In our neighborhood, the houses who agree to hand out candy notify the administration in advance; the administration compiles a map of said houses and gives that to the playground attendants who work here. Then, on the day of (in our place, that's this coming Saturday, the 27th), the children of the neighborhood meet at the playground at a designated time and playground attendants (plus any parents who wish to) take the group of kids around the neighborhood, following the map, to collect as much candy as possible.
Not exactly the typical North American Trick or Treating experience, but we'll take it.
We love to participate in this, because it is such a taste of home for the boys. Such a simple way to help them feel connected to the land they left behind when we moved here -- the small amount we spend on treats to give out doesn't come close to equaling the value our boys gain in feeling American for one night each year.
We discovered early on that for some reason, the unique little trinkets are the most sought after treat by kids in our area. In the four years we've been doing this, kid after kid has come back begging for one more spider or bat ring, or another pencil, or whatever. The US chocolate candies, our favorite, are not a huge hit with the local children -- partly because they arrive here somewhat soft from the heat. This doesn't matter to us, but I had more than one child tell me last year that my candies were melted. This year, then, we did not bring back any chocolate to hand out (we did of course bring some to enjoy ourselves; it is long since gone). We instead stocked up on rings, pencils, temporary tattoos, a few US non-chocolate candies, and a handful of other random items. Later this week I'll assemble treat bags, as last year we had a mob of kids all swarming the bowl and trying to pick & choose. This way, I can be sure each child gets one bag and the treats get evenly distributed.
Of course, we didn't just buy treats, we also bought costumes. Or at least, as much of a costume as we could put together. We were there just a bit too early for the big Halloween stores to have their gear out, so our options were limited. Luckily, the Dollar General (an "Everything's $1" store in our area) had costume items, Halloween trinkets, etc. already stocked and ready for purchase. The Artist and The Adventurer each found a set of armor -- one in bronze/gold and the other in silver/pewter -- and decided on the spot to be a King and a Knight. The King needed a crown, which we were able to find elsewhere, but The Knight was able to use the small helmet he found at the Dollar General. Shields, swords, gauntlets, a battle ax, a helmet, a crown -- two costumes, ready to go.
Or, almost. The Artist, who is going to be a King, needed a king's robe. Which we could not find, neither there nor here. Which meant I had to make one. And when I shopped for fabric for the robe, I found metallic mesh fabric, perfect for making fake chain mail tunics for the boys. Sweet!
I sewed all weekend, and finished a very nice king's robe (picture coming soon; my model is still asleep...) and two chain mail tunics. Luckily for The Boys and I, The Chemist found a picture on-line of a sleeveless tunic -- so much easier than trying to figure out sleeves!!
|my littlest Knight in Shining Armour|