mandag, oktober 31, 2005

A very convoluted Halloween story

I would like now to tell all of you, friends, family and fans, about all of my exciting plans for this fine Halloween. O.K., here goes...(yawn).... Wow, wasn't that exciting?

Now, it's not that I don't want to celebrate the spookiest holiday in the calendar, I mean I like it and all, but, well, I live in Europe. Don't misunderstand me, there are some movements towards Halloween here in Denmark. The other day, I saw not one but two carved pumpkins outside of a bar, and some few places have put up orange and black streamers. But it's frankly a marketing scheme and nobody takes it seriously.

And why should it be taken seriously when Danes and especially their kids have Fastelavn, which is essentially Danish Carneval. On that day in February, children dress up in costume, play games, and get lots of candy and special cakes. They even go from door to door collecting candy. So, there isn't much of a call for an imported holiday doing basically the same thing just at a different time of year.

However, I tried to get into my own personal Halloween spirit anyway by wishing both of my classes today a Happy Halloween, and discussing very briefly (like for two minutes) the implications of the holiday. Which reminds me of my mother (Hi Mom!) The connection? Well, the first comment out of the mouth of the first student in one of my groups was 'Well, it's just children begging really, isn't it?' And I had to smile and say, 'You sound just like my mother!' That led into a small discussion (like for two more minutes) of my two favorite Halloween terms, begging and bribery. And my mother featured in there somewhere. Let me explain.

My mother does in fact see Halloween as 'children begging'. And I have to admit that I can see her point, though I might modify it a bit...let's make it 'children wearing really adorable and/or interesting and/or downright strange costumes and begging'. In the last several years before retiring, my mother (a teacher) would purposely take a day off each and every October 31st, on principle - she would tell her class that she would be dressing up as, let's call her Mrs. X, and then on Halloween, the teacher would be...Mrs. X. Pretty nifty, huh?

Now, at this point I can see some of you fretting, and getting upset, envisioning my brother and I locked in the basement to keep us from sneaking out and trick-or-treating on the sly. No, actually we were allowed, nay even encouraged, to dress up and do a spot of trick-or-treating. Some years, we carved pumpkins. In the early years, my mother even waited at the door and gave out treats to the other kids (boxes of raisins, of all things...but let's save that story for another time...).

And, then, inspiration struck. Not for us kids, for my Mom. Why not escape the drudgery, the pain of the doorbell, the shrill cries of 'Trick or treat!", forever. The inspiration? Bribe us with the one thing guaranteed better than candy. Books. Yes, instead of begging for candy, we would go to dinner, and then make a pilgrimage to Kepler's (in their old location, which was far cooler) where we could each chose a book. Keep in mind that 'a book' to my Mom was always really two books. It normally went something like this: 'Moooom, I can't decide. Do I want thiiiis book (raise right hand containing nice book)...or do I want thiiiis book (raise left hand containing equally nice book)?' Worked every time. Plus, we still trick-or-treated at our immediate next-door neighbors' houses, one of whom was especially generous with the candy. So, really, could we have gotten it any better than that?

Halloween was o.k., before, but a holiday celebrated by going to a bookstore and getting a book (or two) is the coolest holiday ever. In fact, this could be just the thing to get the Danish Halloween tradition going. A holiday where you celebrate by getting your kids books. Or getting yourself books. I think it could work!

But in the meantime, I'm beginning to think I should be doing something beyond just this blog to mark the occasion. But what? The bookstores are closed. I don't have a costume. So, I guess I'm off to find something in the house to carve. Any suggestions? An onion maybe? A carrot? No, wait...I'll be back!



The moral of this drawn-out tale? Always take your carved bell pepper pictures before dark, and Happy Halloween!

13 kommentarer:

Vanessa sagde ...

I LOVE the carved bell pepper.
You should "treat" yourself to a good book, or two, tonight.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

Chibithulhu celebrated Hallowmas in the traditional fashion, with somber readings from the Necronomicon and an abundance of sugary confection.

Sangroncito sagde ...

I love that cute bell pepper face!
No Halloween here in Brazil, either, although tomorrow is the Day of the Dead holiday, like in most parts of Latin America (a day to visit the family gravesites). In my opinion--having lived in Mexico for many years--Mexico has the best and most colorful Day of the Dead festivities.

Daphnewood sagde ...

oh that is so adorable! you carved a bell pepper! Heck those cost more than pumpkins do in KS ;)

I never saw trick or treating as begging. I saw it as extortion. Give me candy or else I'll toilet paper your house! Just kidding. I look at it this way, I hand out candy to your kids you hand it out to mine. And in the meantime the kids get to dress up as their favortite person/animal/ character. The only people who do participate nowadays are people with small children. It's kind of sad. I remember the streets being full of children when I was young.

Leslie sagde ...

A marvelously told tale! Replete with suspense and humor. You've got me thinking about my own childhood Halloween memories.

I love the carved bell pepper and adore the idea of getting books for Halloween! Books books books...I love books!

Chloe sagde ...

hehehehe you got me laughing so much, i love the carved bell pepper

Jayleigh sagde ...

LOVE the pepper!

Etchen sagde ...

That is just hysterical! Thanks for the good laugh--I think I'll do a pepper next year!

Gimpy Mumpy sagde ...

You are brilliant! I love your carved bell pepper.

al-Ferengi sagde ...

This is a great idea for those, who cannot afford a pumpkin =)

kimananda sagde ...

Hey, who knew that a carved bell pepper could become such a blogging sensation...thanks for all being so interested!

Now the pressure is on to think of something unique to carve for next year.... ;-)

Anonym sagde ...

You definitely have the coolest mum I have ever heard of. You are lucky indeed. Hey, why not carve a turkey for Thanksgiving? A. Nonny Mouse

kimananda sagde ...

Yep, A. Nonny Mouse, my Mom is very cool. I like the turkey carving idea, too, but first I should probably learn how exactly to carve one of them. Then, I should probably arrange a Thanksgiving dinner, and find enough people to invite to make it worthwhile to have a whole turkey (as opposed to just a turkey breast). Hmm...actually, it doesn't sound very likely...but you never know!