Thursday, November 1, 2007

Which came first, the pumpkin or the kids?

Okay, here are the Halloween pictures I managed to take. The rest are in my Mom's camera and we don't have the cable for it, so mostly I've got pumpkins (those blue things are candles in cups, since it was so windy that the tea lights kept going out).

I was planning on getting some really good pictures of the kids' costumes before they went out, but a whole crowd of their friends appeared and started changing at our house. Somehow our house got picked to be Halloween headquarters, so we had bits of clothing and costumes all over the living room, kids checking themselves out in the bathroom mirror, a frenzied hunt for plastic bags, and I was offered up by Carmen as makeup artist for the whole bunch. Then, in a whirlwind they were gone, and my Mom and I were left holding down the fort, trying to keep the candles from blowing out, and the boys from sticking their fingers in them...what is it about boys that attracts them to fire like moths to a flame?

We got a whole load of trick-or-treaters, which is funny since Halloween didn't exist here a few years back. One year I carved a pumpkin with the kids and put it in the window as a surprise for my husband. The kids waited impatiently for him to come home, when suddenly the doorbell rang. When I answered I heard, "Truco o Trato!" It was a small group of kids that had dressed up and decided to go out trick-or-treating. I guess they learned about Halloween in their English classes and they figured where there's a pumpkin, there's candy. I didn't even have any candy ready. So, I scrounged up some really old candy that we had left from a party and crossed my fingers that it wouldn't make them sick. The next year we put up some more decorations, and we got several groups of kids. This time I had some candy ready, and when I saw the same kids from the year before at least I knew I hadn't given them food poisoning. Whew!

Now, six years later, almost all the kids in the neighborhood go trick-or-treating. They're all really curious and they ask if I'm American or English, and if the pumpkins are real, and where did I get the music...some of them even say, "Trick or treat" and "thank you" in English. Every year we add to the decorations; now we're up to three pumpkins, a black backdrop with the moon and some bats, a ghost, candles, and scary music...where will this end? (Next year I'll have to get my hands on some dry ice or something.) Now I just wonder which came first, the pumpkin or the kids? Was it my pumpkin that started all this? I kind of feel responsible for introducing this strange custom to these kids...but hey, I wasn't the one who told them to throw eggs at the houses.


  1. Your pumpkins put ours to shame! You make me look bad as a parent. Damn it!

    Come play the game with us, lovely.

  2. There are kids here wandering hopefully in costumes...I may have to get some more candy to hand out next year too.....

    those pumpkins are amazing.

  3. You really got a bunch of treak or treaters? Wow, that is amazing! We only got about 20!

  4. I am afraid to tell you this, but I think you brought Halloween to Pamplona. Just wait until teh Spanish inquisition re-appears and names you chair-woman!

    those are some lovely pumpkins. The cat-one is almost as scary as my Penguin one :)

  5. great pumpkins. i love that last one.

    boys and fire? some of them never grow out of it. they grow up to be me, it ain't an overdeveloped sense of community's love of fire.

    crazy to think how quickly it has taken off in yoru corner of the world, complete with egg throwing huh? sheesh!

  6. The idea blows my mind - that one person could start Spain trick-or-treating by putting a pumpkin in the window. Goes along with that stupid saying about a butterfly flapping its wings in Indonesia somehow affects the NYSE. Now I'll have to wonder if it's true.

  7. I wanted to give out healthy things like Metamucil this year, but my wife decided we should stick to the tried and true.

    I think the pumpkin came first.

  8. Can I hire you next year to carve pumpkin? I really really don't know how to make it nice... ours looked really sick ! :D

  9. Your pumpkins are fabulous! In the south, no one really goes all out like here in the US, of course, but there are trickles of Halloweenn celebrations because of all the foreigners living there. In Madrid, where my half brother lives, it is bigger than in Andalucia.

    Now here! WOOWEEE! Halloween is our major holiday though this year our famous Castro Halloween was shut down as much gaybashing has been happening because of homophobic a---s that come to town to beat up people in the gay community though there is talk of getting back to our Halloween celebrations next year... but we had other places open and going on full force and we took the kids to a street that gets closed off every year for Halloween and it was fabulous. I filmed it so hopefully I can have it up in my next post... and your pumpkins would have put many of those around here to shame!

    Glad you guys had fun!

  10. The jack-o-lanterns kick it!

    Introducing the custom of Halloween can only ever be a good thing.

  11. Cindra: I guess I just have too much free time on my hands. I'll be along to play the game (more free time that I have, but it's never enough).

    Orneta: Glad to hear you got trick-or-treaters too. We gave out 2 kg of candy this year. :)

    Rjlight: You only got 20? Where do you live? Over here all the kids in the neighborhood were out.

    Minka: I'm afraid if the Spanish Inquisition shows up I'll be in a bad position. The cat's not scary, but that is what Vio wanted.

    Lime: Yep, they didn't waste any time picking up the egg throwing thing. Let's cross our fingers and hope they don't find out about TPing the houses.

    Suburban: I don't know if it's true or if those kids were just waiting for an excuse to ask for candy. They all want to do what they see in the movies. Let's just hope they don't do everything they see.

    Frogster: Your wife is a smart woman, with Metamucil your house would be covered in egg (or something worse). ;)

    Zhu: Sure. Will you pay for my flight? ;)

    Miz Bohemia: Good to see you. I'm going over to your place to check out those Halloween videos (if my cable rot permits). Over here it's nothing like over there, but at least our kids have fun. I'm sure you all had a blast.

    Jocelyn: Thanks. Although I know there are people here who would disagree. Oh well, there are always a few party poopers out there.

  12. Those are great pumpkins! Mine are very simple by comparison, but you are obbiously a pro...

  13. You're like a Halloween missionary!

  14. Where will it end? Perhaps with you levitating over the dry ice, handing out candy.

    Good job - those pumpkins are amazing.

  15. nice pumpkins. and, yes, you are responsible for future all Halloween activity in Spain and the whole E.U. congrats!

  16. Pavel: By the time I was on the second one, I wish I had gone with simple, but I promised the kids...

    Diesel: There's a thought. Adjutant Inspector and Halloween Missionary, that's sound great on my resumé

    G: If I could levitate, I would, but that's slightly out of my league. ;)

    minijon: Oh no, I'm responsible for something? That's too much responsibility for me. ;)

    kfk: Thanks. Glad to see you're back.

  17. You did me proud lady!!!!
    You know how much I love Halloween!
    Well, I didn't do anything this year after all! I put a couple of pumpkins and some mums out, but I didn't do much more than that.
    I didn't even hand out candy! I ended up sick in bed! I had all the lights out and the drapes pulled tight like a Jehova's Witness. (I can say that because I grew up with that religion until I was 18). Anyhow, your pumkins are amazing! I can't wait to see pictures of the kiddos!!!!

  18. ZOA: Good to see you. Sorry to hear about your Halloween, that must have sucked. Our pictures of the kids turned out mostly blurry, probably because they were so excited they couldn't stand still.