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PARADE's Exclusive Excerpt: Welcome to Pippa's Bewitching Halloween Party
Our special Halloween treat for you from Pippa Middleton: In this exclusive excerpt from her first book, Celebrate, the stylish sister of England’s future queen offers tricks and treats for a royally spooky holiday.
It's a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that's the right word) before the age of 30, on account of your sister, your brother-in-law, and your bottom.
One day, I might be able to make sense of this. In the meantime, I think it's fair to say that it has its upside and its downside. I certainly have opportunities many can only dream of, but in most ways I'm a typical girl in her 20s trying to forge a career and represent herself in what can sometimes seem rather strange circumstances.
I am by nature an optimist, so I tend to concentrate on the advantages. One of the most attractive has been the chance to publish a guide to home entertaining, structured around the seasons and based on my experience in my family's party business and previous work for a London-based events company. I've always loved to write, so it seemed natural to try to combine this passion with my enjoyment for entertaining, an enthusiasm I hope to share with others.
I know many of you may be reading this out of nothing more than curiosity. I can assure you that it feels even stranger to me than it probably does to you to have seen so much written about me when I have done so little to paint a picture of myself. This is my first chance to do that, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way to celebrate. But I do strongly believe in the importance of bringing friends and family together. I have been lucky enough to grow up in a very close-knit family. The nurturing of friendship, family, and home feels more important than ever to me in a world that sometimes moves so fast that we forget what really matters.
One of my fondest holidays is Halloween, which brings out the impish spirit in us all. Ghost stories and fairy tales depict creatures howling at the full moon, bats flitting across troubled skies, and pumpkin lanterns glowing on windowsills to ward off bad spirits—scenes that evoke fright and mystery. On this night, trick-or-treaters take to the streets: Ghosts rub shoulders with trolls and hobgoblins, witches ride their broomsticks, and Frankenstein's monsters seem to emerge out of nowhere.
Many of the elements of today's celebration have their origins in Celtic Ireland and the festival of Samhain and are heralded by the falling leaves of autumn, which signify death. Spirits of those who had died in the previous year were thought to return to Earth in search of living bodies to inhabit. The Celts would disguise themselves in ghoulish costumes, hoping that the spirits would mistake them for one of their own kind and pass them by.
As a child, I felt that Halloween was a time when creatures of the night suddenly came to life—we would turn off all the lights in the house and let flickering candlelight conjure up scary shadows and imaginary figures lurking in dark corners. Nowadays, I frequently celebrate Halloween over a supper with friends. It's a wonderful excuse to let your imagination run riot with gory-looking food and special effects: Stir witchy cauldrons of pumpkin soup; hang homemade spiders inside window nooks; string cobwebs on tables; and haunt gardens, attics, and stairways with ghosts made from sheets. Mix and match store-bought items with things you have at home and make your celebration as elaborate or as low-key as you like. It needn't cost a fortune; just a simply carved pumpkin lit up among glimmering candles will go a long way to producing the right atmosphere.
Take a Sneak Peek at Pippa's Goulish (and Gorgeous!) Photos from Celebrate
Picture Perfect: See Photos of Kate and Pippa Middleton Through the Years
Ghost Stories to Read on Halloween
Planning a Halloween Bash? Pippa Suggests Four Spooky and Seasonal Recipes from Celebrate:
Devil's Food Cake
Witches' Cheese Straws
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Celebrate by Pippa Middleton. Copyright © 2012 by Pippa Middleton.