It's no exaggeration to say that people take Halloween pretty seriously over here. Half the first floor of our local Target has been devoted to pumpkin paraphernalia. From bat table runners to skeleton garlands, your every Halloween need is catered for in this uniquely American celebration of the night before All Saints' Day. (Although Wikipedia has it that it was actually the Irish who bestowed the tradition on the Yanks when they emigrated en masse in search of potatoes in the mid nineteenth century. But I digress.)
With eight days still to go until the big day, houses in DC are already competing to outdo each other in the ghoulish stakes. Mini ghosts hang from trees, cobwebs stick to fences and fanged Draculas peer out from windows. Entire front gardens have been turned into mini cemeteries. Louis and I are running a competition to find the most outlandishly decorated property.
It's also no exaggeration to say that Americans take their elections pretty seriously. Especially their presidential ones. For many, this translates into another home decorating opportunity: signs, banners, flag and even cardboard models of the candidates festoon entire neighbourhoods.
So just imagine what you get if you cross Halloween with the presidential election. Yes, that's right, Barack O'Lantern (It sounds terribly partisan, but the guys behind the site, YesWeCarve, claimed that McCain O'Lantern just sounded "less snappy".) Louis will be getting carving as soon as I've worked out how to carry a 17lb baby and a 37lb pumpkin home from the store....