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.