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Halloween

I went trick a treating at the weekend with my son and a few of his friends from school. After cleaning and carving a pumpkin with the help of my son, without losing any fingers, I spent a few frantic hours getting the house decorated with fake spiders webs, although I discovered that we did seem to have plenty of genuine ones, bats, spiders, ghoulish masks, severed heads and hands, a collection of plastic blood spattered weaponry; axes, swords, knives and some ghostly balloons that glowered eerily in the dark some of which were attached with much difficulty and cursing under the breath to the front of the house.

The boys were dressed in their grisly costumes with their faces painted, a Dracula, a Werewolf, a Skeleton and two Grim Reapers; maybe having two Reapers is a sign of the times. We headed out onto the streets, a motley, gruesome crew, with some trepidation on my part, I must say, as I was thinking that in these straightened times people would not be feeling very generous and the boys would be disappointed.

How wrong could I be! People were genuinely happy to see the children dressed up and were as kind and generous as always. It certainly warms the heart and puts ones faith back into humanity when you see people of all ages being big-hearted with children and being open-handed with their treats.

Some of the houses we visited were decorated to the nines with Halloween paraphernalia which kind of put my efforts into perspective and there were quite a few adult parties in full swing with women in costumes perhaps not wholly suitable to be witnessed by young boys or by ageing fathers for that matter.

We managed to get home before nine o-clock, hunger induced by the cold air getting the better of the trick a treaters. After sausage rolls and pizzas the boys shared out their spoils with miraculously no squabbling and went home with a good haul each, even after trying to demolish the mountain of sweets in one sitting.

I know some people donít like Halloween or Trick a Treat as they see it as an American tradition not a British one but we are an international society now and thereís nothing wrong with sharing a few traditions. Perhaps America can take up our Bonfire Night. Now who could they put on top as an effigy?

The Church doesnít like Halloween because it represents the devil and the dark underworld and believe celebrating it corrupts children. They should give children more credit; kids know fine well that the figures they dress up as are not real, they just love dressing up and who would deprive them of a little happiness in their lives?