Friday, November 1, 2013

An accidental Halloween

Yesterday was Halloween, which in Australia means.. not much really. Sure, in the $2 shops there is Halloween merchandise, but on the whole it is a non-event for most Aussies.


A couple of years ago a new family arrived in our street. On Halloween their two young girls got dressed up and went trick or treating.
Last year their numbers had increased to Six.
This year, as I was doing my shopping I had a thought, and threw a little bag of chocolate eyeballs into my trolley "just in case".

Yesterday at the supermarket there were 12 fat orange pumpkins on display for carving. I'm pretty sure they didn't expect to sell any, but at $1 per kilo, I thought "Why Not?" I've seen pictures on line and have been curious about how the whole thing worked...
I chose the biggest, and it cost me a whopping $4.87 .

After school. Sarah and I carefully removed its slimey innards - gross-  and carved our first pumpkin. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, we discovered the skin is as tough as boots, but the flesh inside was like slicing apples. Miss 9 drew a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin and we set to work. Grand plans for wonderful art got quickly downscaled as we realised how tricky it is to manoeuvre a kitchen knife around inside a pumpkin neatly.


But in the end we had a BLOODY GOOD pumpkin head.

We put a tea light candle in it and placed it outside our door so any little "Trick or Treaters" would know we would welcome them.

At 6pm there were 4 groups of kids dressed up in costumes ( to be honest I think I've already seen most of those costumes at the Book Week parade this year) .

This is what I saw -

Kids running around being silly and goofey and having fun. This evening they were allowed to walk up and down the street, they felt safe and they were laughing.

I saw big kids walking, holding the hand of little kids. Big kids helping little kids in using their manners .

I saw a big brother lift his little sister up in his arms so she could have a turn at pushing the door bell. Then he put her down and helped straighten out her long sparkly princess dress. In that moment, as she looked at him, she ADORED him.

I saw Mums standing at their letterboxes, watching from a distance, trusting that the neighbourhood would be safe and kind.

I saw elderly neighbours clapping hands for a little boy who performed a trick - a fairly impressive backflip !

Miss 9 had already put on her witch outfit for the pumpkin carving, as you do, so when she saw one of her friends at our door she asked if she could go with them. Off she went, mingling into a group of kids she didn't know, making new friends.

The kids were polite and respectful, they used beautiful manners at every door.

I have to say that it was a lot of fun, it was so nice to watch the kids just being kids. We need more of that in our very serious, locked down world.

There has been a lot of talk on Social Media that Halloween is Un-Australian. That we don't need, and in fact MUST NOT succumb to this American holiday. That allowing kids to Trick or Treat is begging and bludging off neighbours.

Never-mind the fact that we celebrate Chinese New Year ( and we aren't China) , the Queens birthday is no where near her actual birthday, the nation stops for a horse race , apparently those are all worthy undertakings... I really don't understand the opposition to something that is really just a bit of fun for children.

With all the negative talk about Halloween, how it encourages kids to beg, to be hoodlums running through the street, the only questionable behaviour I saw came from a 50 year old married man who came to his door, yelled and swore at small children and lectured them on being UN-Australian. Guess who I admire more?

Next year we will be carving two pumpkins :-)


  1. What a beautiful post Lisa. I must admit I am softening on the whole Halloween stance as well. We had a Halloween disco at school last night and it was so lovely. Lots of people dressed up and having fun, enjoying being part of a community.

    Oh and btw that sure is a bloody good pumpkin carving effort

  2. The pumpkin head is joining in on a whole new level... not sure I am up to that advanced stage yet!

    Great work.

  3. Great post - I have nearly changed my mind to embrace Halloween after reading it. Pumpkin carving is now added to your resume I assume - it's a beauty!! Little witch is bewitching as always!!!

  4. While I am not a fan of Halloween - and don't have children young enough to participate - what happened in your neighbourhood sounds like a wonderful evening. It's so good to hear of children having fun that isn't, in any way, related to computers or social media.
    Have the best weekend !

  5. Stephanie - NASA MummyNovember 2, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    How fabulous you wrote this... I think the same! I loved the giving spirit of my children - and also the spirit of sharing when they came home with their younger sisters. It was a great opportunity for them to dress up and play with their friends... all safely done! My husband is away at sea at the moment - so no pumpkin carving for us this year - but I do look forward to seeing it done next year... I am not game at doing it - but clearly remember my husband saying how difficult it was - but totally worth it!!

  6. Lisa, your pumpkin looks fantastic! Perhaps I shall be brave enough to try one next year. As you know, I couldn't agree more with you on this topic. Halloween is a wonderful way to meet our neighbours, build our community and have some fun! I love Halloween and I'm proud to say so. x

  7. We celebrate Halloween and our kids love it. I don't understand the backlash against it. We decorate more than any house in our street, and everyone seems to take a delight in seeing it! Our pumpkin carving needs serious work before next year though....


Your comments are welcome, please be kind and respectful. We all have different views of the world, sharing your view with gentle words is Lisa