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Delight and Things

a little peek at what delights me

My two favourite holidays are Thanksgiving and Halloween. Unfortunately, this country doesn’t celebrate either. On October 8th, which is Canadian Thanksgiving, we ate tacos for dinner. I’m lucky I even remembered it was Thanksgiving – I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Jamie, who said “happy thanksgiving” as we sat down (bless him – the Aussie who before meeting me had never even heard of pumpkin pie). So no, we didn’t really celebrate. It’s hard to have a family gathering with a turkey cooking in the oven when you’re family is halfway across the world and you have an oven that doesn’t seal entirely well, adding extra heat to an already 40°C day. And also, we had indulged in a Thanksgiving feast at my grandmother’s house in July when we were in Canada at my special request, so I wasn’t feeling like I’d missed out too much this year.

Halloween, on the other hand, is not something that we could just recreate in July. Halloween needs to have the perfect combination of autumn leaves, cool nights with wood fire smoky smells, and everyone on board to transform their houses into gruesome graveyards, insane asylums, mad scientist labs, monsters headquarters, and more. It also requires the shops to sell tiny bite sized candies and face paints, and mothers everywhere to dust off their sewing machines to create a costume out of scrap fabric laying in the back of the cupboard. It needs pumpkins to be in season (and I mean the classic orange ones, not Queensland blues). So needless to say, we did not have Halloween during our visit back home.

But I was seriously in need of a Halloween fix. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and force-feed Halloween down the throats of our community. Although it’s a bit difficult to trick or treat when the houses are quite often more than 1km from eachother, I figured I could at least host a party and show these Aussies what the big deal was. It was party planning time. While in Adelaide for a wedding I bought a bunch of decorations from the classic spiderwebs to skull lights, and with the help of a few friends even tracked down a few orange pumpkins. I invited the kids down the street to come over for a pumpkin carving night and we created some amazing jack-o-lanterns (after having to explain what a jack-o-lantern was). I got a bit crafty and built a giant paper mache Frankenstein head to hang at the front door. I stuffed hay into my old work clothes and hung my scarecrow look-alike from a noose in the driveway. I created a murder scene in the bathroom. I baked ghosts and bones and had punch with floating hands in it. I even had a good friend who has a cupcake business create some seriously cool halloween cupcakes – awesome!

It was really funny treating people to a whole new holiday – everyone was so delighted with it all and was wide eyed at the decorations and food and everything halloween-y that I just took for granted having grown up with it. Of course, it wasn’t quite the same as home, but everyone got into the spirit and dressed up, and we ended up having a bit of fun. Although you can’t go too wrong with good friends, a few beers, and a bbq with farm fresh meat on it, can you? It’s just an added bonus that a dead Fred Flintstone was cooking it for you.

So – Happy Halloween everybody! Let’s hope those of you who celebrate it are feeling sick to your stomach from too much candy, and that those of you who don’t will one day have a random Canadian move to your town and host a halloween spooktacular.

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