Only in the past two decades have the French really started celebrating Halloween. Pascal has no memories of dressing up or trick-or-treating in his village. And, of course, there are no photos of him yukking it up for the camera in costume.
I, like most Americans, remember childhood trick-or-treating fondly. My best-loved costume was the year I converted my "bride dress" (a pretend dress-up bridal gown my Mom had made for me) into a "princess dress". I wore a cardboard crown, carried a cardboard scepter, and had big round circles of blusher painted on my cheeks. And people wonder why years later I crowned myself The Bon Bon Queen... Childhood really is a great predictor, isn’t it?
One year, I was Pippi Longstocking. In college, I dressed up as a hippie and then as Marilyn Monroe, a tragic choice in more ways than one - for starters, my coloring isn't meant for blonde wigs. To hear the real tragedy, though, you'll have to ask me in person!
When we married and lived in New York City, we lived in a building with no children, so we never bothered with Halloween. When we moved to Wilmington, NC, I was so excited that Pascal would finally get his first Halloween experience.
In anticipation of all of the kids we expected to arrive at our front door, we bought lots of candy. (No we don't give out bon bons!) When Halloween night arrived, we had four teenage kids without costumes and one forty-something lady who held out a plastic grocery store bag and screeched in a voice raspy from years of hard-drinking and hard-living: "Trick or Treat!" I was very disappointed. It seems that (at least in our neighborhood) the trick-or-treating-of yesteryear is truly a thing of the past. Pascal didn't seem to mind; he got to eat all of that leftover candy. But he is still baffled by this crazy American holiday.
I'm starting to give up hope that Pascal will ever get a true understanding of the Halloween spirit. It's proving to be a tough sell. Look how thrilled he was to be seen with the Halloween-themed South 'n France display we made several years ago...
Meanwhile, at least our packaging has caught the Halloween spirit. We're dressing up our one of our bon bon tins for Halloween.