As a former, chubby chocoholic, I stopped stashing bags of lollies and chocolate bars in my pantry years ago, for fear of filling out again.
We’re child-free in our household too, so we don’t have the constant reminders that the big event is looming; one where kids can roam the neighbourhood, knock on doors, hold out their hands, often to strangers, and expect windfalls of chocolates or other sweet treats.
This Halloween was no different. The doorbell rang around 7pm. I knew it wasn’t our dinner guests – they’d already arrived. My heart sank because once again, our cupboards contained nothing our creepy-looking callers – dressed in ghoulish gear and masks – would be interested in.
In fact, this Halloween takes the cake. The kids came thick and fast and I was distracted. We were testing our new pizza oven in the courtyard downstairs and every time the door bell rang, I had to traipse up two sets of steps.
After a quick scan of the kitchen, I handed an apple to our first Halloween callers. This went down like a bowl of steaming pumpkin soup at a tween’s party. One ghoul was really unimpressed and screwed its face up in displeasure.
I defended the apple as the perfect treat to cleanse the palate after the gross amount of sugar they’d be devouring that night. They weren’t convinced.
My gift rejected and bereft of substitutes, there was little incentive to open the door again so we ignored the callers for awhile.
Later in the evening, the bell rang again. Thinking the young revelers would by now be tucked up in bed; I let my guard down and opened the door. This time there was a pleasant gaggle of ghouls and one was very observant. “I can smell pizza,” she said.
I suppose I could have given away my pizza but the thought never occurred to me and another group of kids left our house empty handed.
I sat down at the table again and luckily the doorbell was silent for the rest of the evening.
Aside from the inconvenience, we’d seemed to have survived another year’s over-commercialised, spooky event.
That’s what we thought, until we noticed an egg smashed on our deck the following morning. “That’s a new take on eggs for breakfast,” said the husband.
Yep, we’d been tricked. The egg has proved pretty stubborn to remove, too. After much scrubbing, I’ve only managed to take off the deck stain and the trail of sticky protein is holding fast. A question to parents in the area – anyone missing any eggs on November 1?
I’ve got a couple of suggestions about Halloween. One is to ban it. It’s a disturbing ritual, and so close to Christmas, perhaps sets the tone for heightened kiddie-consumerism? I know this could be a challenge, but what about teaching kids that just sometimes, it’s better to give than receive?
Or, perhaps children could sell school fundraising chocolates just before Halloween. That way, vague, child-free, non-chocolate-eating people like me would have something to give away when the doorbell starts ringing on October 31.