Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Six Pieces of Candy

Being in a country that doesn't celebrate your holidays can be a bummer. It's funny the things you miss - fall decor, giant pumpkins, Cracker Barrel's three-months-in-advance display of whichever holiday is next (which, I should add, formerly irked me).

Halloween is one of our more obscure holidays, so many of our Chinese friends aren't really sure when or what it is. When we describe it to them, they shake their head knowingly and chime in with "Trick or Treat."

Of course there are no signs that Halloween, or even fall, is here. So we are learning how to make things special around our house for those holidays we still want to celebrate. I loved Halloween growing up. I never cared about my costume that much, but I loved getting candy (or toothbrushes from the dentist in the neighborhood). It was thrilling to be out in the dark, knocking on all the neighbors' houses (and getting to peak into all those houses you had never been in before), running around the neighborhood screaming with your friends. The older we got the more serious the candy procurement became. Roller blades were added to expedite the process. And then we would head home to analyze and trade our spoils. Thinking back on those fond memories made me want to give my daughter something similar.

So, our Halloween this year consisted of carving two small pumpkins our friend found on her side of town and brought to us, dressing up with some things we had around the house, calling our downstairs foreign friends and letting our three-year-old "trick-or-treat" at their two apartments. And you know, it was fun. It wasn't tiring; we weren't out all night battling mosquitoes, traffic, and youngsters on a sugar high; and we didn't get enough candy to last until the next Halloween. She loved it, and consequently, so did we.

We came home and tried all six pieces of candy, lit our jack-o-lanterns, and just had fun watching our mix-matched butterfly, fairy princess enjoy life.

There is another perk I should mention. Living in a foreign country actually means you get a whole new set of holidays to incorporate into your life. We've essentially doubled our holiday celebrations. Of course, the new ones don't feel as important to us as the old, but maybe to our daughters they will be of equal value - good times with Mom, Dad, and friends.

Today I'm grateful for the opportunity to create a holiday for my girls - one that wouldn't usually happen on our side of the world. It makes an old tradition feel really special. And I'm also grateful for the new holidays that life abroad affords.

1 comment:

tina said...

we know the feeling...wait until you see G's first "fall" picture....