Halloween Parties

We have hosted our first Halloween Party, and I think it was a success. The kids did most of the decorations. Among many other things, the kids made the mandatory paper-chains, as Hazel could not abide a holiday with-out them. The French doors for the back door have about 16 pictures, mostly of pumpkins, some Hazel made herself and some were print-outs. The weekend was a frenzy of crafting for the party. They each made a Frankenstein paper plate face, a witch in a pumpkin, a pumpkin door hanging decoration and treat bags for all their friends. They also helped Michael carve four pumpkins—which were all grown on the allotment. His carving skills have improved and I think he did himself proud—they are really good. The kids helped bake and decorate cut-out cookies, and helped me bake a cake. Michael and I made orange icing for it, and then he did a spider web on it with black icing.

The party was in the afternoon—11am to 1pm—well, was supposed to be! I figured as most of the kids were young we’d do a low-key non-scary Halloween. The kids did startle their friend Siena when she got here—which was a surprise as she plays so many wild games with her dad—I thought she was totally un-surprisable. Anyway—she recovered quickly and had fun trying to scare everyone else. There were ten kids in all (plus baby Sofia!)—so a good crowd. They all behaved lovely and had a good time. When everyone was here we had lunch—a selection of sandwiches, carrot and celery sticks, grapes, banana chips and apple rings- the menu was picked by H & K. We also had the biscuits, cake and crisps and nuts—and the mandatory candy bars. Then we went Trick-or-treating!
I had arranged ahead of time with the neighbours either side of us to bring the kids round for trick-or-treating. I know—back home that sounds so silly—but it’s not done here. They both agreed and were great about it. The neighbours attached to us made up treat bags for all the kids and even ran out and bought their 1st Halloween decorations ever and decorated the house just for the kids. The kids took to it amazingly quick—not one shy unsure move by any of them—even the few two-year olds. Hazel and Kieran just ran up to the house and went in the side door, and everyone just followed and had fun!

It was fun seeing everyone’s reactions—the neighbours were so excited and enjoyed it immensely. They video taped the kids going to our other neighbour and she also took photos. They are both older couples and it was their 1st trick-or-treating experience. They both said they’d be glad to have the kids over next year as well. I was glad they enjoyed it—I always remember Halloween as being the one night a year where the whole neighbourhood socialised with each other and had a great time.

It was also the first Halloween experience for all of the parents—and Michaels’ 1st trick-or-treating experience. They all said they had no idea what to expect. They all said they enjoyed it and were looking forward to next year. When I first got here, you couldn’t buy a Halloween decoration anywhere, now they are everywhere. I have always loved the autumn and Halloween and I’m glad things are changing here, as I want to share my joy of the season with my two. Halloween is starting to emerge here as a fun holiday—and I’m on a mission to make sure it catches on! I hope I’m off to a good start.

Well—the party was supposed to go till about 1pm as we had another party to go to! Our friends had arranged for an early evening party for the kids. So Abby & Naomi came to ours at lunch—and we went to theirs at dinner. They had arranged for party games and dinner. There were 12 children in attendance. Abby is 8, so it was a good mix of kids, the youngest being 3. Hazel and Kieran were a bit tired, and we were a bit late as our last guests had only left at 3pm, so they didn’t have much time to unwind and relax before we were due to go. But they cheered up and got involved in time for pass the parcel, and Hazel tried apple bobbing—and actually got an apple. Something I’ve never been able to do. But our goddaughter Naomi was the star! She’ll be 4 this month—and has probably set the record for fastest Apple Bobber! She just kept getting them, one after another. You would have thought she’d be training for years to do it—it was hysterical to watch! The kids got one of those glow sticks in their treat bags—and loved those. They put them on their windowsills for the night and had a great time playing with them this morning under our blankets.

So—I have to say—it was the best Halloween in years. I’m so glad I showed so many people how much fun it can be—it was great to see their excitement for the kids when they went trick-or-treating. Mind you—we are mostly cruel parents and only two of the kids (A & N) could keep the gummy candies they were given!

Well-tomorrow is our next celebration—Michael’s birthday. I finally got round to gift buying today! We went to town and had a great ramble round—popping in and out of shops. Then we did a bit of grocery shopping—and then off to get Hazel & I some clothes and shoes. We were successful for her—finally found some red tops for her—I’m so sick of pastel! She also got some dress shoes and some black boots. I was as unsuccessful as ever—oh well!

So first thing tomorrow we will torture Michael as we’ve hidden all his presents. For someone who can’t find his glasses when he’s wearing them, treasure hunts are pure torture! (I have to have some kicks every now and then!) Kieran has ballet at ten, and then we’re off to a science centre for the afternoon. Hazel decided we’d have pizza for dinner—so the dough is rising as I’m typing!

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