Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Celebrating the first Halloween on Planet Baby

Hello, lovely PB friends! Now I finally have a moment to share with you all how we celebrated our first Halloween on Planet Baby. Both Mr PB and I made it through our 40 years on this planet without a single bit of Halloween celebration. Zip, nada, nothing. It’s just not the tradition here in Australia with our British background. But in recent years, it’s slowly been seeping into public consciousness, don’t you think? For weeks, I’ve been noticing all the North American blog posts about it and the preparations people were making. Did it register with me? Um, no. I just ticked the ‘Mark all as read’ box for those posts in Google Reader and kept on scrolling.

Until late on last Friday afternoon, that is. Mr PB informed me, ever so casually (he knows me well), that we would be celebrating Halloween on PB this year. I muttered something inaudible and turned back to loading the washing machine. Sensing (correctly) that I was less than impressed at the thought of any extra work, Mr PB then turned his most-creative-and-lateral-thinking mind to the task. I left him to it. The end result? Mr PB excelled himself. I’ll let these photos tell the story.

The decorations

Here are his decorating efforts outside our house. He strung up these black and white crepe streamers to create a huge spider web, complete with gigantic spiders.


Then he moved on up the street and decorated the neighbours’ letter boxes as well. Here's one.

 
He carved out some pumpkins and lit them with candles.
   
The neighbourhood children made drawings to stick on our outside wall.

The food and drink

He and the older pixies cooked (and bought) scary-looking cakes.
 

There were bowls of blood-like tomato sauce to accompany the cocktail sausages. There was blood-like red cordial (hmm, what was he thinking?!) in these evil cups.


The outfits

He created a witch’s hat (with pink, of course) for Miss India to accompany her outfit. The next-door neighbour teased her hair, witchy-style. Joshie was replaced by a terrible ghoul. And Mr PB morphed into a haunting ghost, complete with jack-o’-lantern. Here's the family (Sammy and I were interested onlookers).



The necessary accessories such as broomsticks, pitchforks and baskets for loot were sourced.

The party

Then at 4.30 pm, the whole neighbourhood arrived, en masse. Suddenly, six little children were seated at the table, all bedecked in Halloween costumes. I looked on in amazement, with wriggling Sammy on my hip. Mr PB had really pulled it off! Our little verandah had been transformed into a children’s wonderworld. Their drawings adorned the walls. The orange-and-red-tablecloth-bedecked tables were groaning with ghostly food. The jack-o’-lanterns were flickering away merrily.


Six little costumed children were gleefully tucking into the plentiful scary food. Their parents were looking on with beaming faces. And Mr PB was king of the kids, darting about here and there, in his element. I grabbed the camera and kept snapping (or as easily as one can with a squirming Houdini wriggling on one’s hip, all 12 kg of him!).

The games

My clever husband had also arranged the entertainment. We had the good old-fashioned apple bob which absolutely fascinated the children. They were mesmerised by this simple concept, spending ages plunging their faces into the water in an attempt to capture bobbing apples in their mouths. Here they are at it. 

 
Mr PB couldn’t help himself, plunging his face into the water, only to emerge with dramatic effect!
 

Then we had the good-old-dangling-doughnuts-from-a-broomstick-challenge which was also a huge hit. Look at the joy on India's face!


That was then followed by the inaugural Roll-your-pumpkin-down-the-street race. We closed off our street and the children assumed their positions at the starting line. Mr PB gave them all a pumpkin and wrote their house number with a texta on the side. He ran out of pumpkins so Miss India ended up with an onion (just as well she’s too young to realise what a dud she was handed!). Here they are.


Then, the Great Roll started! Here’s an action shot.


It was hilarious. Children and parents bounded down the street, chasing the pumpkins to work out which one finished first (hmm, we forgot to mark a finish line so the result was a little, well, dubious!). We ended up making it a best-of-three as the children were having so much fun.

The trick or treating

But wait! There’s more! Then the ‘trick-or-treat’ phase commenced. Mr PB and one of the mums, both bedecked in their costumes, led the children off around the neighbourhood, like the Pied Piper. All the parents in our street were prepared, with lollies at the door to greet the excited throng on their doorsteps. Here's their first stop.


I then walked inside to survey the bombshell of a house left in Mr PB’s wake. That’s the flipside – I adore his creativity, verve and imagination but I always get left to clean up the aftermath. Hmmm.

About half an hour later, Mr PB returned home with two exhausted pixies. A tired India protested loudly as I attempted to brush the knots out of her teased hair. It’s hard work being a witch! Costumed were removed, makeup was scrubbed off in the bath and finally they wearily retreated to bed. Mr PB then spent hours cleaning away the last vestiges of Halloween.

The verdict

Mr PB was exhausted but deliriously happy. He was justifiably proud of his efforts. He did such a fantastic job creating a real sense of community in our little neighbourhood. I think we may even celebrate it again next year!

So, what do you think? Do you want to hire Mr PB for your celebrations next year? Were there any obvious details we missed? You North American PB friends can probably make some suggestions on how we could improve things next year. Do share – I’m all ears!

23 comments:

  1. ~*~*So adorable Jane!! ;) Looks like you all had a great time! Hugs~ Rachel~*~*

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  2. We 'did' halloween at our place too
    http://keepcatebusy.blogspot.com/2010/10/day-32-halloween-reveal.html
    My eldest was invited to a party on sunday afternoon (which was great because the host was so generous she included siblings as well - and I'm not comfortable with the idea of trick-or-treating). One game they played that you might want to incorporate next year was...liver tossing! They tossed real liver (dyed with red, green and blue food dye) into a bowl of green slime. My 2nd was too scared, but my eldest won the game! So she was well chuffed...and then went to wash her hands...eeewwww!!! xxx

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  3. Sounds like fun! I think you have started a new tradition for yourselves!xx

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  4. Well Done Mr PB!!! What a fabulous evening for the Pixies, they will never forget their first Halloween. x

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  5. How awesome! Nice one Mr PB. Halloween was amped up in our neighbourhood too - someone a few streets away left a message under our door that if we wanted 'to join in trick-or-treating, hang the enclosed orange balloon on your front door' -- we did and so did many others -- the neighbourhood kids were so excited, as were the Baby Space teen and toddler. It's never happened in our hood before but it was a great new celebration, am sure we'll be doing it again next year!

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  6. King of the Kids indeed! That was certainly a journey for your maiden Halloween voyage! You don't do anything by halves on PB, that's for sure. Lucky children and well done to Mr PB!!!! x

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  7. What an amazing effort, it makes me tired just reading about it! We do a year on, year off with Halloween in our house. (This year was year off). One of the things that the kids love is a punch bowl. We fill it with fizzy water (or depending on your sugar level tolerance some dark coloured juice) and then put in cubes of red and green jelly and some halloween themed sweets/lollies. We freeze a particularly bright colour cordial in two (clean) rubber gloves for a centrepiece hand decoration, as this slowly melts it colours the water.
    You have set the standard now, how will you beat it next year?
    x

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  8. Oh, I love that you've done this - what a gorgeous man you have there. What an amazing day!

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  9. Go Mr PB! The pumpkin races look like a hoot. Magical memories for Joshua and India.

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  10. Jane, you look like such a happy, loving family - what a massive Halloween effort and digging the rolling pumpkin x

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  11. Cripes! You ladies have been busy here. Thanks for all your comments - Mr PB has been chuckling away. It might just have gone to his head a little ☺.

    I'll check out your post, Cate.

    And Bron, the 'don't do anything by halves' mantra applies to Mr PB only at the moment. I'm not firing on all four cylinders with my PND (the subject of an upcoming post) so my good man is taking up the slack, thank goodness.

    And on that note, I had better get to bed. I have staying up way too late in Blogland, lately! J x

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  12. so lovely to have "met" you, really enjoying to read about another busy family of above avergae no. of kids
    I'm passing a nomination to you - enjoy :)

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  13. Hi Susie and Lee Thanks for both stopping by - I'm now following you as well. Oh, and thanks, Lee - very kind of you. I'll pop over to yours now and leave a little reply. J x

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  14. love all the images and family fun :) just found your blog and really love it! Naomi x

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  15. You should hire that man out Jane, he's an absolute star!
    Millie ^_

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  16. so many wonderful pictures full of fun...just added your link - so sorry! the second after you comment arrived i remembered your sweet words x (that's what happens when you try to post to quickly - before the toddler wakes up)! x

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  17. Jane thanks for visiting. My camera is a Pentax DSLR with a sigma lense. Just a beginners camera. Charmaine

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  18. Just found your blog thru Killiecrankie Farm. Now, there's a dinner party (previous post) that I would have loved to attend ! Great halloween pics too.
    Hope you are having a great day, Dee

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  19. Gosh, what a wonderful hubby you have.... and what special memories! A-M xx

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  20. I used to have Halloween parties when I was in middle school, and we had some great relays, including one in which we had to pass marshmallows from person to person. Before hand everyone would put a dab of peanut butter on their nose, and then the goal is to pass the marshmallow from nose to nose without using hands. If they drop to the ground, they can only pick them up using their noses and the peanut butter.

    As a youth group leader, I know many funny games....some of which are a little higher on the gross out factor than others. (The youth group kids are middle and high school.) Let me know if you need more suggestions!

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  21. Oh, Naomi, I'm so pleased you did. Now I'm following yours as well ☺.

    And Millie, there is wisdom in what you say. We could have party organising as a little side business, I think.

    Thanks for the tip, Charmaine - I've made a note as your photos are so superb.

    Hi Dee Thanks for joining us on this crazy planet! I'm now following you as well.

    A-M, I really treasure this comment, especially in light of what you are going through now. Thanks, Lovely One.

    And Val, thanks for the tips - Mr PB has made notes for next year! J x

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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