Halloween

Hey there blog readers!

I am not a big Halloween fan as I didn't grow up with this tradition. In the German culture October 31st is Reformation Day and that's it. Some of our 16 states have a holiday and a few don't - depends if they are more Lutheran or more Catholic - and they have to go to work. I would say in the past ten years Halloween got more and more present in Germany. Assuming it happened first through the movies, that so often show the American tradition of trick and treat. Also stores and other event locations realized that they can easily make more money with that additional celebration in the year and nowadays Halloween is something more common (a similar thing happened with Valentine's Day). Not so much in Christian homes as most evangelical Christians say that Halloween is very bad and evil. So it's interesting for me to see how American Christians are dealing with this topic in different ways.

In my home state Bavaria we celebrate carnival in February and that's the time where people wear costumes and there are costume parties in schools and also for bigger events where you can buy tickets for or parades in the suburbs. My family was never a big costume family - I actually never saw my parents in a costume! I just realize this now and I am quite astonished! But my siblings and I had kids carnival at school and I really liked to wear a costume and invent costumes and paint faces. Somehow after elementary school I lost that and it came never really back (maybe a tiny bit in university).

But that obviously has to changewhen you live in a country that seems to loooove to wear costumes and decorate homes and front yards. For me, Americans are a very interesting kind of people. They love to decorate for every special season and holiday. The stores show me that they do! I wonder how many dollars each year are going into costumes and decorations! We Germans don't do that so much. We are doing it a bit for Easter and Christmas, but compared to the US we are very bland. When a German visits the US for the first time and comes right to the Halloween or Christmas season it's like being in a theme park. So many things to look at and it doesn't seem to get boring. Last year was my very first Halloween in the US and I didn't celebrate it at all. No decoration, no costume, no candy - nothing. A voice in the back of my head just screamed BORING! And yes, I have to admit I/we were boring! But you have to see it like this: First year you are admiring front yards and look at all what there is to see. Second year you already know some folks and you are going to your first costume party. So that's our present level - not decorating our front yard (I think our landlord would die - he doesn't do such things! haha, and somehow I feel relieved that there are no tombstones and ghosts), but going to a costume-potluck and decorating ourselves.

Ok, but honestly the "ohhh and ahhh"-phase isn't yet over and when I go to Michael's (a big crafting and decoration store), I see things that I find funny or weird and just strange to my German eyes.

One example is this wreath. Is this not one of the ugliest wreaths you have ever laid eyes on (in a literal way)?

Next thing I saw were those costumes and I thought "they are so small, how can a child fit in to them?" and then I came closer and realized that they aren't for your children, but for your cat or dog. My next thought was "that's kind of exaggerated, isn't it"...

... and then I looked at the small example picture and thought "awww how cute is this!". People, I tell you I wonder about how easily I can be seduced! Yeah, yeah saying things like "I wanna save money" and "those Americans....".... sure Kati, and then I felt like buying one of those pet costumes myself. Gladly we don't have a pet and so I had no allowance to spend that money. Please, people don't think about sending me a puppy now! It's too late for this year. If you think about it wait for 2016. lol

If you wonder what are those for... well those are coasters. Skeleton coasters. I know, you need them, don't you? ;-)

Sweets

Blood Lollipops... those lollipops are an example that Americans seem to be able to make money with anything! And people now I am making jokes and next year I will see them in a German grocery store. You bet! We Germans seem to imitate so many American traditions - or lets not say "we Germans", but the industry that wants all of us to buy more and more and more.

To see such a gigantic pack of candy is also funny for me - we don't know such sizes of candy bags as nobody would buy those things. In Germany we have a store similar to Costco, but it is for people that cook for retreats or camps or feed other big crowds and there you can buy stuff like that. But no normal person can go there shopping -just if you have a certain business. That's why big packages are a strange thing for my eyes still and seem "very American".

Even the Korean coffee house chain Paris Baguette has Halloween themed cakes, cupcakes and cake pops. In Germany Halloween is not that present - usually not at a bakery or coffe shop. But I am sure that this will change more and more as the Halloween wave swaps across the ocean.

Well, aren't those cake pops adorable?! I'd immediately eat this cute pumpkin!

Front Yards

This year front yard decoration isn't that kind of a big deal for me anymore. The excitement seems to fade and that shows me that I am getting more used to the US, but sometimes I still see things that make me grin or smile.

For example those spider webs on the bushes. That photo was taken in September and this family isn't greedy at all with the spider webs. I was just thinking: "Good luck with cleaning that stuff out of your bushes after tons of rain, wind a fall leaves are mixed into it!"

My thought to this yard was: "Wow, that yard is very decorated." I mean almost every space that they have. It made me smile as I think the parents let the kids decorate and the kids were just having fun and using everything they had in stock. :-)

Don't you need this gigantic cat on top of a pumpkin and with flying bats inside the pumpkin and a ghost? If you wanna see my lasts years post on Halloween find the link here: Click.

Who am I gonna be?

As I already mentioned earlier we are going to a costume party this year and until Friday late afternoon I had no idea what I am going to be. I just knew that I need a costume, because that's just more fun like that. Daniel is the lucky one that already owns a wig and a clowns nose, but I don't have anything. Well, I still have my wedding dress, but I didn't want to risk that anything bad happens to it, but I am sure that if I'd come as a bride I'd be the star of the party - I already here the little girls asking questions and they wanna touch the dress.... "Who is the winner of the price for the best costume? Drum roll please.... The winner is.... KAAAATI!" Hahaha, just some day dreaming. No, I didn't want to use my wedding dress and so I went to a big store that's called Party City. They have stuff for birthday partys, baby showers, bachelorette partys and as well for Halloween. When I entered the store I felt like in party paradise! So many things to see!

First I walked through the good-deals-section. You could also call it the tombstone aisle and I am still not sure if I should have taken that awesome deal of two tombstones for one.... no, just kidding! ;-)

 Then came a very big wall of costume pictures. They were sorted into baby, kids, teens and grown ups. "Who you gonna be?" There are really so many possibilities that it must be very difficult to find the right costume for you. For me it was easy as the costumes for grown ups were pretty pricey and I didn't wanna spent that much for just one party.

Obviously I wasn't the only one that figured that one day before Halloween would be a good moment to get your costume and so the store was crowed and I said at least 50 times "excuse me" - people everywhere!

There were many more aisles with costumes, accessories, wigs, hats, masks etc.

Here are some of the scary masks:

I thought it would be fun to go as My Little Pony to the party, but all the things together were so pricey and I didn't want to spend $100 for a costume. My limit were $40 for the make-up and the costume and I was able to achieve this. :-) I try to get a pic of Daniel and me in our costumes to show you after the party.

 Here is another possibility I found interesting.

That store was a lot of fun for me! I think it's even more fun when you go with a friend and also with a bigger budget. I guess I liked it so much, because it reminded me to the kids carnival and to the dressing up sessions with my siblings when we were little. I am glad I went and next year I'd like to go with Daniel or with a friend.

You guys, I am wishing you a Happy October 31st - maybe you celebrate Halloween, or Reformation Day or no special day at all and that's just fine. I hope you will have a blessed day where God speaks into your life and you will be transformed and renewed.

Much love,

Kati

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