I am Australian, and Halloween is not an Australian tradition. I dislike the retail-driven adoption of American holidays (see also: Valentine’s Day). I hate the bags of cheap toxic lollies that mess with my kids’ heads when they go trick-or-treating. On the other hand… dressing up is good. Magic and spookiness is good. Hanging out with other kids is good. I am slightly conflicted. But mostly I’m not into Halloween.
So I’m not sure what came over me this year when I succumbed to the lure of the glamorous, bright orange pumpkins that appear in supermarkets in October. Every year the kids beg me to buy one, and every year I say “Nah, we don’t do Halloween”. This time I was shopping alone, wasn’t in nag-resistant mode, and decided to bring one home as a surprise. Maybe I just figured my kids are old enough to carve a pumpkin.
Sixteen dollars later ($3.99 per kilo) I was the proud owner of a designer pumpkin. My kids were thrilled. And now we have a magnificent jack-o’-lantern, which will probably be mouldy by 31 October, but who cares. The kids had a great time carving it and didn’t lose any fingers. It was cheaper than a movie. The carved out features went into tonight’s pasta sauce. Sixteen dollars well spent, I reckon.