Tuesday, 25 October 2011

It's la Grande Citrouille Charlie Brun.



The Year Halloween Came to Wazemmes.

It all started with the Great Pumpkin. Last spring, while visiting the farm with my 2 year old son, I thought it would be funny to plant pumpkins in my micro-garden (my courtyard garden). So I went to the outdoor market and spent all of 3€ on 6 pumpkin plants which I promptly stuck in the ground. I figured at worst, my cats would kill the plants and at best, I’d get at least one jack-o-lantern for Halloween and that maybe the vines would keep my cats from using my micro-garden as a litter box. What can I say? All my wishes came true.

When we returned from vacation at the beginning of August, the vines had not only spread across the deck (about 10 feet) but they’d also climbed the walls. Baby pumpkins were sprouting left and right. At one point, I counted a dozen pumpkins growing, but most of them die before reaching maturity.

When I cut down the first pumpkin - a 7 kilo’er  (14 pounder) which had been growing 4 feet off the ground - it got me into the Halloween spirit. That’s when I got a hold of It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and watched the trick or treating scene over and over and over, at the request of my 5 year old.

And then it came to me. I could bring real American Halloween to my neighborhood, trick-or-treat and all.  All it would take is a little organization (which I have), a couple of willing participants (my daughter’s best friend down the street) and a little pride swallowing since I would have to canvas the neighborhood.

I am slightly ashamed to say that most of my Halloween flyers were placed in my neighbors’ mail boxes late at night when everyone was asleep. My flyer had a brief explanation of American style Halloween etiquette and a pumpkin clip-art to paste on their window  or front doorto show they would accept trick or treaters. I did hand deliver some to the people I know. One elderly couple told me they would do Halloween if it didn’t involve kids ringing their doorbells and asking for candy. Um, yeah. I also gave the flyer to some families in the neighboring street by harassing them at school. And, to my great delight, everyone is really excited to do Halloween!  

The real test will be on Halloween eve.. In past years, we‘ve gotten 3 trick -or -treaters who aren’t even in costumes. I’m even embarrassed to say that I actually forget to get candy most years and have to run up to the kitchen to grab lollypops out of the kids’ candy jar. The general request is, “vous avez des bonbons?”  (do you have any candy?). No please, no thank you, no Happy Halloween! And my daughter may be the only kid in France who knows “trick or treat smell my feet” in it’s entirety all the way to the last line. My goal this year is to turn Halloween into what it’s should be : a few hours of fun for the kids when they can dress up and eat too much sugar. To be continued...

How do you celebrate Halloween and what are you doing this year to bring Halloween into your home?
And there’s always the fallback plan if the jack-o-lantern doesn’t work out : pumpkin pie.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun. It's too late to send American style treats, isn't it?

Grandma

Lena said...

I love Halloween! even tough Im not American, I was raised in Colombia, South America, where we had Halloween too!!! I've been living in France for 8 years now, and I still miss it. I'm a big girl but sometimes I wish we could get a costume and go trick or treatin'...

Reb said...

Lena, I hope you had a fun Halloween! Apparently some smaller towns are more into it than the larger cities. Hope you got to dress up and eat lots of candy!

Kid World Citizen said...

How fun!:) We are in the US so we do the regular Halloween, but we also do Dia de los Muertos Nov 1-2. It is double the fun to be a bilingual/bicultural family!:)

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