Friday, 4 November 2011

Halloween 2012 : the secrets to success

Six houses.

Halloween was built up in our house for weeks. We decorated the windows with cut out pumpkins. We talked about costumes. We even practiced dressing up in them. And then the day came.

My friend A had her traditional Halloween party. This year there were special treats brought from the US army base in Lille (yes there is one!) replete with real cupcakes with real frosting. Thekids enjoyed  bobbing for apples and doing a candy hunt in the back yard - a weak replacement for trick or treating, but you do what you can.

As night began to fall (just past 4pm!), we started to get geered up for Halloween. When I took a walk down my street earlier in the day, I'd seen one of my pumpkin simples on a neighbor's house so I knew we had at least 3 houses to hit : mine, my friend's and a neighbor's. But at 6pm, when we walked down the street to meet up for trick or treating, I was filled with glee. There were 6 pumpkins ! So our gaggle of kids - there were 7 in all - went up and down the street, screaming, running and laughing.

The neighbors - even the crotchedy old man - gave out candy to our kids. I realized that they had actually done it for us. For me and my kids. Why? Because I'd asked nicely, taken the inititiative, and shown them that it was a nice and fun time for the kids. And you know what? Even the crotchedy old man smiled! 

We ended at the pharmacy, where the kids ran in and all the pharmacy stff gathered around and they dipped their grubby and sticky hands into the big bowl of lollypops. At the end of the night - which lasted only 30 minutes but seemed like hours - I had all the kids saying "trick or treat". And you know what? It was just enough. And it was a huge success! 

Later in the evening as Max dipped his hand into his candy bag, he said "I got a rock" (a little tribute to the Great Pumpkin himself).

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