A few years ago, my mom had a couple from Sweden move in next door. Come Halloween time, my mom put one large pumpkin and one small one on her front step. The next day, she saw the Swedes had done the same, one large and one small, assuming it was the American tradition. For some reason, I find that beyond hilarious.
That got me thinking: this whole Halloween season must seem so bizarre to foreigners.
Foreigner: So what do I do first?
American: First, get yourself some cornstalks for the front of the house.
Foreigner: From a farm?
American: No, from Michael's. Grab a scarecrow while you're there, too.
Foreigner: But I don't have any crops to guard...
American: You need a scarecrow. Everybody has one.
Foreigner: And where do I get the pumpkin?
American: Well, you could just buy one at the grocery store...but the REAL way to do it is drag the whole family to a "pumpkin farm", stand on line for a hayride, ride a quarter mile out to a field, pose for the Christmas photo, "pick" a pumpkin from the ground, lug it back to the cashier, spend $30 in pies, and go home.
Foreigner: And then I have to carve a face into it?
American : Only if your kids remind you.
Foreigner: OK -and what do I need for Halloween night.
American: Lots of candy. To give to the neighbors' kids.
Foreigner: And what about my kids?
American: They'll be getting candy from the neighbors.
Foreigner: And do they eat all this candy?
American: No. There will be a lot of candy they "don't like".
Foreigner: And what happens to that candy?
American: The moms eat it.
Foreigner: So once you've visited everyone in the neighborhood, and they've oohed and aahhd over your kids' costumes, do you all become friends and socialize on a regular basis?
American: No - we don't speak again til next Halloween.