My door bell rang yesterday evening.

There were 3 vampires standing there and they only left after we rummaged through the cupboards looking for sweets.

We’ve lived in Tasmania for eight years, and this is the first time that we’ve had Halloween visitors.

When we resided in Sydney, groups of marauding vampires, zombies, witches and kids who couldn’t be bothered dressing up, appeared at our doorstep annually. Although I could never get into the spirit of it, since we adults couldn’t go trick-or-treating ourselves, we were always well prepared with an assortment of goodies.

This time we weren’t.

No, I doubt, were our other neighbours. But now, alas, Halloween has arrived!

I blame the shops. They’ve been stocking Halloween outfits galore over the past few weeks. So who could blame the kids for wanting to follow their US compatriots. After all, you get to dress up, scare some old ladies and get free goodies.

Perhaps we should also celebrate Thanksgiving!

But actually, Halloween’s origins are Celtic and has long been celebrated in Scotland and Ireland. The main difference though, compared to the US version, is that poor folk would practise ‘souling’, going from door to door for food.

Yes, for food. Not lollies, confectionary, chocolate or sweets.

You could say that what was once a charitable need, has become children’s greed. But then again, Halloween is fun … for the kids. And the shops and pubs like it too, after all it’s another opportunity to get you to open your wallet.

Perhaps we could convert Halloween back into a charitable event. Kids dressed up as ghouls could harass passers-by, collecting money for the needy.

Do you think that’ll work?

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