I love Hallowe'en half term. Not for Hallowe'en itself but because for me it heralds the beginning of the coziest time of year. Now I'm not saying I love the rain and the often grey skies, but I do so love darker afternoons with a few candles flickering, a hot cup of tea and maybe a new magazine or a board game on the go. I've been very much enjoying a few of these afternoons the last few days, and I can only anticipate more in the next week!
As a holiday, I've said before that Hallowe'en isn't really a big thing for us as a family. Not that I'm in any way against it, but we try to keep it low key and with just a hint of our 70's childhoods showing! I do slightly resent the fact that I can't nip into Tesco without feeling like a bad mother for not coming out with a trolley full of plastic bats, spiders, costumes and other Hallowe'en paraphernalia, as if in some way I'm denying the boys their right to a purple-and-orange-fest. But this year I kept my focus and headed straight to the pumpkins because, really, little pumpkin faces glowing with candlelight are actually essential, are they not?
Another thing I love about this half term is that it gives Patrick the opportunity to slip back into his childhood love of dressing up. Oh, how I miss the days when we never knew if Spiderman or Optimus Prime would be joining us for dinner! These days the dressing up is all about sports kits - a diferrent one each time he plays a different game. So I love that he gets to let his imagination run wild and get the face paints out one more time. The role of choice for his friend's party was a zombie, the same as last year. I don't know how we always seem to have a pair of jeans with the knee out at this time of year! He seemed pretty pleased with my makeup job this year, which in the current climate, I take as a great achievement!
Conor, true to his nature, would have none of that dressing up nonsense! Instead he opted for the shirt off craft extravaganza, helped along by the Charlie and Lola comic I had bought for him! He was sticking and colouring with gusto, but for me the highlight was when he announced, "I've done all the glittering so can you come and do the glue now?" Cue the aura of calm and much sweeping and funnelling of glitter back into the tiniest tube known to man!
Our seasonal fun was rounded off with an evening of fun with some good friends. There was a little bit of craft, a lot of pizza, some popcorn I'd made (most of it was thrown out because the toffee sauce, whilst delicious, could have disolved the enamel off the kids' teeth as we watched!) and lots of sparklers. It was a really simple night, but one that brought together some of the things I love best about this time of year.
So now that October is well and truly behind us, I am settling into the rhythm of shorter, darker days, whittling down my supply of tealights at an alarming rate, and looking forward to just a hint of you know what! And how about you - are you slipping into the cozy season along with me or fighting it off with dogged determination?