Halloween should stick to traditions

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

I’m the first to admit, I can be a bit of a grump but Halloween really tests my patience.

Since when did it become acceptable for strangers to ring your bell and ask for sweets?

In my day, you took your kids only to the neighbours you knew and were friendly with and back then they had to do a wee joke or song in order to get their monkey nuts or toffee apple.

But on Saturday I had scores of kids I had never clapped eyes on at the door and only one bothered to do a song for me.

The rest simply shouted ‘trick or treat; as I opened the door and thrust their plastic pumpkin buckets at me, keen for as much Haribo as they could fit in their little fists.

I assume this tradition has been altered thanks to our fascination with the Americans and I believe this is how they conduct Halloween, but I really am not happy about it. After all, us Scots invented Halloween, and yet all the customs seem to be transferring to the way they do things.

In my day, you crudely carved a turnip, fashioning the thick shell into something that resembled a face.

But now, we buy American pumpkins and people carve all kinds of crazy designs onto the soft outer skin.

My kids wore a bin bag and some cheap accessories to become a pop star or witch and their costume cost pennies, but now people go all out and spend a fortune on store bought Frozen dresses or Hulk costumes.

Houses now get decorated for Halloween, some weeks before October 31, and the supermarkets are filled with tat in the lead up. Mine had an entire aisle with Halloween decorations, sweets and costumes. A whole aisle! When did this day become such a big event?

I’m not into dressing up, so even though I had been invited to a Halloween party, I decided to stay in last Saturday and catch up with the Coronation Street episodes I missed over the week. But did I get the latest scoop on Liz and Tony?

No - my doorbell didn’t stop ringing with guisers expecting sweets without even doing a joke.

I ended up so fed up, I turned off the TV and living room lights and took my iPad and headphones to bed to watch Corrie undisturbed with the guisers’ sweets.

If a Christmas grump is a scrooge, does that make me a Halloween bah humbug?