‘What are we going to do for Halloween?’ TLOML asked me, a few weeks ago. Because of course, for Americans, Hallowe'en is an event for which celebrations and jollities should be planned.
Fortunately, as it turned out, he was too busy winning medals at the swim nationals in Sheffield for my lack of a plan to matter. He did remind me to buy candy, for the trick or treaters who would surely call at Fox Corner. I then had to confess my Halloween plan was to hunker down in front of the Halloween specials of Strictly Come Dancing and X-Factor, and not to answer the doorbell to anyone.
I suspect American readers will be disappointed by this revelation. The fact is, Halloween is not – yet – the big hoopla over here that it is in the US. You might see some kids out trick-or-treating the people they know on their street, and some people throw parties. Regular club nights may call this weekend’s bash a Halloween special, and encourage fancy dress. There’s probably one pumpkin on a windowsill on our street (of 100 houses). But that’s about it.
|I'm a sucker for a seasonal candy, me.|
It’s all a bit weak compared to the jamboree of pumpkins and spookiness that consumes the US throughout October. Over there it seemed to me every one had a costume and a night of parties planned since Labor Day. Pumpkin patches sprung up in malls and parks, with excited kids picking out their pumpkins. The shops were full of that lovely, sugary ‘candycorn’, and little spooky marshmallow ghosts, and all sorts of other good, teeth rotting stuff. And the doormen said ‘Happy Halloween!’ like it was an actual cause for celebration, like Christmas or Thanksgiving (as opposed to a night of famously spooky and dark deeds).
|This is normal over there.|
As it happens we never really did the Halloween thing in the US. TLOML was out of town both years at that time, and I was too British to get dressed up and go party with randoms like Americans do. Still, I soaked up the general Halloween excitement - ate the corn, said 'Happy Halloween', and admired our neighbours' decor. I liked the vibe and the way it marked the start of the brilliant holiday season.
I surprise myself by admitting, I kinda miss it this year.