Opinion: Is Halloween really the new Christmas? Not on your nelly! 

Baby Harrison sitting in a field of pumpkins

Baby Harrison sitting in a field of pumpkins - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

My three children have decided that Halloween is the new Christmas, and I’m sure I’m not the only parent dealing with the same dilemma this week.  

To be honest, I’m not quite sure how this revelation happened. Was it hype from the media, brainwashing from endless kids' television programmes, or maybe my own quiet excitement of autumn buzzing in the background? 

Whatever the reason, they have all decided on a go-big-or-go-home event this year. Well, sorry my little pumpkins, I hate to disappoint you but that’s not going to happen. Since Covid hit, I think it’s wise to err on the side of caution. 

Two scary skeletons and Dracula

Two scary skeletons and Dracula - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

So, what can families do to find a happy medium which suits everyone? Here are some of my suggestions to make sure everyone gets something out of the day. 

Firstly, you can decorate the tree. Yes, it’s apparently a thing. Not content with the rigmarole of already sorting out the Christmas tree, it seems a Halloween tree with all the trimmings is also on the cards to celebrate this festive time of year.  

A big shout out to my mum here for her words of wisdom – make your own.  

While I was explaining to the kids that mummy does not have extra pennies this year to spend on plentiful decorations of crazed porcelain pumpkins and scary screaming motion-sensor skeletons, my mum simply suggested: “Why don’t you make your own tree?” 

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We combined a trip to the park to find sturdy twigs to stick together and then raided the arts and crafts cupboard to create monstrous and scary two-dimensional cardboard baubles. Viola. Halloween tree DIY-chic done and dusted. 

Our DIY Halloween window display from 2020

Our DIY Halloween window display from 2020 - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

And while we’re on the thread of decorations, you can also get the kids to create silhouette pictures to stick in the window, draw the curtains, and place a lamp on the sill. Big effect so your neighbours can’t accuse you of being bah-humbug – or should that be bah-ghoul? – with minimal effort. Word of warning though, you may spend the next few weeks trying to get sticky-tape off your windowpanes. 

Now I’m not saying ban trick or treating altogether (just putting that out there before the hate mail hits my inbox) but I have already seen many Covid-safe events, such as ticketed Halloween trails, advertised. My local church is also hosting a low-key event to bring the community together.  

Meet the pumpkins! (Left to right) Zombie Girl, Shapeface Pumpkin, and Vampire

Meet the pumpkins! (Left to right) Zombie Girl, Shapeface Pumpkin, and Vampire - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

If you feel you have to do trick or treating though, may I suggest either leaving your carved pumpkins outside with a load of lollipops jabbed into the flesh for people to grab and go (oh, and that’s another great festive activity – pumpkin carving!) or perhaps liaising with friends and family you do know to arrange safely proving treats for the littluns. 

If I’m being completely honest though, I am going to apply the same ethos to Halloween as I do to Christmas, and that is spending quality time together. I personally use these days as an excuse to spend time with my loved ones rather than trying to impress them with grandeur and gifts my bank balance does not thank me for. 

But hey, you do you, and let’s remember to forgo the tricks this year and maybe try and keep the treats to ourselves. Sharing is not always caring. 

Happy Halloween!

Picking the perfect pumpkin at Halloween

Picking the perfect pumpkin at Halloween - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

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