Monday, November 4, 2013

Half-arsed Halloween

To be fair, we'd only arrived back from Australia three days earlier. I didn't get my shit together before our trip, which gave me very little time to prepare for Halloween after our return. I'd like to blame jet lag (at least partially) but let's face it - I've never been the type to sit down and lovingly make costumes from scratch. If I can buy it for under twenty bucks, that's what I call a happy result.

Exhibit A: Halloween 2010 (our first Halloween in the US)
The Faery's Cinderella - Target 
Miss Pie's jack o'lantern - Old Navy

Exhibit B - Halloween 2011 (our second Halloween in the US)
The Faery's cowgirl - skirt and boots already owned (Target?), flannel top from KMart for the cowgirl look,
hat and badge from The Party Store
Miss Pie's cupcake - Old Navy 

 Exhibit C - Halloween 2012 (our third)
Miss Pie's pirate princess - Costco
The Faery's pirate princess - Amazon

Which brings me to our most recent effort. In the past, I'd at least managed to carve some pumpkins, string up some fake spider webs and make a sign or two. This year, we were away for a good chunk of October, so decorating was non-existent - with the exception of one hastily carved pumpkin the night before.

I didn't worry too much about the lack of fun decorations. Our home is in a tiny side street, part of a group of just five townhouses. Neighbours had told us there was very little pedestrian traffic on Halloween, so it didn't look like we'd be getting many - if any - trick or treaters.

One other issue was the climate. With our Californian Halloweens, two of those days saw temperatures soar above 30ÂșC and the main issue then was keeping the kids from overheating. With absolutely no chance of that happening in Seattle (it's been COLD), we had to think about how the kids would stay warm enough during their trick or treating rounds. In all likelihood, puffy down jackets were going to be covering up their costumes anyway.

Their costumes could have been worse. I hit the lazy jackpot when Miss Pie declared she wanted to be Cinderella - we still had the Faery's first Halloween costume kicking around in the dress-up basket. It was falling apart but Miss Pie was happy to wear it. Yay for hand-me-downs, right?

As for the Faery, she wanted to be a ninja. A quick Google search for kids' ninja costumes convinced me it would be okay to dig out her old (black) Karate uniform, have her wear her dark navy hoodie underneath, and and an old red coat's belt (mine), plus a shimmery scarf (mine) to cover her face. Granted, it didn't look as 'smart' as her half-dozen male classmates' store-bought ninja costumes... but I was impressed that she was the only girl ninja in her class (there was a class Halloween party in the morning).

Allow me to present....

Exhibit D: Halloween 2013
The Faery's ninja - total half-arsed job
Miss Pie's Cinderella - lazy hand-me-down 

There is a bit of a happy ending to this unprepared Halloween. A little schoolmate's family invited us to their place for dinner, in a different neighbourhood. They have a gathering each year with other kids and their families - everyone brings a dish, the dads all take the kids trick or treating, and the mums all stay back and drink wine while handing out the treats.

Totally my kind of way to spend Halloween. We had such a great time that I even forgot to take many photos. The above one is sadly the best shot I had, taken in the chaos as all the kids were getting ready to go door-knocking.

J and I were almost delirious with fatigue - you know, since we'd only been back three days and had to get straight back into work and school routines - but we were more than glad to have the opportunity to make some new friends. It was an interesting mix - a little United Nations. Most of the families were Indian, Persian, Swedish, Brazilian, Chinese, German and Serbian... with us Aussies thrown into the mix. The evening led to more invitations for playdates and parties, and I'm happy to say I know a few more friendly faces I can chat to at school now.

For a day that had minimum effort put in, it turned out to be surprisingly fun. Who knows? Next Halloween, even I might dress up...

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