a great american export

People from home ask me a lot if Halloween is “as big here”. I am never sure how to respond but the easiest answer is no. Not even close.

You will find candy in the stores and pumpkins for sale and even a spiderweb decoration in a store if you’re lucky. Adults have fancy dress parties (costume, achem) and a few places make lackluster efforts to do events for kids. Actually, the ones that do are American, like Whole Foods and those weird social clubs I refuse to join that are like sororities for grown-ups.

The best way I can explain that it’s just not the same is to tell you that when I asked the nine mothers from my prenatal class if their kids were dressing up, they all said no and seemed confused. When I brought Jonah to Gymboree dressed as a pumpkin, the staff and other mums had coniptions of cuteness. Because they had never seen such a thing. When I saw a little girl at a store dressed as a lion, I knew she was American before her mom even proved it when she spoke out loud. And so, no, it’s not even remotely the same. In America, I am pretty sure it is illegal to not dress your child up. And if it’s not against the law, I am sure there is some other parent in plastic devil horns willing to extract some vigilante justice on your a**. I miss that about my homeland. I do.

IMG_0906I also miss my dad’s roasted pumpkin seeds. I made some myself with Jonah watching from the bjorn. He seemed totally unimpressed with my carving abilities and seed-baking. His favorite part of Halloween was the 30 times I stuck the pacifier back in his mouth.


It also appears that the British take a more traditional approach to the holiday and favor scary costumes like ghouls and goblins and witches and monsters. This bit from a news article here made me laugh:

The other day I was perusing the Halloween section of an American fancy-dress website – as you are probably aware, Halloween in the US permits dressing up in non-spooky clothing, which is just one of the many things I have filed under Things I Shall Never Understand About America, alongside the national passion for Twinkies and the precise point of Los Angeles.

Apparently, Slutoween is an American concept. So, I don’t know- chalk that up as another +1 for the U.S.A. I’ve never been prouder.

Also, three of my friends ran the New York Marathon yesterday and got amazing race times. You know who you are friends and you just rule.



Filed under culture clash, holidays, photos

5 responses to “a great american export

  1. micah

    i too am confused about los angeles.

  2. NeNe

    I like that the US “permits” dressing up in non-spooky clothing. It was a good thing we got that law changed after the Revolution.

  3. B.D.P.P. Butch

    Michele and I went to a Halloween “costume” party. I dressed as a girl, Michele as a guy. A women complained that my ta-ta’s were too small. That was spooky.

  4. toshalot

    i had a conniption of cuteness upon seeing the pics of jonah dressed as a pumpkin too.

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