Halloween is More Fun in a Blizzard

30 Oct

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat! If you don’t, I don’t care; I’ll pull down your underwear!

As a kid, my favourite holiday was Halloween. After all, what’s not to love about dressing up in a costume, running around in the dark, and getting free candy from all the neighbours? It was great fun!

I always said the only reason I would ever want to have kids myself was so that I would have an excuse to go trick-or-treating again. It’s not really socially acceptable to dress up and go beg for candy as an adult unless you have a small child in tow. And of course, I would be bigger, so I would just take all my kid’s candy from him and eat myself. … What? Candy is bad for kids. I’d be doing him a favour.

So imagine my disappointment to be living in a country now that doesn’t celebrate Halloween appropriately, where trick-or-treating is not shown the proper respect, and where the selection of fun-size candy is, well, pretty lame. A lot of Australians are actually quite vocal in their displeasure at this “American” import and refuse to acknowledge the holiday, which is admittedly a hurdle in bringing the joy of Halloween to the southern hemisphere.

But I’ve been told that Halloween is becoming more popular in Australia than it used to be and that some neighbourhoods with large populations of small children do organise small-scale trick-or-treating now.

Australians, take notes! This house is properly decorated for Halloween. If your house doesn’t look like this by tomorrow, you’re doing something wrong.

Halloween decorations seem a bit scarce, though. Where I grew up, everyone covered their front porches in jack-o-lanterns, fake cobwebs, animated skeletons, and all manner of ghoulies and ghosties. That’s kind of half the fun, you know?  I haven’t seen a single decorated porch yet and Halloween is tomorrow. Maybe people underestimate how much time you need to set up adequate Halloween decorations?

I sincerely hope that by the time I have kids who are old enough for trick-or-treating that proper Halloween celebrations have become more commonplace here. It would also be nice to be able to find good Halloween candy in the stores, too. Like fun-size Butterfingers or Three Musketeers. I also happen to really love those peanut-flavoured chewy things that come wrapped in the orange and black wrappers. I know I’m probably the only person on earth who likes those (they always seem to end up on “worst Halloween candy” lists), but it would be nice to see those make an appearance in Australia, too. Oh, and candy corn. Can’t forget the candy corn.

Another downside to Halloween in Australia is, of course, the weather.

I know what you’re thinking: “But it’s nearly summer there in October! The weather must be great!” Yes, in face, the weather is great. It’s about 32 degrees Celsius right now and sunny with a light breeze.  No doubt you think I must be crazy to complain about that!

Especially when you consider that I grew up in North Dakota and countless Halloweens were ruined by snow. (I feel really bad for the kids on the East Coast who probably won’t get a Halloween this year because of Hurricane Sandy.) Of course, being the hardy northerners of Viking extraction that we are, we did still brave the wind and snow and ice to go collect our candy. It was sort of a matter of survival, since we’d need all those calories to help us build up a layer of fat to get us through the six month winters and all.

One particular year that we had a terrible blizzard, my grandmother had made me a beautiful princess costume. I was so excited to wear it! But because of the heavy snowfall, school closed early and we missed out on our classroom Halloween party, so no one at school saw my awesome costume. Then I had to wear a snowsuit over my costume to go trick-or-treating and the weather was so horrible that we had to turn back by the time we got to the end of the street because my dad was sick of listening to us whine about how cold we were.

“I’m dressed as a kid in a snowsuit!”

A few years later, I think in 1995, there was another blizzard. That time my grandmother had made me a really awesome “I Dream of Jeannie” genie costume. Guess who had to wear a snowsuit over that costume, too. The following year, I wisely requested a costume that would fit over a snowsuit.

So the way I figure it, if I had to suffer through bitterly cold Halloween trick-or-treating, my kids should have to, too! I don’t want them going all soft and getting spoiled by the pleasant Halloween weather Australia has to offer. It’s bad enough that they’ll never have to shovel snow out of the driveway. And besides, chocolate candies melt in the heat.

10 Responses to “Halloween is More Fun in a Blizzard”

  1. Cosette October 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    I was extremely disappointed to discover that Australia doesn’t really do Halloween, but I’m determined to celebrate it even if it’s just a little bit. I had people over, we carved pumpkins, and they’re sitting out on the porch as we speak. I bought a little candy in case we get some kids. You’re so right that decorations are scarce. I think I’ll get some online now as they may go on sale this week and store them for next year.

    • housewifedownunder November 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Next year, you’ll have to order Halloween decorations from America well in advance if you want the good stuff. I’m sure if we get enough Americans here, we can eventually infect Australians with a love of Halloween. They need to stop drinking their haterade and embrace the joy of costumes and free candy. I mean, why limit something so awesome just to Americans?

      • Cosette November 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

        We shall have a Halloween revolution!

  2. maggiemyklebust October 31, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Again Australia is one step ahead of Norway. It seems the countries that talk English tend to follow the American ways first.
    I too loved Halloween when I was a kid, in New Jersey. Our Halloweens were usually chilly, but no snow. So I guess I grew up a softie, but I’m making up for it now…

    • housewifedownunder November 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      I can imagine Halloween in Norway would be very chilly! It probably gets dark super early by that time of year, too.

      • maggiemyklebust November 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

        yes and yes… by Christmas there is hardly any light at all and I live in the south of Norway.

  3. Coby November 2, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    It’s happening in pockets now:) I have heard the ‘American’ issue, but I point out that Americans simply *embraced* the spirit of Halloween, but the tradition goes back way further. I am Aussie born and bred but our home is fully decked out with skeletons, spiders, webs, blood splatter….pumpkins and grim reapers (thanks Lombards). We had about 50 kids visit our home this year – our kids trick or treated along our street and the next with about 20 houses participating. Things ARE looking up! As to lollies, I thought the selection of body parts, skull and insects has improved over recent years – so have hope! Now, time to set up for Cup Day!

    • housewifedownunder November 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Wow, 50 trick or treaters? That’s a lot more than I would have expected! Maybe I should move into your neighbourhood! 🙂

  4. Olive November 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Okay, I just found your blog today and I’ve been reading through it, but I can’t go any further. If your point with this blog is to bag out the country and list all the ways yours is better, you’re doing a great job. Why not just go home rather than list all the things you don’t like about us?

    • housewifedownunder November 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      I say plenty of nice things about Australia and genuinely like the country. Don’t take everything so personally. I don’t know what your background is, but it sounds like you’re a native Australian. Go live abroad for an extended time and see if you don’t miss anything about your home country and culture.

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