Why we WON’T be ignoring Halloween this year

IMG_6110For most, Halloween is a fun night for children to enjoy dressing up, trick or treating, carving pumpkins and pretending to scare and frighten each other. For some it can quite a controversial festival: some see it as a bit of harmless fun, whilst others believe it’s a festival for celebrating evil.

As a child I was brought up believing the latter. I wasn’t allowed to participate in anything to do with Halloween. My teachers were asked by my mother to provide me with another activity when the other children were doing Halloween activities, and I always had to try and think of an excuse when I was invited to go trick or treating. I didn’t like feeling excluded. I felt different to the other children. I got teased and made fun of for not joining in with Halloween and, to be honest, I just wanted to be like everyone else.

As I’ve grown up and become an adult I’ve come to realise that Halloween really isn’t the harmless fun that many people say it is. I won’t go into detail about that here. I’ll save that for another post (or you can read this article by J John: 6 reasons why I believe Halloween is far from Harmless), but it meant that I simply wanted to avoid Halloween as an adult. I didn’t want anything to do with it. We would always make sure we were out of the house when the trick or treaters came round and at work, I wouldn’t bring Halloween into any of my lessons. I just treated it as any other day…. that was until I had children of my own.

Since becoming a mum I’ve realised it’s absolutely impossible to ignore Halloween. Like Easter and Christmas it’s become incredibly commercialised and targeted towards children. Wherever we go there are ghastly costumes in shop windows, scary sweets for sale and frightening advertising all promoting Halloween. Not only that, all my daughter’s friends talk about their Halloween costumes and going trick or treating and my daughter comes home from nursery asking to do the same thing.

So, how on earth was I supposed to approach the issue of Halloween without her feeling left out and excluded like I did as a child? That’s when I thought, ‘Why don’t we stop ignoring Halloween but just turn it into something different?’

Soon after I came across World Vision’s ‘A night of Hope’. World Vision are asking people to remember during Halloween that, whilst most children are enjoying friendly frights and safe scares, for the children of Syria living in war the fear is very real and it’s every night of the year. So for the first time ever we will be getting involved with Halloween. We will be carving hearts into our pumpkins as a symbol of hope for the children of Syria and we will also be raising money for them by baking cupcakes and selling them to friends and family.

My daughter is only three. She’s never known a frightful Halloween before, but now she will know Halloween as a night when we remember children around the world who aren’t as fortunate as us. We will raise money for them in simple ways and turn a night of fear into a night of hope.

You can find out how you can get involved with World Vision’s ‘A Night of Hope’ here.

A Very British Summer

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Today is a very brief post due to the lack of sleep had by all thanks to a terrential thunderstorm. Yet the photo above is proof that the sun did shine on our holiday.

That’s the thing about British weather. In any normal country you’d wake up in the morning, see a threatening grey sky, watch the rain pelting down and think, ‘I’ll wear my jeans and wellies today. That would be sensible.’ But, no, today I walked around Stoke on Trent in scorching sunny weather wearing heavy jeans and muddy wellies. Why? Because this is the UK. And when the weather forecast says rain, it inevitably doesn’t mean it.

My husband says I need to feel more of the British optimism when it comes to summer weather. I say I need more accurate weather forecasts!

Happy Glampers!

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It is nothing short of miraculous that we are finally on holiday! Not only because holidays always seem to be at the bottom of our ‘to do’ lists, but also because we’re so last minute with booking anything I’m stunned we actually managed to find a NICE campsite with availability.

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True to form we only started packing this morning for our two week family holiday tour of the UK (okay I’m exaggerating… just Staffordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk!) But we still managed to leave on time! Well, half an hour after we planned to leave which is as close to on time as we tend to get. And we would have been on time if my daughter hadn’t decided to have a wee in the middle of the living  room floor minutes before leaving!

It was a good journey down to our first campsite. I spent most of the time on my mobile trying to find a campsite for the third part of our holiday (I told you we’re last minute! )

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When we pulled up to the campsite my daughter was beside herself with excitement seeing all the tents. She’d been counting the sleeps until she was going to get to sleep in our new tent and it was her first time camping.

When we arrived the plan was for Daddy to put up the tent whilst Mummy and daughter went to the play park, but our little ‘helper’ had other ideas!

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Spag Bol was on the menu for tonight. ‘Keep it quick, simple, easy but REAL’ is my motto for camping food.

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Now that the toddler has finally gone to sleep (two hours later than normal!) I think we’ll start to plan what we want to do in lovely Staffordshire. ..did I just say ‘plan’?!?

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Help! Eighties Costumes!

I know what you’re thinking… “She’s FAR too young to remember the eighties!” It may be difficult to believe as I’m clearly so young looking (!!!!!) but I DO remember the eighties very well (that was me being sarcastic, by the way!) I actually remember having a conversation with my sister when we were kids (in the eighties) about how ‘out of fashion’ seventies clothes were and saying to her (along the lines of) “I can’t ever see us looking back at the eighties as being ‘out of fashion’ as we all dress so normally!” How wrong and naive I was! In fact, I think the eighties was the era of some of the worst fashion disasters!

However, now that I’ve been invited to an Eighties party I’m incredibly excited as there are so many terrible costume ideas to come up with! Should I go punky, preppy, Blondie or ‘Like a Virgin’?!? There are loads of characters from iconic films and TV shows to choose from such as Top Gun, Back to the Future, The A-Team and Miami Vice. Not only that, the Pop Stars of the Eighties give us some very memorable costumes to choose from: Madonna’s ‘Material Girl, Olivia Newton John’s ‘Let’s Get Physical’ and Wham’s…..err….. well, anything George Michael wore was very memorable, wasn’t it?!

So now I have the task of working out what to wear to this Eighties party I’m going to. I’ve come up with three costumes to choose from:

Roller Disco Chick 

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Picture courtesy of http://www.safeconcerts.com

 

This outfit appeals to me simply for the fact that I get to wear roller boots all night. I haven’t had the chance to wear roller boots since I was about eight years old (being chased by a rotweiller called Kissy, might I add!) The outfit can be adorned by a deluge of illuminose coloured accessories, denim and of course LOTS of eyeshadow and hairspray. The bit im unsure about is how safe I’ll be on my roller boots after several glasses of wine!

Cruella Deville

I thought about this costume when I came across a black and white dress that I really wanted to buy! I was so convinced the Disney version of 101 Dalmations was released in the early eighties as I remember going to see it at the cinema when I was six, but I have since found out that is was released in 1961! So, technically it isn’t an eighties outfit, but at least I’d have an excuse to buy the black and white dress I saw.  All I would need for this outfit woukd be a black and white wig, some sort of black and white spotty fur something (like a cape) and of course the cigarette holder and stilleto shoes.

Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction 

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Picture courtesy of http://www.myhungergames.com

My husband likes this coatume idea as it will really get people thinking and trying to work out who I am (I’m still unsure if that’s a good or bad thing!) Besides getting a blonde wig and floaty white dress, the key part to this costume is the machette (fake, of course) and the pan with a bunny in (bunny boiler) – that should probably give the game away. I’m just not convinced about having to carry those accessories around with me all night!

So, there it is! I need to decide by the end of this week. So please vote by commenting on this post and I’ll make sure I have photos to post of the end result! If you can think of any other costume ideas I’d love to hear them too!