Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hallowe'en Concessions

So this year we caved.  We caved big time.  And you can say "But it's originally a celebration from [insert country, religion or focus of choice here], it's not American" all you like, but hey, who do you think you're kidding?  What is being celebrated here is exactly the American way - Hallowe'en with costumes, trick or treating and surprises at sundown.

We had resisted for many years, with increasing pressure in the last few years particularly.  But this year?  Woah, this year it was crazy out of control everywhere.  Everyone was 'celebrating' Hallowe'en in some way.  Harriet was asked to go trick or treating at a friend's house who lives in a cul-de-sac and apparently had over thirty homes participating.  Of course Harriet was beside herself with excitement, especially given that nearly all of her books from America include some element of Hallowe'en in the narrative somewhere, somehow.

And so we acquiesced.  Harriet requested a vampire costume, and Teddy wanted to, unsurprisingly, be an astronaut.  The afternoon was sweltering, and I think Harriet got the easier end of the deal with sandals and a dress, compared to Ted's polyester jumpsuit and boots.
And I think every family that was involved and that I chatted to that afternoon discussed how they didn't want to encourage Americanisms, but wasn't it lovely to wander around the streets chatting to your neighbours?  And given the already very friendly nature of our little spot of the Inner West, I had to admit that yes, meeting new families that had moved into the area, introducing myself to families on nearby streets that we hadn't had the opportunity or reason to chat to before this - all of this was very pleasant.  

So rather than be a cultural pedant, I took a deep breath and embraced something I wasn't expecting to enjoy.  And it was fun.

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