descended - as a snowstorm of ghosts and ghouls and far too much sugar.
It is an American import in this country. Yes, I know it has its origins elsewhere and back in the mists of time. I also know that when I was a mere kitten we knew nothing about Halloween. It wasn't mentioned - and my family is of Scots descent. Not only do we have strong clan bonds there was membership of the local Caledonian society and much more. Halloween simply was not "celebrated" in the way it is now.
Halloween this way is a commercial event. There are "wisps" strung across gates, a sign on one which says "Enter if you dare". There are pumpkins, skeletons, effigies and more now strung in trees and along fences or around front doors. The shops are full of Halloween related "decorations", chocolates and other sweets "on special".
Tonight the children will go "trick and treating" - or that is what they believe they are doing. We have not yet reached the point where every house gets that treatment. If you don't indicate children are welcome they are supposed to keep away. Most do.
This year the pandemic rules are going to make a difference too. Last year, after inquiring of parents in the street, I put out tiny "treats" for them to share. All the children got one each. It was enough. No, they were not sugar laden. Our paediatrician neighbour and I saw to that. Her two boys have "skeleton hands" up. I have just been informed by T... that they are to "grab you if you don't stop". He knows and accepts that there won't be too many sweets coming his way. His parents have the good sense not to forbid them but to limit the quantity.
He is also old enough to accept the idea that you don't get something simply because you demand it. He would like it but he knows that this is not how the world works even when Halloween, as celebrated, seems to suggest otherwise.
And tomorrow, if you attend church, it will be "All Saints Day". I wonder whether any of the priests, pastors and ministers I know - and I know a few - will be talking about the commercial Halloween. Very few children will be there to listen. If they are it is unlikely they will relate the two things. For them Halloween is about decorations and "scary" stories. It is also about "trick and treating" and chocolate and biscuits iced with spiderwebs.
Ms W was asked if she wanted to dress up as a ghost and go on a hunt with some of her friends. She thought about it and then told her father, "Why bother? I might have made biscuits to take back to school but we can't share that sort of food right now. I think I might make frogs with J.... and H.... We can have a jumping contest. It will be more fun."
Ah yes, little origami jumping frogs made with green paper. It does sound a lot more fun. Her youngest neighbours will enjoy that - and their parents are going to appreciate it.