Reflections on Consumption: Happy Hallowe’en

October 31

Happy Halloween!

And what a different Halloween, with much less spending and preparation for me. We went over to my son’s friends and had an afternoon playdate. My son dressed up in a dragon costume, which just happens to be his everyday onesy. No prep, except long underwear underneath for outdoor play. His friends used boxes as Minecraft heads: Steve and a Creeper. The boxes didn’t stay on for more than 2 minutes, just to show. Then, they had a Halloween candy hunt.

I didn’t in the end, use the glow sticks I bought. Those can be stored for another night. I still have angst over the plastic and again, it is partly a feeling of a lack-of-time that generated that purchase.

I did buy some chocolate for this little celebration. No Nestle. Thank goodness. Instead, I bought a large box of Lindt chocolate truffles. Thinking about consumption, the individual packaging on these bothers me. But they did make good outdoor treats to hide. The kids probably got 10 each. I bought a small package for myself as well.

I do have the option of making much nicer truffles at home. We did this for Easter when we made chocolate DNA. Our plan was to make all the DNA base pairs but we only managed Guanine. This was impressive and fun and educational and much better than going out to a store to buy prepackaged, preserved chocolates. But the issue is time and organization.

Copyright Leigh Symonds
Copyright Leigh Symonds

I also bought a lego set: a belated birthday gift for my son’s friend. I had forgotten that we bought him something he already had and needed to buy something else. The original gift is in the process of being regifted. And again, time and organization come into play here. Halloween, especially this topsy turvy Halloween when the world is turned even more upside down than usual, is a great time to receive a belated Happy Birthday present.

I went to a local bakery and bought three dessert squares for after dinner. This is a real treat for us. My husband is watching his diet for health reasons, so no gluten and much less baking. Again, that time factor for figuring out how to do recipes without gluten.

And, finally, I bought a bottle of my favourite shiraz. It’s from Australia and while I went into the store intending on buying local, I haven’t seen this in years (probably because trips to the wine store are infrequent!), so another Halloween indulgence.

On the grand scale of things, we spent very little for Halloween, nor did we take much time to prepare. On the one hand, we were quite successful in turning a major holiday full of consumption of sugar and packaging into a moderate expenditure of both. However, had we spent more time on the chocolate preparation, we could have had a lot of creative fun and together and reduced our packaging and dependence on large manufacturing companies where we have no say, other than not buying their product, in how they go about doing business.

Am I happy with how the day went! Actually, I am. We had fun (the night was a movie night with stove popped popcorn) and marked the day as something special in a small way. And I got to reflect on the things that would have brought more meaning to me through this blog. If I can keep the blog/journal up past full-filling the course requirements, then this will aid me in our Christmas prep where those homemade truffles might just make an appearance as they have in previous years. And, maybe, I can talk to my friends at the Environment Centre and we can do something magical up there for Halloween next year that doesn’t involve the packaging and consumption.

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