Sunday, October 31, 2010


For years I would say - you can have Christmas - give me Halloween.  After living in Chicago, Buffalo and Pittsburgh - I loved the changing of the leaves and decorating around the fall colors.... throwing on a sweater and going for a drive in the back woods area.   
My kids are grown up now - but I still have the images of driving to remote pumpkins fields to get the largest pumpkin for the best price.  Another great retailer had a set price and you would run out and grab as many as you could carry for it.  
Then taking our finds home ......  cutting open the top and plunging our hands inside removing the gooey mess so we could start carving.  I don't remember the kids ever wanting to do that part. 
After moving to Hong Kong in the 90's ..... it was such a disappointment that Halloween was not celebrated except at the school.  Finding costumes was much more difficult and creativity was a major factor in making a happy child.  

So I started decorating our elevator area as a spook house while living in the Manhattan on the Southside. 

1. First I went behind the building on the mountain and cut down dried stalks of weeds.  This represented corn stalks and filled the hallway with them.
2. I cut up black plastic garbage bags in shapes of icicles and taped them to the ceilings.  When the elevators open.... the bags would move.  It also covered the lights to darken the mood. 

3. We had a large bench ... and I made up full body ghouls...  stuffing clothing with pillows and newspapers.  Then placing a mask on top with a hat... this was tricky.
4. There were of course spider webs, ghosts and gadgets that moved when you clapped your hands scattered everywhere.
5.  For 10 days before Halloween .... you could hear everything going off as the kids stopped on our floor.....many never seeing Halloween decor before. 
6. On the night of Halloween - my 2 boys would take the place of the ghouls dressed in the same clothes. I dressed in the old witches costume with the long hair, black clothes and the scariest mask imaginable with the tall black hat. We stayed perfectly still ... because the trick- or-treaters thought we were still stuffed.  THEN WE JUMPED AT THEM!
7. Of course, you have to have background I put together scary music and sound effects and the night began!
I had to tell some parents NOT to allow the wee ones in - they would be too scared.  We gave out so much candy that night - we ran out..........(we had to get it in the Philippines!)  

Now, Hong Kong is infatuated with Halloween, costumes and the macabre.  What a change a decade can make. 

So it's a beautiful day in Hong Kong - cool weather and clear skies - and unfortunately there will be no Halloween at our house.  I'll be on the tennis court instead.  I'm so sorry...........

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