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The magic has gone from my halloween

Supermarkets are confusing the seasons. In my local supermarket right now, you need to go past all the Christmas selection boxes first before you reach the Halloween stuff in the next aisle. Hmm. Why not just go one step further and place Easter Eggs in the front window while you're at it?

Seriously, when you're shopping with a three-year- old, having all these sweets placed at eye level for young ones can make the experience stressful. Yes, it's very handy for a kid who can reach out and throw everything into the trolley, but it's annoying for the parent who then has to put everything back amid loud shouts of protests. And this is after you've said a firm "no" to putting a euro into the brightly coloured Bob the Builder machine at the door on your way in!


The last time we were shopping I noticed the chocolate pumpkins and sugar-coated ghosts in abundance in the shop aisles. My head was spinning looking at the choice of teeth-rotting treats. No wonder obesity is becoming a problem in the young these days.

When I was young, I loved Halloween. We always had a choice of nuts and fruit. And we had the barm brack with the ring in the middle of it. Whoever bit into the ring was teased as it meant they were to be the first in the group to get married.

But Halloween in general was much simpler back then. There were no fancy dress outfits costing hundreds of euro for poor cash-strapped parents. We dressed up in whatever we could find. I remember wearing an old white sheet with two holes cut out for the eyes. I was the ghost.

My sister put too much of my mother's foundation on her face. She was the witch. Then we went around the houses and tried to wangle our way into homes of people we didn't know in the hope of getting a few coins or sweets.


As I grew older, I began to like Halloween less. I found it eerie and scary.

Then in recent years I didn't enjoy it because of all the bangers going off, terrifying my cats.

Halloween night was always a bit terrifying because the pubs were full of drunk ghouls and you couldn't see where they were looking behind their masks. I honestly never relished being chatted up by either Dracula or a nun with big fake knockers and a grisly man's voice.

And, tell me, why oh why does every young woman seem to dress up as a slut for Halloween? Now that's scary, but not in a good way.

Now I don't like Halloween because it costs me so damn much. I don't mind splashing out for Christmas but paying to have my home full of dangling skeletons and paper vampires is depressing. Gary's playschool is closed for the whole week this week, he is already on his third mask and he has a vampire outfit!

I'm done with Halloween already and I need to escape from the madness. Now, if somebody could just find me a witch's hat and a broom!

Marisa is the author of The Secret Nanny Club