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Halloween

I can’t believe it is nearly the middle of October. This year is slipping by at a fast rate and soon we will be seeing children dressed in all kinds of weird and spooky costumes wandering the streets in search of treats or threatening to perform tricks.
Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) is an annual celebration observed in a number of countries on the 31st October, the eve of the western Christian feast of All Hallows Day. The traditional focus of All Hallows Eve revolves around the theme of using ‘humour and ridicule to confront the power of death’. Apart from the trick or treating kids and pumpkin carving, people of all ages are known to hold costume parties and organise a night watching horror films.
Halloween celebrations are becoming more popular in Australia as each year passes so I thought I might look around for any Halloween-themed competitions that seem interesting enough to enter. Last year my local real state agent letterbox dropped pumpkin seeds and ran a pumpkin growing competition with some great prizes. I entered it but being restricted in my pumpkin-growing by my unit balcony, I didn’t win.
The first competition I came across this year was run by Skiddoo through their Facebook page. It had a prize of two return tickets to San Francisco flying United Airlines to celebrate Halloween in the United States. I duly entered my son into this as Halloween is one of his most favourite nights of the year. Unfortunately it closed on the 31st September but maybe they will hold it again next year.
The next competition I found was in That’s Life magazine. It involves sending in a photo of ‘your little monster in their favourite Halloween costume’ with a brief story and contact details. Check it out a www.thatslife.com.au/win. There are five prizes of $100 Spotlight voucher. The closing date is 15th October so you still have a little time to get your costumes made, put them on your kids, take some great photos and enter.
While on the subject of Halloween costumes – at the moment Child Magazines is running a “That’s Mine Costume Box Halloween Giveaway” with four prizes of a $50 vouchers on offer from Costume Box. The closing date is the 13th October so you still have time to enter at www.childmags.com.au/win. Kidspot (www.kidspot.com.au) is one of my favourite websites for kid’s activities, giveaways and competitions. At the moment they also have a great section on Halloween costumes, activities and crafts. Free information is always welcomed in my home, especially if it is local, interesting and informative.
After a rather tiresome search the other night I finally found two more obscure Halloween competitions (there are heaps in the US but ones in Oz are hard to find). The first one was at Kitty’s Crumble (a kitty litter business). This involves emailing a photo of you cat in a Halloween costume with a $50 prize of kitty litter up for grabs each week until Halloween. The email address is contests@kittyscrumble.com.au. The other one was on a Facebook page – Ten Little Fingers Nail Art. You just need to register to win one of 9 sets of Haunted Nail Stickers but you need to get your entry in by 12th October.
Finally why not hold your own Halloween competition for your local neighbourhood kids and make it a creative adventure for them. Better still, why not make it an adult night with a costume party and some prizes for the best dressed and lots of nibbles and liquid refreshments. Enjoy!

P.S. The picture that I have put up today with this blog is my son Terry dressed and made up as The Joker. Pretty scary isn’t he!

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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