November 1, 2016

a german halloween

this year was our very first halloween with a little one in the house and daniel and i decided to do it right. germans celebrate sometimes, especially if they have kids, but not nearly at the level that americans do. fasching in the spring (carnival before lent) is the dress-up holiday here and that means silly costumes instead of scary ones. halloween is so low key in germany that i forgot it was even happening the past few years until the day of. but this time i was ready to do it the american way! since i wanted to be money savvy (e.g. i was broke) i made gabe a little chicken costume with clothes he already had in his closet. the only things i had to buy were a pair of second hand yellow tights and a piece of red felt to make his hat. with a white onesie and socks for his "wings" and some yellow moccasins he was the cutest little chickie ever. on sunday daniel and i carved the pumpkins we had bought a month ago for our fall entryway decor (daniel's first time!) and took a beautiful sunny walk through the village. we also got some candy on saturday in case trick or treaters showed up. in germany the kids say "süßes oder saures" (sweet or sour) instead of trick or treat and we had about ten kids come to our building. daniel and i took gabe through the house to see if any neighbors were home; half of them were gone and most of the people around had forgotten that it was halloween, so our haul included a bag of veggie chips, a jar of peaches and some chocolate covered rice cereal. the only neighbors we know outside of our building are our landlord and his father, who own a kind of combined house down the street. our landlord wasn't home but his father was, and we rang their doorbell with a group of kids from the village. he wasn't particularly happy to see us and when we told him it was halloween he declared that it was "shitty celtic american dirt" and that today was reformation day (i think he forgot that i'm american...) he still found a small bag of candy for all of the kids to share though. the neighbor that lives above our apartment is an organ builder and his shop is also down the street a bit, so we stopped there too. gabe got three apples and a short tour of the organs he was working on. after he went to bed we lit our pumpkins and had a glass of wine; november 1st is a holiday in most of the federal states (all saints day on the catholic calendar) so we got to sleep in a little this morning until gabe wanted breakfast. for our first halloween as a family i think it was a success! xoxo

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