Monday, October 25

Happy Halloween?

As we approach Halloween weekend, I've always liked the idea that this uber-commercialized all-American celebration had winded its way somehow back to Europe, returning to its humble origins somewhere in the land of England (or Palermo, take your pick).  And, while I'm usually not so fond of seeing American just-about-everything over here, I admit, I do get a big kick over seeing store windows decorated in all things monstrous & scary.  In fact, I found it fitting:  there are lots of black cats around -- now they have a calling in life, so to speak.
And so it came as no surprise, when I headed into an Autogrill yesterday to find the stacks of Halloweeny treats.  But was I in for a shock.
Italy celebrates Halloween

Right next to the kiddie treat buckets - pre-loaded since most kids can't really expect to get treats door-to-door -- that aspect hasn't quite hit the octogenarian stay-at-home crowd just yet -- In fact, All Hallo's Eve is still more popular with the carousing set (they probably make orange & black ecstasy pills just for them) -  I found all the Christmasy goodies spread right out.  Yikes.
I thought even back in the USA, Christmas was sort of off limits until after Halloween.  No more, it turns out.  A country living on credit can't get enough of the Christmas season -- it's as if by putting out the goods we could just skip November altogether.  And now here we are, too:  Natale in October, with all its trimmings and wrappings.

This is one tradition I really didn't want to find on my Italian radar.  We already got Santa Claus climbing up people's balconies in the neighborhood -- next thing you know, there will be wildly decorated building fronts for people to visit as tourist attractions [then again, maybe not - electric co. charges here will keep that practice at bay].

While leaving the place, pondering this little cultural dilemma, I heard the cashier say to a client (in the hills of the Abruzzi mountain range, I remind you) "Thank you very much!"  In English.

Bethlehem is out of the question.  Maybe I'll have to head to that North Pole to find the true meaning of Christmas again.

3 comments:

Dave514 said...

Francesca:
Bethlehem is out of the question. How come what's wrong with you? What do you expect to find at the Pole?

Davide

Francesca Maggi said...

Bethlehem is in the middle of a war zone...(and, if you look back in history, has often been...)

The North Pole...millions ensconced in a little Chinatown making all the toys for all the kiddies...
Isn't that the true meaning of Christmas?

Dave514 said...

Francesca:
If you believe that I've got a bridge I'll sell ya!

Davide