This weekend we had our first official embassy holiday parties. Since Halloween fell on a Monday, we had a grown-up party on Saturday and a kids’ party on Sunday. So we attended both.

The adult party was fun, and there was a pretty good turn out considering the size of our community. Probably about 50 people showed up. It was hosted by fellow embassy employees at their house, so it was semi-official. Apparently they’ve done it every year for the last four years and are already planning for next year. They provided food, a full bar and a great venue. The party was held in their front patio area complete with lights, music and fancy Halloween decorations. Even the plastic utensils were orange and held in little black paperboard coffins.

And everyone dressed up. We were probably the least convincing in the costume area because we were missing the third part that completed the outfit…our baby boy dressed as a dinosaur. We were Jurassic Park Staff. So without the baby, it just looked like we showed up in T-shirts. Well, I did anyway. My hubby went to great pains to cut slashes in a plain white shirt so that it would look like claw marks, soaked the edges in red food coloring, then sewed in strips of torn flesh made from iodine soaked rags.

There were other great costumes as well…movie characters from Aliens, Ghostbusters (for whom the DJ enthusiastically played the theme song while on the dance floor), Black Swan, Avatar; some notable characters such as Wonder Woman, Popeye, Caesar and Medusa; plus the requisite cops, inmates, hillbillies, gypsies, cavewomen, Red Sox fans, witches, vampires, Muppets, doctors, and angels.

The kids’ party was much quieter by comparison, probably due to the lack of sound system. There were probably about 40 kids in attendance altogether, and we had two tents set up in the parking lot on the housing compound. But there was a bouncy castle! Unfortunately, A got crushed in it by an over-ambitious three-year-old, and I had to pull him out in tears.

I had volunteered to help set up and to bring supplies and food. So I baked three dozen cupcakes, which turned out to be a perfect amount as there were only three left at the end of the event. And I was very excited about it in general because it was my first time baking for any event as a mom, so it was kind of special to me. And I decorated them. I’m particularly fond of my little witch hat cupcakes made from ice cream cones.

Witch Hat Cupcake

Next year we might even go trick-or-treating. We were planning on it this year, but A goes to bed at 6pm and that’s when it started, and it’s not like we’d actually give him that much sugar. So we made sure we were back at the house to give out candy instead. I love the idea of trick-or-treating on the compound though. Last year we were in Colorado, and the only kids that showed up were our nextdoor neighbors. So it’s kind of like living in a really small town. I like it, and I’m looking forward to the holidays to come.