In July, 1993, we moved from North London to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Even though only age four, I was not best pleased.
But in the October, a wonderful thing happened: I discovered Halloween.
In Britain at the time, as far as I was aware, Halloween did not exist. But in the States, oh my. Halloween was every child’s dream.
1993 was the year Disney’s Aladdin was released. So naturally, myself and every other girl in my class wanted to dress up as Jasmine for the class party. I remember this costume so vividly, how excited I was, how amazing I thought I looked, how much the waistband itched; I think I would have lived in this costume if I’d been allowed.
We were also invited to our first family Halloween party. My parents were told that Halloween was even a big deal for the adults and if they didn’t dress up, they’d be frowned upon. So they too dutifully obliged…
And then finally I was introduced to Trick-or-Treating.
Oh. Em. Gee.
It was a bitterly cold Halloween and my Jasmine costume was filthy after two parties and a Coke spillage. So mom had the brilliant idea of me bundling up and wearing my infamous ‘ducky mac’ and wellies for Trick-or-Treating. Practical, warm and everyone thought I was cute as a button.
We went Treating with some friends, as you do, and to start with I didn’t really know what was going on. I just followed orders to go and ring the bell and hold out my pumpkin for a treat. (Which in hindsight, not the best advice to give small children!) I flew back down the path to where our parents were waiting, grinning from ear to ear, crying, “they gave me sweets!! Look! They just gave me sweets!”
And so it went on. At every house. They just kept giving me sweets!
As you can see, I was rather taken with the whole affair, and slightly buzzed from the sugar.
Looking back at the family photo album from our first year in the States, it’s no wonder I fell in love with Halloween. In my mom’s words, “It was just one party after another!”
And so, to this day, I continue to love Halloween – almost, almost as much as Christmas. When we moved back to the UK (age 11) and Halloween was a sad, sorry shadow of the holiday I grew up with, I continued to insist to carve pumpkins and host a Halloween parties. For me, it’s a tradition and one I hold very close to my heart. And I can already envision the Halloween parties we’ll host in years to come when Little Miss is old enough to understand…