One of our neighbors and I were chatting early on Halloween morning when she let slip that Halloween is her favorite holiday.
“Oh you’ll see!” she said. “Parents dress up, kids dress up, everyone comes out and walks around and it’s the best night here all year.”
She was right. I love Halloween. It’s my little sister’s birthday and we used to always celebrate with lots of decorations and intricate cakes and cookies and costumes and a big Halloween party. Luckily Delhi seems to like Halloween almost as much as we do. About 70 kids in costumes ran, skipped and practically flew around the compound on a sugar high while designated candy givers sat out in front of nearly every house giving out candy and quizzing all of the bumble bees, princesses and tigers passing by. Friends stopped to chat, parents shamelessly (and admirably) repositioned toddler hands to grab the Crunch bars instead of the Gobstoppers in the candy bowl, and my sister-in-law, who teaches at the school across the street, made each kid promise to share their candy with their teacher in the morning. I think they would have minded more if they weren’t so wowed by her auto-rickshaw costume and the highly-coveted boxes of “Nerds” in our candy stash.
The zeal with which some houses went all out on the Halloween decorations completely blew me away and I’m already brainstorming what we can possibly do next year to get in the game. There were gorgeous luminaries, giant blow-up lawn decorations, lights, pumpkins and even zombie brains over at Tuk y Tam’s house (by far one of the best decorated of the night):
Will was a little apprehensive about the whole Halloween exercise. We first tried on his Halloween costume a few weeks ago (on loan from our friends at Tuk y Tam) and while Will loved our “awww!” reactions, he did not love actually wearing the outfit. For weeks he carried it around the house over his shoulder, smiling adorably up at us to try and elicit the same enthusiastic reactions without actually having to put the costume on.
But what kind of parents would we be if we didn’t half-traumatize our son by sticking him in a costume and taking photos? To wit: Will is not technically smiling in these pictures, he’s more on the verge of hysterically crying:
Luckily, once we got outside and Will saw all of the other babies/toddlers also being forced to wear a variety of fleece animal get-ups against their will, he got more into the spirit of things. While he wasn’t quite up for trick-or-treating at anyone else’s house, he had a fine time digging through our bowl of candy until he came up with two boxes of Nerds to shake and clap and throw on the ground. Who knew those Nerds would be so popular?
After all of the anime characters and witches and yodas had made their rounds, we headed inside to
pour over our loot have dinner.
On Tuesday afternoon I had spontaneously decided that I wanted to make lasagna for Halloween and that I wanted to invite all of our friends over for dinner. That meant buying tomatoes, making two batches of sauce, croutons for a salad, making two batches of homemade ricotta (easy, cheaper than store-bought and delicious) and then making homemade noodles because well, they just taste better. I stopped short of making the mozzarella but I might try next time–shredding Indian cheese cannot be that much easier than making it myself. For a brief, insane moment I worried about what to make for dessert before remembering that it was Halloween and therefore the one night of the year when I can legitimately serve Kit-kats and crunch bars in lieu of cake.
All was going well until: a) I realized that none of our friends could come over for dinner because we were all handing out candy and, by the time trick-or-treating was over, it was bedtime for all of our very little kids; and b) Our hand-crank pasta rolling device spontaneously disassembled all over my foot and broke my toe. Whatever. The lasagna was delicious and now we’ve got an entire second batch assembled in the freezer and ready to bake for our rain-date lasagna party.
Time to go chase Will around the room, but before I sign off, a photo from Halloween last year:
And now this year:
What a difference a year makes!
How was your Halloween? Did you dress up? Decorate? Steal candy from your kids’ buckets after they went to sleep?