Let’s not take the Christmas decorations down but keep them up for some more cheer in these dark days.
Frankenfood – genetically modified food
It was the middle of April and we were in lockdown because of the virus. My three children; Britney aged twelve, Molly aged eight, Charlie aged four and my husband, James, had cabin fever, they were running wild because of the lack of structure and normality.
I was tired of trying to plan things for them to do and teaching my children school was harder then I had thought. My husband was working from home but there always seemed less and less work for him to do. I had worked from home since miscarrying our fourth child. I wrote blogs, shorts stories, articles and other things like that.
After going through breakfast, I pushed the kids outside to play and with my husband heading off to the study to do his job, I went upstairs to dress. I put on clothes without thinking, going for comfort as no one would see me. There was no reason for going outside today.
Brushing my hair as I stood by the mirror, I realised I had put a Halloween dress on. Orange pumpkins, carved with cute faces grinned back at me from the mirror. Laughing, I went to change but then an idea come to me…. Shrugging and thinking why not, I went downstairs and called the children together.
‘It’s Halloween today!’ I declared.
‘No, it’s not!’ Britney, snapped, ‘that’s in October and we are in April.’
‘But we are going to pretend,’ I said, ‘you all know how much mummy loves Halloween.’
‘Yes! Can we get lots of sweets?’ Charlie, shouted.
‘Sure, but first we have to get everything ready. Who wants to help with all the food?’
‘Can we bake monster cookies?’ Molly, cried.
‘I like the spider cakes best!’ Briney cut in.
‘I want sweets!’ Charlie screamed.
‘We can do anything you want,’ I said.
As one the children gave me an ear deafening, ‘Yes!’ and rushed inside.
Making a lot of noise, we got recipe books out and everything we needed. I put a Halloween CD on and we sang along to some of the songs. Soon the kitchen was a right mess but there was the wonderful smell of sweet baking things; cakes, biscuits, cookies and other things.
At lunchtime, my husband was at first grumpy with all of this nonsense. I sent him into the attic to get the decorations down and start helping the children to put them up.
‘This is silly,’ James muttered to me as he had his lunch.
‘I know, but I’m so tired of entertaining them. It won’t do any harm.’
He mumbled something I missed.
‘Here, have a cookie,’ I said sweetly, ‘you never complain about my Halloween cooking.’
‘Because it’s far too good,’ James answered then wolfed the cookie down.
Laughing, I put the rest of the cookies on a wire rack to cool and put the next lot in the oven.
‘You sure you got enough supplies in to do this?’ James asked.
I nodded, ”I’ve been getting extra things in and make sure there was baking stuff for the kids to do.’
‘Mum! Mum!’ Molly screamed as she ran into the kitchen, ‘Charlie threw a spider at me!’
I rolled my eyes, ‘okay, okay.’
Juggling baking and decorations as well as a few arguments, we managed to get everything sorted. Then whilst the children decorated some of the biscuits, I ponder what to make for dinner.
‘What do you fancy?’ I asked.
A jumble of answers came back then Charlie started shouting, ‘Frankenfoods!’
‘What is that?’ I asked him.
‘Dad told us it’s food that’s not real,’ Molly answered for Charlie.
‘No,’ Britney cut in, ‘its bits of different food all mashed together to make a new food.’
‘Interesting…We could do that though…’ I said thoughtfully.
My mind whirling, I got raiding the kitchen once more then happily went back to the table were the children sat and placed down my findings.
‘Hot dogs?’ Britney questioned as she picked up the jar.
‘No, Frankenstein’s fingers,’ I said in a creepy voice and wiggled my own fingers in her face.
Britney made a disgusted sound and slide the jar away.
‘I want one!’ Charlie cried.
‘And we can make some other things too….pizza skulls?’
‘OMG, Yes! Molly yelled, ‘I love them!’
‘Right. Britney? What about you?’ I asked.
She thought then replied, ‘burgers, chips and salad.’
‘Cow pats with lave and witches’ hair,’ I translated into Halloween food, ‘that’s your dad’s favorite too. Who wants to help?’
They all put there hands in the air and shouted ‘me!’ at the same time.
The kitchen was once again turned into a mess but finally it was time to decorate the table and put all the food out so everyone could helped themselves.
Sitting on the sofa, balancing a plate of food, I watched the childrens’ Halloween movie alongside everyone else and thought that today hadn’t been bad at all.
(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com)
It was time to pack Christmas way. It felt like the decorations and the tree had always been up. The green wreath on the door welcoming guests and the lights flashing colours warmly.
The boxes came down from the attic, the tape came out once more to secure things. There was the slow and careful packing of breakable things; glass angels and burbles. The lights were wrestled back into their boxes to be untangled next December. All that fragrance of Christmas began to fade.
The house seemed different once things were taking down. They left behind an strange emptiness that couldn’t be filled by anything else.
I wanted to keep things simple this year and only put out a few Christmas decorations but things got out of hand.
Finally, decided we need all new Christmas decorations. I’m taking the lot to the dump then going shopping for new ones.
He was going for pure fear this Halloween. The bone spider popping out of the flowerbed followed by the recorded sounds of deep growling were sure to send everyone running.
(With thanks to https://ceenphotography.com/2019/10/21/fotd-october-22-2019-a-spider-among-flowers/ Photo copyright to her).
October is finally here and the weather is turning autumnal. I’ve all ready started decorating the house with Halloween things! Just little things; my colourful maple leave with fairy lights wrapped around the staircase, a few of the pot pumpkins on the tables and the autumn wreath hanging off the door. More decorations will follow over the next few days.
I’ve started shopping online and in the stores now too. Most have their Halloween stuff out and it’s interesting to see what’s ‘in fashion’ this year. Clowns are still popular – recent movies to blame for that! Famous slash films are also still in but at least this year things seem little less shock horror.
I’ve brought to much to list but I’ve got all the candy for the children and most of the decorations I liked. Then I’ll raid the discounted things when that begins, I end up with my best things after Halloween!
Oh, I got to open the first window on my Halloween countdown calendar this morning. I know the 31st isn’t that far away but it still feels that way to me. It’ll come soon enough and then…Well, I need to keep some surprise for later!
The church bells rang out signalling the start of midnight mass. People walked or drove over, some carrying presents or boxes of food for the poor. Snowflakes fluttered from the dark sky whilst fairy lights everywhere twinkled warmly. The fresh air was mingled with the scents of pine, hot cooking and frankincense.
In the church they gathered, singing hymns and saying prays by the flickering candle light. They celebrated the birth of a baby thousands of years ago that they believed changed the world for the better. With hearts full of joy and wonder, they wished for a Christmas of peace.
It’s officially winter today, though it feels like it’s been here for awhile, expect for the snow which I hope keeps away for longer! The weather has settled into a pattern of being wild, wet, windy, cold and getting dark so early that all but the morning daytime feels lost.
Today, I’ve been busy getting the Christmas decorations out and some of them up. The kids, now claiming they are ‘too old’ for such things took awhile to get into the mood of things but those decorations that reminded them of silly times – a school play, craft pieces, a photo on Santa’s knee, helped to get them into it.
Of course, only two sets of lights worked! So I left Danny testing them in the shed and I took Emma out to buy some more and a few other things. The shops were busy as was to be expected but we got through okay. Christmas music was playing in all the shops and it felt like everyone had suddenly got this idea that now was the time to start celebrating officially. Though TV and shops have been creeping it in since the start of last month!
Back home and more decorations to put up and it turns out I was right to replace the lights as poor Danny couldn’t fix them. I cheered him up with hot chocolate and crumpets which were so lovely in front of our still new fireplace! A fire really does add that cosy, cheery feel to Christmas. I don’t know how we coped without it before!
I made a nice stew and dumplings for tea and we watched a Christmas movie, though the kids were still tutting and spent more time on their phones/games then watching it but at least we were all together and that’s good enough for me.
Then before we came to bed, I walked around and just smiled, Christmas is truly here and it feels so good and welcome, the perfect beacon of hope in the long winter nights.
I looked up at the high street’s Christmas decorations with a mixture of puzzlement and anger. At the lights turn on, the mayor had announced that due to lack of funds this year, they had decided to go with a ‘homemade’ feel..Children, old people and those who had nothing better to do, had dug out their old decorations and got making some too. Long knitted scarfs wrapped around the lampposts, ancient lights danging down, children’s glittered things and was that someone’s Mrs Santa’s nightdress? Well, I guess the town had come together in the spirit of Christmas.
(Inspired from; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/12/13/15-december-2017 with thanks).