Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guest Blog: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell

Halloween Culture Shock

Well, I should do at least one post that’s completely on topic: Halloween.

I’m a New Zealander - I spent most of my life there, and a few years in Australia. Halloween isn’t a very big thing Down Under. At most, some of us will dress up, maybe some kids will go around to knock on doors for lollies. For most of my Halloweens, it has passed by uneventfully; most years my family and I even forget to buy chocolate or lollies. In my childhood I dressed up once for trick or treating, and I recall that it was a terrible cat outfit.

Cue a Kiwi going to America and experiencing an American Halloween for the first time.

I get the feeling in America that, were I to forget to buy lollies (candy, I should say) on Halloween, it would be akin to forgetting to put the Christmas tree up in December. Sidnote: I always wondered, growing up, why on earth all the Christmas paraphernalia was covered in snow, given that our Christmas holidays are during the summer, and we spend our days in the sunshine outside with a barbecue.

I was utterly delighted when I experienced my first American Halloween. Despite never doing much for it, I’d always loved Halloween. Or, should I say, I loved the idea of Halloween, and seeing it fully realized in the streets of the Midwest was like seeing a proper Christmas for the first time. Houses were decorated—decorated!—for Halloween, plastic bats and spiders strung everywhere, actual carved pumpkins on the lawns, and packs of miniature monsters were running about, screaming gleefully, high on sugar.

Alex and I dressed up as Cyclops and Wolverine—we’re massive Marvel nerds. Wandering the streets to look at the houses, I was so entranced by everything I don’t think I stopped grinning for hours. Poor Alex had to put up with me constantly announcing, “Look, Alex, LOOK! AN ANIMATRONIC SKELETON!” and “Oh my God, they have pumpkins everywhere!”

Needless to say, now that I have been shown the true awesomeness of Halloween, I will never spend another year not celebrating it fully.

- Robin

About the Authors: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell live in the Midwest with their two cats, Starsky and Hutch. Their first book, Blood Howl, is available for sale at Dreamspinner Press. They can be found at their blog and on Facebook.

See what else they've had to say today on Goddess Fish Party Pavilion!
And they're also chatting it up over at Whipped Cream!


Na said...

Halloween is not a big thing in my family either, although I do like seeing other people's houses decked out and their creative costumes, pumpkins and foodies. Since I love scary movies, I really enjoy that the season means more of those shows on TV.

Beatrice said...

Oddly enough, I read this with my mind taking on a British accent. LOL. Marvel nerds unite, yay! I was supposed to grab myself a costume today, being the procrastinator that I am, but it's snowing out. I wanted to dress up as either Captain America or Iron Man. We'll see how that goes! I do know that they have Thor costumes for kiddies.

I'm not from the U.S. either (although I live here now), but where I came from, Halloween was also a pretty big deal. It wasn't as big as Christmas but I remember taking the stairs up the high rise my cousins lived in and going from door to door, asking for candy. :)

beatrice.g.tan [at] gmail [dot] com