraffe costume after a while. My goodness, she makes a cute (if rather short) giraffe!

 Lily strikes a pose. She loved her new mermaid costume a great deal.

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