Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween in Sweden: Showin' em' how it's done!

I am officially a heroine in my neighbourhood of young, hip Mommies. Just call me Martha Stewart.

Hubby and I decided on a whim that we were gonna throw a Halloween party for Little Man and the neighbourhood kiddies. I'll be honest: It was epic. Now if you were to transplant our Spooky Fest into Any Town, North America, it would have been mediocre at best. In fact there wasn't anything we did that hasn't already been done North America that is.

You see here in Sweden, Halloween is a relatively new phenomenon, slowly growing in popularity over just the past 10 years or so. Pumpkin carvings a la cave man days, 30% of any given neighbourhood actually participating in trick or treating and the only costumes you'll find on the kiddies are of the scary variety.  No Buzz Lightyears to be found. And how about going trick or treating and receiving a handful of loose chips or 1 piece of candy? Now that's a fright.

So when we announced to the street that we were having a Halloween party, well everyone was excited to come and discover "what exactly do you do at a Halloween party"? I spent the week collecting Halloween-inspired recipes from family, friends and the Net and just when I thought I'd have to break out the construction paper and pipe cleaners, I discovered the new Toys R Us in town had a whole entire aisle of Halloween decor...woohooo!

Hubby is the creative one in the family so before you knew it, we had a poor, stuffed dude being crushed by Little Man's ride-on tractor, a front lawn full of tombstones, a floating witches hat and other spooky bits and bobs.

See for yourself!

We almost lost a few little party animals, however. You see, it took a few of them a good 15 minutes to make it to our door they were so scared, having never seen anything like this before. And then there were the activities. Nothing too inventive about cupcake decorating, bobbing for apples or sticking your hand in peeled grapes right? Wrong. "Jennifer, where did you come up with the idea to decorate "muffins"? "This is so creative." "I just got so much inspiration." Yes, my ego expanded to the size of a hot-air balloon. But I had to fess up, "We just do these things back home."

The one comment posted on facebook that sent me shuddering in terror, "You have just set the standard for all future Halloween parties." F-word. How the hell are we gonna outdo ourselves next year?!

Happy Halloween All! Love Marta Stewartsson, Buzz Lightyear (he was in costume for a record 10 minutes) and The King of Creativity, my hubby.

Now to work off the 2 kilos gained in the span of 5 days...Thank you birthday cake and Halloween candy! Oh, I almost forgot Hubby's handcarved, no stencils involved, pumpkins:


Hyacynth said...

Those pumpkins are awesome, Jenn!
I bet there was lots of laughter and smiles at your party -- definitely the one thing I love about Halloween. Well, that and the creativitiy, which you apparently were not lacking either!

Sooooo ... what songs should we begin singing for our Christmas caroling in Novemeber? ;)

Olavi said...

I wouldn't exactly claim that Halloween have been growing in popularity these past 10 years ... Maybe for the first 5. Nowadays the celebration (an exception is that people still organize masquerades) of the holiday with children "trick-or-treating" have pretty much stagnated.

The primary reason for that I would guess is that the majority feels that Halloween simply was a new scam introduced by corporations to increase commerce during a month of low income in the retail stores. The holiday hadn't any real anchor among the general population of Sweden.

septembermom said...

Tell hubby that those pumpkins came out great! You guys are really the cool ones on the block now :) So glad that it was such a success.

SwedishJenn said...

Hy: We definitely need to start with Deck the Halls, fa la la la la la la la la...!

Olavi: The 10 years was a guesstimation based on some neighbours chatting. And yes, Halloween, like almost every other holiday in North America has been heavily commercialized, an excuse to spend! And it sure is one of the most "fun" ones, a chance to be silly and someone else for a day/night or rather an excuse to do it.
@septembermom: Never felt cooler..ha! Well except for the scarring of some of the neighbourhood kids...I am now very glad that our yard is sheltered by the carport out front because our little display in full public view likely would have prompted a visit from our local police officer.