Monday 22 January 2018

Sinead Ryan: Finally, I can turn off the porch light, disconnect the doorbell and turn into a Halloween grinch this year. Bliss!

As someone who normally only plans about four hours in advance, I'm surprising even myself by having Sunday already organised to a tee.

I'll be hiding down behind the back of my sofa, curtains drawn, doorbell disconnected, sipping a glass of chilled Chardonnay, a hermit for the night. Bliss!

Yes, I've become a Halloween grinch -- and I'm not one bit sorry.


See, this year my now sophisticated teens are finally at that age of 'Definitely Not Doing Halloween' -- which is excellent news indeed. In fact, I've made them promise, just so I'm not caught out at 5pm on Saturday afternoon when they suddenly change their mind, as happened last year.

I'm ahead of them for once, which is always a surprise. I've become the equivalent of the Halloween grinch.

No over-priced pumpkin to buy this year. No ghoulish decoration to put up or bags of fluorescent sweets to open. For the first time in years, I can pretend the entire charade isn't happening and curl up to watch the next instalment of Downton Abbey instead.

Not for me, the annual troop down to the local eurostore to pick up bags of total crap to farm out to other people's children who invariably look askance at the cheap Chinese wrappings and the 14 languages explaining how many E numbers are in them, only to give me the look that says, "My mother bought Cadbury's mini-bars and Taytos and made up goodie bags, you cheap witch".

I'll sit down to my dinner and finish it, without hopping up to answer the door 27 times with a happy clappy smile pasted on my face while the food congeals on my plate.

I'll laugh at the parents freezing their monkey nuts off while their little princesses, Supermen and Draculas tramp up and down the estate.

I'll salute the miserable old husbands sent out by their clever wives to supervise the sweet collection.

"Look, you can stay here darling, of course you can, in the nice warm house, but you'll be opening the door every 15 seconds and you'll have to remember to give the good sweets to the kids we know, and the crap to everyone else.

"You'll have to actually talk to them, ask them what they're dressed up as because their parents will be watching you, and you won't get a minute's peace. Best you go with the kids and I'll handle the hard bit. Sigh. Oh, and wear gloves -- it's freezing."


Nor will I miss, from my vantage point on the floor under the windowsill, getting the sugared-up hyper kids to early bed for school in the morning.

Whose bright idea was it this year to have the mid-term break ending on Halloween night, by the way?

Well, teachers, they'll be your little monsters on Monday -- enjoy them!

I've put in my time on the whole Halloween deal. I've outspent the Joneses, bobbed apples to bedamned and slaved over the colcannon.

I'm done! To hell with Halloween!

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