Halloween then and now

What was Halloween like for you as a child? For me, it was so different to what it is now. This post is about me taking a look back at Halloween then and now.

Halloween then..

When I was a child, Halloween was just another day. It wasn’t a celebration at all. There wouldn’t be any parties organised in honour of the occasion, and as for a decent costume, you must be joking.

Halloween is more of a celebration now and the costumes are amazing.  Have we taken a leaf out of America’s note book and decided to follow suit?

As a child I was always envious of the lengths Americans would go to, to celebrate the occasion and wondered why we didn’t celebrate like that. The costumes always looked amazing – from what I saw on TV. The carved pumpkins looked amazing. Parties seemed mandatory. Even the adults dressed up, and appeared to love doing so.

It might not have been much of a celebration, but I always looked forward to Halloween as a child because we got to dress up and go trick or treating. I feel slightly sorry for my younger self and my friends looking back because the costumes we used to wear were pretty crappy.

Every year was the same. We had a witches hat, a mask, and some plastic witches fingers. If we were lucky my mum would splash out on a broom stick and a plastic cape for my sister and I; if the local shop had any in. The main part of the costume was a dress made from a black bin bag.

I say I feel sorry for my old self looking back, but we were always so excited to get our bin bag on, along with the rest of our costume. All of the children who lived in my area looked the same. The only variations being that some people had chosen a different mask, or they may have had their face painted. Even if somebody went as something other than a witch, the main part of their outfit would still be made from a bin bag.

I would go trick or treating with my sister and a couple of friends. One of our parents would have given us a plastic tub to take around with us so we could collect our treats.

The treats given out then though were money. Cold hard cash. I loved it. We would knock on the door of the houses, they would comment on our outfits, and then throw some money in our tub. When we had finished we would go back to my house, count up our loot and share it out between us. We’d make a mint. It was fantastic.

Halloween Now…

Nobody seems to give out cash to trick or treaters these days. Even though I loved receiving the cash as a child, now, like everyone else, I buy loads of sweets and chocolates to give out to the local children who come calling.  They love it.

Goody bag for trick or treaters

I do wonder when it all changed though? When did we start celebrating? Do us Brits actually like celebrating Halloween? Did the media and consumerism take over and make us believe we want to celebrate? Either way, I’m on board. I love it.

I threw a massive party a few years back (pre-child) and decorated my entire flat. It took us a few days to get all the decorations up but it was worth it. For me as a child, decorating the house and having a party wouldn’t have happened. It just wasn’t something anyone seemed to do.

Now, it seems like everyone loves celebrating the occasion. Everyone seems to be either hosting or attending a party. My local council put on a crafting event in the town centre for children to take part in this past weekend. All free of charge. They hired  actors to walk around the town centre, putting on live shows for the public.  Again, all free of charge. I was there and it was fantastic.

My daughter loved it. All the children were crafting away and having their faces painted. Everyone was laughing and joining in with the live shows.  And the shops were stocked to the brim with sweets, costumes and decorations. The aisles were full of people excitedly buying their bits and bobs. Fantastic. My inner child was having so much fun.

I don’t know what happened to cause us Brits to really get on board with the occasion but I think it’s fantastic. I love how excited we all are by the occassion. Especially as we get to dress up.  But mostly, I love the sweets!

Do you celebrate Halloween now you’re older? Do you have fond memories or trick-or-treating as a child?

Happy Halloween all… 🕸🎃👻👿

Sam x