Halloween has never made much sense to me.  Masses of candy, much of which ends up being not to one’s taste, and fancy dress, which I’m not a fan of either.

Except now I have kids. And Halloween seems to be becoming a thing in Hong Kong.

I’ve been able to get away with the kids celebrating it at school thus far. However, this year Nene was talking about dressing up as a zombie with great excitement. I ignored him. I have two store-bought costumes on hand – a pumpkin that has served us well for over three years and a fairy. However, that night I got a message from Nene’s friend in the building’s mother who said that her daughter had mentioned Nene would like to join them trick or treating. Apparently, some parents were organising their own trick or treating group in the building.

With a sigh, I said okay. Then, I began stressing about having to buy masses of candy, do a costume, and the fact that the event was planned for 8 pm when the kids usually go to bed. Then it transpired they expect parents to dress up too. Oh God!

I was grumbling to my sister about this. She said she can’t stand Halloween too – all the candy and dressing up, and we decided we were the grinches of Halloween.

But grumpy or not, having committed, I couldn’t back out. It turned out Nene’s school was celebrating Halloween the same day and he insisted on dressing as a vampire. As usual, I stuck my head in the sand till the last minute hoping he would change his mind and then the afternoon before ran around trying to find a cape, facepaint and black pants, which surprisingly my child does not own, so I had to go buy one (thank God, I live above a mall). I have to say I was in a pretty bad mood and Nene had a rare meltdown too when I forced him to try on his exiting pants during his cartoon time.

On the day, V painted Nene’s face and he really looked quite scary. I wasn’t sure it was appropriate for school but Nene insisted. Luckily it looks like there were some other scary kids there, although he elicited some laughter on the MTR. In the end, I think he was happy with his costume (this is a kid who loves the cheap thrills of scary scenes in movies that are probably not age appropriate) because he wore it three times and counting.

Then it was time for the evening shenanigans. After half-heartedly deciding I would wear a green t-shirt, a crocodile hat and some face paint as my costume, I came down with my period and had to send my helper instead. It turned out some parents, and even kids, didn’t dress up, but some parents really went all out. Nene was a vampire again and Mia went as the Scary Fairy – basically a fairy costume with outlandish face paint.

The actual event was simple enough. They gathered at a pre-decided spot – I messed up because I read the ever-changing whatsapp schedule late and so unfortunately my two may have delayed the group by hopefully a few minutes. They then landed up at our door in two very noisy groups. The unfortunate thing was that the first group of kids grabbed quite a lot of candy and I didn’t really restrict them quite forgetting that a second group was coming and then embarrassingly I ran out so I had to rush in and grab whatever there was in our candy drawer. Later, I found much more stuff I could have offloaded. Oh well, you live, you learn. Next year, I’m definitely dumping  all the candy that the kids hoard but don’t eat in there. And ensuring that I have three times the amount of candy to the amount of kids instead of two times.

The next morning I had signed up for a Halloween party at a trampoline park. Unfortunately, my period got quite painful overnight and I had to get a not-very-happy V to take the kids. But even he couldn’t say no in the face of their beseeching. So Nene got into his vampire gear again – criticized my face-painting and made Daddy correct it – while Mia dressed as a pumpkin.

Finally, on Monday morning, Mia dressed up again – this time as the fairy once more and V put on the facepaint – for her school Halloween shindig. Nene had the day off so I let him come with us to drop her and he did his own facepaint. By this time, even I got into the act, and decided to wear a black shirt for the drop-off. Ok, that’s probably as far as I’ll go costume wise.

Our house is overflowing with candy, which Nene has taken to cramming into his mouth wily-nily. I guess Halloween’s not over till the candy runs out.