Our boys have been crazy about Halloween since we lived in Singapore; the large ex-pat population of Americans meant there was plenty of activity there. And any reason to dress up in costume is a good one as far as I'm concerned.
|Niels - our own Very Angry Bird|
|Carl in his gorilla suit|
I downloaded a scary sound effect of a creaky door opening following by an evil laugh and set up speakers by the front door. With lights off and jack-o-lanterns flickering on the doorstep it created an eerie, just-scary-enough atmosphere that had the kids shrieking and coming back for more all night. I kept my large pumpkin-shaped soup tureen filled with treats and had fun slowly creaking open the door all night. Our house was unanimously voted the best Halloween address in the neighbourhood!
Personally, I will ensure we do it differently next year having seen some of the parents responses. Carl can invite as many friends as he wants but there will be no letter. The kill-joy attitude by many of the parents was striking...there were dark mutterings about it being 'too exciting' for kids (WTF?), and there were even some who pulled their curtains tightly closed and refused to answer the door to the kids, despite their own children taking part!! What took the cake for me was having one Mum give me the horrified 'oh my god how could you let children go trick & treating' spiel, then when I suggested she accompany her kid herself she turned on her heel, climbed into her car and drove off, leaving her precious offspring standing there!
So yes it was fun, the kids and I had a blast, and a couple of the parents got into the spirit of things and joined in, but it reminded me yet again that I'll never really be Dutch, and when it comes to being parents many of them are a long way from embracing the fun and spontaneity that some other cultures enjoy.