Holidays Abroad

Halloween is tomorrow night and it’s a trip. Halloween always signifies the beginning of the Holiday Season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanunkah / Christmas, New Years, then of course there is our Anniversary February 16th (which replaces Valentines Day) and while we are at it, we kind of just add Richard’s Birthday in there since he is March 27. So we’ve basically got 6 months of ‘Holiday’ a year starting tomorrow.

Last year I dressed up as an anime style character, a girl with cat ears wearing a latex school uniform and crazy makeup, and crazy platform boots. My best friend Jenna dressed as Wednesday Adams and we went out to an ‘industry’ party at The Artisan Hotel in Las Vegas. It was just warm enough to be outside most of the night as long as we danced on and off to keep our blood flowing. Some people were even in the pool, but I’m not that crazy. We were out until 3am then went back to my house and ordered delivery food, drank more wine and passed out with the cats watching scary movies. Rich was in LA during this time so we could be ‘crazy girls’ together. We had so much fun and it reminded me how fun Halloween parties could be. The year before we had a little gathering at our house, just a few friends, cocktails, wine, a fire in the pit in our backyard, pizza, and a cheese, fruit & veg plate that could feed a small army. The year before hat I dressed as a fat cat and stayed home with a friend handing out play-doh and sesame candies to neighborhood children.

As you can tell last year was the first time I had really gone all out in a while. After working at night clubs throughout college and beyond going to a club without getting paid seemed silly, and even more foolish to actually pay those crazy inflated prices for drinks and an uncomfortable atmosphere. I’ve always been a bigger fan of house parties for that reason, BYOB, share with friends, meet new people in a setting you where you don’t need to pretend you heard their name when someone introduces themselves. That being said I knew last year would probably be my last chance to party like that for Halloween and wanted to go out with a bang!

This year, going into our holiday season, I had almost forgotten there were holidays at all. No trees are changing colors to signal that the time is near, there is the occasional chill to the air, but punctuated by 100+ degree weather it doesn’t really lend to the cozy feelings of fall. I was reminded about Halloween with tweets and instagram posts of friends trying on or contemplating costumes, people attending parties as early as last week in honor of Halloween. I just brushed it off, like watching paris fashion week or something, you know you aren’t going to go, so why dress up for it ? Friday night was the first costume party we were invited to. I didn’t dress up, Rich wore something that could easily be converted to a costume but left his accessories in the car and never put them on to complete his look. We met up wit Eaon, Nancy and Kerwin who were the only other non Ross students (though Nancy is Faculty) at the bar, and Kerwin was the only person other than us that weren’t dressed for the event. Nancy looked amazing in Day of The Dead makeup and a fabulous outfit. Eaon “Dressed Up” by literally wearing a suit, so we stuck with them and didn’t feel too out of place without costumes. We had lots of fun, stayed out late, danced our butts off and it almost felt like a house party except that we only knew a few people and weren’t interested in trying to make new friends that night.

This isn’t the holiday that inspires me anymore, instead its the family oriented holidays are the ones that I put my all into. Even if we aren’t spending it with my BIG family, making our own traditions and warm, welcoming festivities has been crucial to my holiday season. So although I’ve been so focused on my first trip to the US, I am already thinking about how we can make Thanksgiving in Dominica, with our new friends, and their families, and create a new menu and some of our favorite comfort foods to share. I can’t wait to introduce our traditions to some people who have never experienced Thanksgiving. And as silly as it seems to celebrate a controversial holiday such as Thanksgiving, I like to think of it as a celebration of Family, Friends, and being thankful for all the experiences we’ve had this past year bringing us to the table that day. I can’t wait to make a Thanksgiving to remember from the islands this year.

I can’t hazard a guess as to how Christmas will feel. As a kid I spent a lot of Christmases in California or other warm weather locations, escaping the winter snow in New York. I even spent Christmas in Israel one year, attending a midnight mass in Latin/Hebrew in Jerusalem. Living in California for 8 years rid me of the need for a cold weather trigger to get into the holiday spirit, but I will need to add some twinkly lights to our house to really feel it, and just because, we might have to start hanging those lights right after thanksgiving!

Tonight I am dressing in a tank top that has a scull cut out of the back and black jeans with black shoes. We will go out for dinner and drinks then return home to watch horror movies until I fall asleep or until it becomes Halloween for real! Tomorrow morning I will drink pumpkin spice chai then go about my day like any other day, watching over the internet as children and adults all over the US lose their minds, repeat the same crazy warnings about poison and weed in kids candy, and start a civil war over the offensive costumes people are sure to wear. Ahh, aren’t the holidays great?

Be safe out there, enjoy your Halloween, and Stay Salty my friends!

Kayla

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