Whoa! Walked into Spotlight on Thursday (for fabric, ephemera and craft supplies) and found these more kitschy aspects of Halloween decor and supplies. It was September 1, the first day of Spring, and already the fun of Halloween spooktacularly knocks on our doors!
I am a Halloween person. I became one because I was Mum to a little boy and wanted to enjoy it like him and with him. I love it for the lighthearted fun and funniness it brings. I love the autumn in the USA where the major fall tradition of Halloween is really a festival for children.
While Halloween has always been a time for dress up, fun and parties in Australia, it was never a major festive time as in the USA. I remember clearly as a Uni student in Adelaide dressing up for Halloween parties! The crowd I ran around with always found an excuse for a party! We never missed the parties!
In the last 15-20 years things have changed with Halloween celebrations becoming widespread, if not entrenched, in Australia. There are now events for children, adults and communities including trick or treating, competitions and street parties to name a few. Halloween is now big business in Australia with merchandise generating huge profits for corporations like Spotlight.
But Halloween really started for me in the USA when my toddler son was ready for his first trick or treating. Oh what I would give to re-live his fun early childhood years when, in our costumes, we would venture out at dusk trotting from house to house for the treats (candy in USA/lollies in Australia).
And all the scavenger hunts (Halloween themed treasure hunts), pumpkin fests, hay ride wagons and corn mazes! Exhausting!
Children give the flurry of Halloween season reality, the here and now. You can’t help but embrace it. I absolutely love the fun and festivities especially with the children. The chaos of fun and laughter, the excitement of screams, the squeals of delight. Imaginations at play! It’s all so contagious and brings adults and children and families together.
We had such good times making costumes, dressing up and decorating the house, the veranda and the garden. Even his elementary school in Tennessee, Ralph Askins, had Halloween events including costume days and competitions. Children came together all decked out in their crazy Halloweenish creations.
The first thing you just gotta have each fall is the pumpkin, the Jack-o-Lantern. It’s just not Halloween without Jack. We ran around, me (Mum) driving, looking for just the right Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins to paint or cut and carve into ghoulish shaped faces with big holes for Jack’s eyes and a big signature grin of scary, pointy teeth for fangs. We cut and hacked those things then placed them on the porch or inside in the window with a tea light candle lit up every night. The Jack-o-Lanterns were so pretty glowing and flickering in the chill of those early fall evenings. We had so much fun venturing along the streets at night with our torches (flashlights) to see what others in the neighbourhood had created. Indeed there are Jack-o-Lantern carving competitions for the more serious artists! Just simple, clean and honest fun.
You are such a funny sight.
As you sit there by the window,
Looking out into the night.
You were once a sturdy pumpkin,
growing on a curly vine.
Now you are a Jack-o-lantern,
See your night lights shine.
The festive atmosphere, the dressing up, the costume donning and parties are always a funny and fun time. How could one not have fun with a few ghosts, ghouls and goblins, witches and wizards, devils and demons, zombies, vampires, skeletons, skulls, mummies, graveyards, coffins, tombstones, bats, black cats and spiders and fake spider webs and so forth and so on …. all in spooktacular style and spooky haunted houses and always with Jack-o-Lanterns and endless supplies of candy for trick or treaters?
What is there not to miss about this? I mean really!?
And so here we are back in Angaston (below) where I have resurrected a few photos of pumpkins we have grown here at home including the giant Big Max.
Ready for harvesting are these little Golden Nuggets with a couple of giants at the rear. That’s a turks turban in the image above. The nuggets are indeed nuggets of gold in their gorgeous bright orange shades perfect for harvest festivals and for decorating and display in the home throughout autumn and winter. I find these little guys to be very durable often lasting right through to the following harvest. Simply, they don’t rot or break down for a long time.
This is a giant Big Max. A big heavy shiny orange ball, really big. Huge. Heavy. Not for the faint hearted. That’s Michael and our friend getting ready to heave it onto the ute.
Zeroing in on Big Max! The excellent water supplies on the property allow us to grow whatever we want including edible squash and pumpkins as well as heirloom pumpkins and Indian corn the latter mainly for fun and decoration. We don’t grow every year these days due to other commitments.
How could I not prod, poke and pat our big guy?
Heaved. Loaded. Plop. Thud. Plonk. The giant pumpkin that took both men, with help from us 2 ladies, to get the lump onto the ute by leveraging with a blanket.
Turks turban is one of my favourite heirlooms.
Spotlight’s Halloween gear 2 months before the last day of October.
I guess Christmas decor will be on the shelves any day now!