So it seems like there’s this unspoken rule that you can decorate your house for Halloween up to, what?, a week early. You can carve your jack 0’lanterns, you can have them sitting out on the front porch. But you wouldn’t leave the jack o’lanterns sitting out lit at night until Halloween. Which means you get to enjoy the fruits of your creativity for only one night. And then if you don’t take the jack o’lantern down, along with any other Halloween decorations, within the next day, you feel like a desultory neighbor, ’cause, you know, Halloween’s over.
Contrast that to Christmas. I can put up a Christmas tree on, like, Thanksgiving weekend, and I can put lights up outside my house, and I can light everything up for the world to see a month before December 25 and then for a couple weeks afterward. Why can’t Halloween linger that way–just a little?
So today I get online, and I see Google’s Day-of-the-Dead-ified logo, and suddenly I’m having this fantasy of a pluralistic future in which Halloween and Day of the Dead bleed together, in popular culture, to form this three-day holiday that starts October 31 with the Celtic jack o’lanterns and trick-and-treating (that is Celtic, right?) but doesn’t finish until November 2, when maybe people add to their jack o’lantern displays–which they’ve kept lighting for the past two nights–some magnolias and votive candles and comical skeleton figurines (which Mexican markets with any savvy should be stocking this time of year, yes?), and sugar skulls show up as a seasonal treat at school and work (because in my fantasy you can buy those now in your Anglo-owned supermarket, even here in heartland America).
I wanna do this next year. I want a three-day, Celtic-plus-Mexican, Halloween-to-Day-of-the-Dead celebration.