Halloween was always a bit of a non-event in New Zealand, and not only because my parents didn’t let us go trick-or-treating. Hardly anyone did, and as a result, in those deserted dusky streets of central Auckland, it wasn’t particularly safe. And then there was the shameless sugar-gorging and the possibility of dark forces at work… anyway, we didn’t participate. Until we moved to Hong Kong.

Surrounded by expats, many of them American, we were swept up into the fun of it all. I dressed as a witch and trawled around the apartment blocks with all the other kids and parents. Everyone was doing it and it really wasn’t scary or particularly exciting. But it was cool to be a part of things.

I was twelve then, perhaps a little too old to get into it for the first time.

And I’m still a novice. I’m not very good at costumes. I’m always trying to wrangle something out of the clothes and accessories I already own, and I don’t like to tease my hair up into a ‘fro. If I did I might go as a mad scientist. I could dress Louis and Elena in too-big clothes and we could be ‘Honey, I shrunk the kids.’

Instead, I think we’ll go to tomorrow’s halloween play-group as Hansel, Gretel and the scary old lady (yeah, so I’m going as a witch again…). If we can’t get hold of a giant lollipop then we’ll be either farmers, beach bums, or pirates. Weak-sauce, sure, but maybe we’ll make up for it by bringing exciting food…

Easy Halloween Party food on ourbestbites.com

I found great ideas online for themed food to take along, but the sweet side of things is covered so I’m meant to take something savory. That leaves me with two ideas:

– some kind of salsa dip with a spiders web drawn on top (made of sour cream)

– or cheese muffins with scary faces on top (made of vegetables cut and arranged creatively).

I have to take the bus to get there, so muffins it is. Hopefully the food and our costumes are vaguely recognizable and don’t require too much explanation: always a clear indication that you’ve basically failed at halloween.

Apparently this festival is a bit unpredictable in France. In recent years it has been a big deal and in other years a non-event. So we’d better get some lollies just in case.

We can always eat them ourselves if no trick or treaters show up… hm. Perhaps we’ll skip the lollies and just pretend we’re not home. Or demand actual tricks, as if we’re halloween purists.

In reality, I feel like an outsider, playing pretend, and not very convincingly, super-self-conscious in my lame costume. But then I think, hey, harmless fun, a few sweets, dressing up, it’s for the kids… why not? What are your thoughts/plans for halloween? Do you get into it begrudgingly, or enthusiastically, or not at all?