Hurrah! My favourite holiday of the year is back! All Hallow's Eve... the night where ghouls and spectres roam the land and all things spooky appear...
Every year I throw a party - this you already know - and invite a handful of fun people I know in my neighbourhood to come over, bring their kids, bring a bottle and get celebrating.
So my list of things you need for a Cracking Creepy do:
No.1 A good invite list. That means inviting parents you actually LIKE, not just because your kids are friends with them. Let's not pretend this is for the kids - it is, a tad - but it is also about YOU. Just because Billy is mates with John and Jack, you do not need to bring John's dull as dishwater Mum and Jack's bitchy Dad over to hang. Invite the folk you like. Then it will rock.
No 2. Don't slave all day making spiders web buns and witches' fingers - as great as they are - no kid cares. All they want to do is get out there and Trick or Treat. The kids this year barely touched all my fab spooky treats, and instead they just ran in and out of the house giving out treats to the 50 million treaters at my door. Seriously - we had a knock every 5 minutes for 2 hours. I love all this uber social stuff - I kept bringing strangers into my dining room for a bit of Halloween chat - so if you don't, take that the battery out of your doorbell, close your curtains and sit in the darkness, the misery that you are. Boo hiss.
No 3. Be careful how you dress your kid. What you envisaged as being a Mummy - turns into 80s popstar Boy George in the drug years..... Sorry Sproglet.
No. 4 Alcohol is great. A spooky martini gets a party going. Guests love a cocktail. The moral though is not to enjoy TOO many of these, forget to go treating until 7pm and find everyone in the neighbourhood has run out of candy... Er... not that that happened to me this year... oh no. *whistles*
No. 5 Make sure you get great pics. Every year my friend Louis comes to the party and takes some shots - and they are beyond amazing. I think my favourite part of the whole thing is looking back the next day and seeing how it all went.
No. 6 It is ok to make a fool of yourself. That is what Halloween is all about. Wear a hat, some stupid googly glasses, some fake blood, something fun and silly. Don't dress as a slapper naughty devil - that is so 1991. You are an adult, it is Halloween - the only way to maintain any dignity is to embrace to stupidity of it all and get in touch with your inner dress-up kid. See below...
No. 7 As you can see, NO ONE ate the buns. Note the empty martini glasses, but NO ONE ate the fingers... (And my Aunty made them and they were delicious...). Next year - just get in crisps. Everyone always eats crisps. Crispathon and some dips. Party is done.
No. 8 If you want to 'play' and it is LOADS of fun - get carving. Get your pumpkin at the ready and leave it out - showing that you too, are having Halloween fun and you welcome Treaters with open arms. The folk who did the fabulous pumpkin below had a KEEP OUT sign and never answered the door which defeated the whole purpose - so I had to bellow loudly outside their door 'IF YOU PUT OUT A PUMPKIN YOU SHOULD HAVE TREATS PEOPLE.' That is the rule dontchaknow?
No. 9 Eat some dinner before you start the martini drinking and candy stealing from your kids, or you will be wildly ill come November 1st - as several of my party guests were....
No. 10 Finally, remember a bucket to treat with - and leave someone at home to dole out the candy while you and your crew are merrily (and indeed merrily as we drank wine on route) winging your way around the neighbourhood, full of festive cheer. A torch is always good as kids tend to scuttle like cockroaches in the dark and you could be bringing home a bat that you thought was yours and is the kid from 3 doors up. After 8pm most folk act like Halloween is over so don't be disappointed if folk no longer answer their door... (Memo to self there). Then go home and have some banter, finish those martinis. There are party games galore - pin the spider on the web, apple bobbing, stick hands in ghostly graves to unearth treats amongst slime etc etc - but there are great websites for those sorts of tips. Mine, are for a CM Halloween party and that is always quite different to the norm...
Happy Halloween y'all!
Photo credits: Louis Quail - amazing!