Model A

Describe an annual event that you attended and explain why you enjoyed it.

About four years ago I was invited to a Halloween party at the home of a friend. I was reluctant at first but I decided to go to help out with the arrangements.

On the afternoon of the party, I drove to my friend's house with a huge box of materials which I thought might be useful for the preparations. The children were full of enthusiasm as they worked on their masks and costumes. But the best part of all was making the lanterns. I was amazed at the imagination that the children showed when cutting grotesque faces out of the hollowed-out pumpkins. The mood of anticipation was so intense that, by the time the last costume had been made, I was as excited as the children.

By six o'clock, the party was well under way and the house was full of screaming children, with me running around in a mask trying to scare them. At one point during the evening, prizes were awarded to the children who had made the best costumes. Games were organised, including one where the children had their hands tied behind their backs while they tried to pick apples out of a barrel of water using only their teeth. When the party finally ended, the children left in a noisy group, running ahead of their parents and doing their best to scare any unfortunate passers-by.

Rediscovering what it is like to have fun without feeling embarrassed was a fantastic experience. My initial hesitation disappeared once I had decided to get involved. Helping with the children's games enabled me to enter into the party spirit. I saw it as an opportunity to experience the sheer joy that comes so naturally to children.

Another thing that made it a particularly enjoyable occasion was that it brought back memories of my own childhood experiences. I remembered my own excitement when we were dressing up in scary costumes, and the thrill of going from house to house, bags held open for whatever goodies would be put in when we shouted, "Trick or treat!" I also remembered the time we had been chased by a stingy neighbour after spraying his windows with shaving foam.

Since those days I had nearly forgotten about Halloween, but this party gave me so much pleasure that now it is a regular fixture in my diary. I think everyone should have the chance to feel like a child at least once a year.

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