Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween à la française

It's a surprisingly common misunderstanding that holidays we celebrate in America are celebrated the same way all over the world. Um, no. 

I've talked to so many people that are shocked that every American holiday is not celebrated in the same way abroad. My personal all-time favorite is when someone thinks all other countries celebrate Thanksgiving. Let's think about the origins of that one for a moment.

One of the major downsides of living abroad is missing out on fun holiday traditions. Since I first moved away in 2013, I have not eaten a Thanksgiving dinner, had nearly enough Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate, or even indulged in a Shamrock Shake. Ok, those all revolve around food haha. I also miss doing fun traditions with my family.

Anyways, I thought I'd document a little bit what Halloween was like in France and how I tried to make it a little more like home.

So is Halloween a thing in France? Kind of, but it's a small thing. It has become more popular in the last 10 years because it seems trendy to some people since it's American. A few stores had small sections with Halloween decorations and costumes. And by small, I mean like 2 shelves. I saw 2 businesses in town that decorated for Halloween. On the actual day of Halloween, I saw about 5 kids dressed up.

According to David, some kids go trick or treating depending on the neighborhood. Towns don't have official trick or treating times scheduled like they do the U.S. I have personally never witnessed or heard about French kids trick or treating, but apparently it happens occasionally in areas with lots of young families.

I was excited to get a few fall decorations, and have a few sent to us by my mom to get some ambience going in the apartment.

I was even more excited to find Reese's peanut butter cups in the American imported section at the grocery store. They were ridiculously overpriced, but worth every bite.

On Halloween night we went on a fun date to downtown Cannes for dinner at the très Américain Steak n' Shake. American fast food seemed appropriate for an American holiday that's all about the junk food. It baffles me how a Steak n' Shake ended up in the ritzy part of Cannes sandwiched between Chanel and Dior and across the street from the red carpet, but somehow it happened. It was fun to see a few kids dressed up there.

We ended the night with a screening of Harry Potter 2. It was nice to have it end up feeling at least a little bit like a holiday.

Now we'll have to see how Thanksgiving turns out! We don't currently have a functioning oven so I'm not sure what we'll come up with. To me, it's not really Thanksgiving if I can't have pumpkin pie, watch the Macy's parade, or go Black Friday shopping... so I don't really plan on making much of an effort. 

We both are really looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving in America together next year- it will be David's first, and my first since 2012!

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