Halloween, however, was the biggest success and so much fun, thanks to the capability of my friend Debbie to transform things for everyone around her. She literally turned a neighborhood in Ljunghusen, Sweden into a suburb of Anytown, USA. Her house was decorated to the nines, Halloween-style. We gathered at 4:30 for their traditional Halloween supper, consisting of jack-o-lantern orange peppers filled with carrot and cucumber sticks, mini hotdogs looking like fingers complete with tomato fingernails, dead man's meatloaf with a knife through his bloody chest, mashed potato monster face with broccoli hair and mushroom eyes, and deviled egg eyeballs. It was GREAT!
Then we gathered in the windy darkness among the looming pumpkin-infested pine trees, a group of about 25 children and various adults. Lots of scary black costumes, but Martin and Karin weren't scared at all, despite being a little bit quiet at first. Karin went as a tiger and Martin as a pumpkin with dyed orange hair and a painted on face. I painted on his face with makeup sticks and did a super job, at which point he screwed up his face and started crying because it didn't look the way he had wanted it to. So we scrubbed it all off and I made him stand looking into the mirror, directing me as I drew. Success the second time. *rolls eyes* :)
Halfway around the neighborhood, an admittedly long walk for the littler ones, Karin pooped out, so she and I walked back to the house, while Martin ran ahead with his big orange plastic pumpkin half full of candy. I was actually jealous of my kids, running through that windy wonderful Halloween evening with witches and devils swirling around them, and a pumpkin torch in each hand and candy in the bag!
Later in the house, Debbie had put out candy corn for us American gals, and Martin tried a piece, commenting afterwards, "Why didn't we get any of THESE candies out there?" LOL They got piles of salt licorice, mixed in with the usual gummy candies. Swedes are clueless when it comes to candy. Salt licorice is NOT candy. It's caramelized motor oil.
Martin's costume, made of cheap plastic, was literally hanging off him by one leg when they got back to the house, so he'll be picking a different outfit for the AWC party tonight. Karin has so far stated that she's going as a dragon. Anders and I are revealing our royal selves. We won't be winning any family-themed prizes this year like we've done in the past, but that's okay.
Gotta go, pumpkins have to be bought and carved, rice krispie treats have to be made, costumes have to be gathered, and the berry-and-dried-leaves have to be bagged. There are 80+ people coming to the AWC party tonight, so it ought to be a lot of fun!
Here's hoping YOU had a chance to return to your childhood sometime this year :)