Sunday, 1 November 2009

Our Halloween celebrations

Not being from a Halloween celebrating country and not living in a Halloween celebrating country, the celebration of Halloween is new to me but it is a tradition we have made our own. And I love any celebration of the seasons, and any excuse to brighten up the darkness, so it fits into life quite nicely.The kids have been excited for days, weeks. The concept of running around knocking on doors and being given candy is about as thrilling as they can imagine. It was like Christmas eve here yesterday, the waiting and waiting went on longer than they thought possible.

It's the third year in a row we have celebrated with a dinner with friends and it has become a combined Thanksgiving-Halloween celebration with a turkey and pumpkin pie. Luckily the 31st falls in the school holidays here so a mid-week celebration has not yet posed a problem. And as with any celebration the preparation is as much a part of the fun as the event itself, especially Halloween preparation.This year the magic started with a birthday box arriving from Australia from Mormor (mother's mother for the non-Swedes amongst us). Knowing it contained costumes they were allowed to open it early while talking to Mormor on the phone. Two very happy little chickadees decided to wear their new costumes for Halloween, the boy even wanted to sleep in his!
Now that we had costumes there was the turkey, the pumpkin pie and the pumpkins to prepare. Turkeys were once hard to come by in Sweden, but are now readily available in most of the big grocery stores and I knew just where to go to get both a turkey and pumpkins at a reasonable price. Gone are the days of paying exorbitant prices for pumpkins at Hötorget, the fruit and veggie market in town! But saying that you can never be too sure and I was relieved once we had actually made our purchases.

Pumpkin carving is usually a big deal for the Canadian amongst us and designs are usually carefully considered according to pumpkin size, shape and over-all difficulty. He and the kids scoured the internet until they found the right designs and carving was soon underway.Once everything was prepared, including the roasting of the pumpkin seeds, it was time to bake Halloween cookies. With the aroma of freshly baked cookies lingering the guests arrived and it was time to play, talk, put the turkey in the oven and paint faces. The table was set, the wine corked and a delicious dinner was enjoyed by the adults at least. The kids were too excited and too eager to get outside and go door-knocking.
Finally the time had come. A few final adjustments were made and the candy bags were gathered.
They were ready, the were prepared. They were scary. Or not. The were definitely excited!
And the neighbors were all well-prepared and expecting our arrival - I had warned them and handed out candy earlier in the day to make sure!

And we weren't the only ones having a dress-up party! We brightened up a few peoples' day - who can resist this cute little bunch? The neighbors love it when the kids come knocking!
These little trick-or-treaters were thrilled with their adventure - each coming back with a bag filled with candy (or lollies as we say in my part of the world) and a few other goodies from the 10 neighboring apartments. They then settled down in front of a movie and chomped away while the adults got a chance to relax and talk.

Whether our neighbors were celebrating Halloween or not, it was sure hard to miss its presence in our street!

Halloween is a fun, crazy, silly tradition. It is about kids, seasons and doing things out of the ordinary. It spices up life as we head into the coldest, darkest part of the year.

Hope your Halloween was as great as ours!

1 comment:

  1. Nicole, love the article. And love the pumpkins. Super job there, you and Tyler. Our kids went trick or treatin as well -- had a really fun time, and got written up (with a photo to boot) in DN (print edition) today. Thanks for sharing your Halloween. :-) Kristin