Heppi Helloveen?

Okay, there is so much I want to tell y’all, but this one has to be about Halloween. Such as it is. It’s not a lot.

Now, I loved Halloween as a kid. Kelly gets WAY into it, and I can totally sympathize, if I lived in the States, I would too. But Halloween has a history there. Here, it’s basically just a new excuse for selling crappy knick-knacks. You wouldn’t believe how many ceramic “jack-o-lantern’s” (sic) you see on sale here (hellooo, the point calling, it misses you too.) The costumes are half-assed. Most people don’t know what to do when trick-or-treaters show up on their doorsteps, trick-or-treaters don’t know the basic etiquette, things like don’t ring someone’s doorbell at 10:30. Halloween here is just really shoddily done, and it’s no fun at all.

DrBob HATES it. Like kids don’t get enough sugar in their daily lives, they have to go door-to-door begging for it? And for him there’s no meaning to Halloween, because he didn’t grow up with it. What he did grow up with is All Saints’ Day, November 1st. Like in Mexico, in Bavaria this is a day to tend the graves of the dear departed, but it’s fairly solemn, unlike in Mexico. Because in Mexico the weather’s nice and you can make a family day out, and there’s the candy skulls for the kids to eat and the cheerful morbidity that Germans don’t really do (that’s a Spanish thing). Germans mostly stand shivering around a gravestone and chat with the cousins. Which the Sniglet and I will do tomorrow, we’ll visit the grave of two grandfathers. Yeah, one grave, two granddads. I’ll tell you about it sometime.

So as you can imagine, Halloween’s a big argument every year. The kids want to go trick-or-treating, DrBob is having none of it, I can see his point, but all of Ignatz’s friends go (aaaaand, if all your friiiiieeends, jumped off a cliiiiiiff, would you jump tooooo…) and the Sniglet really really wants to. This year, of course, Georg took Ignatz to Rome and when the plans were made Ignatz was really, really upset that he’d be missing Halloween. He’d already promised to take the Sniglet out, so the Sniglet was also hugely disappointed.

Punch line? We got two trick-or-treaters today, the sisters next door. They showed up at 4:00, and since then there’s been no one.

I have no idea what to do.

Song du jour of the day: Half Jack, by the Dresden Dolls.

4 responses to “Heppi Helloveen?

  • Nate

    write a letter to every newspaper you can reach next year explaining the rules of halloween. rule number one: It’s between 6 and 8. PM. Rule number two: if you’re under the age of 12 or so, you can visit strangers’ houses during those hours and when they answer the door, say “Trick or Treat!” or whatever the Germans would say in that situation. Rule number three: when someone under the age of 12 or so comes to your house in a costume during those hours and obeys rule number two, give them candy that you bought in a store. If you don’t want to participate, leave your porchlight off. Rule number four: This is the fun one. If someone has their porch light on from 6-8 and either doesn’t answer the door or doesn’t give you candy, you get to egg their house and/or TP their trees/shrubs later that night. Extra fun if it rains that night and/or if you can get your parents to help. So, there’s the simplified version of basically how it works. You might leave out Rule #4 if you actually want anyone to publish your letter.

    OTOH, you could just start by having the best-decorated halloween house in the neighborhood and talking it up every year.

    Each of our 4 oldest ones brought home about enough candy to fill a school backpack. And a thingy of loose-leaf lined writing paper. Those folks are in for a surprise later on. Especially if it rains.

  • Catherine

    I like Nate’s list of Halloween rules very much. People in the States need to read it as a reminder.

  • Jill

    Bounced over from Amy’s blog, how mean is it to schedule a conference starting 12/26? What is the MLA? And I have a similar October – November, so can you make cookies for me too?

  • culture win! « alala

    […] 10 11 2009 Right, so I’ve written before about Halloween in Germany, and how I love the holiday but don’t think it survived the transfer to Germany […]

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