Well, what would you have done if you had had fourteen 14-year-olds celebrating Halloween "American-style" -- whatever that means -- in your French living room and kitchen?
I hid out in my office and started to reflect on the diminishing presence of Halloween in France. Google searches ensued.
Do you know what? Halloween has been around in France for quite a while now. Somehow I still feel like it's vaguely new. But I just happened upon an article from exactly ten years ago commenting on the rather strange arrival of Halloween in France:
"In one of the stranger manifestations of globalization, Halloween fever has abruptly gripped the French, sending pumpkin prices soaring and sorely testing the Gallic ability to pronounce "trick or treat," wrote Roger Cohen on October 31, 1997.
Ten years already! Yet apparently the bewitching party is almost over. Last year on this date, John Stodder reported that "Le Halloween, c'est mort," citing Forbes.com:
"The major dailies Le Monde and Le Parisien reported on Tuesday that following some short-lived popularity, the Halloween holiday has been 'pretty much buried.' The reasons seem to be a mixture of falling sales and anti-Americanism. Perchance a smattering of protectionism too. 'Our Halloween sales have been falling by half every year since 2002,' Le Monde quoted toy retailer La Grande Recre as saying."
Flailing perhaps, but not totally dead -- or why would we have a bevy of teenage French girls dancing around our house tonight, or a group of "treek or treetears" who just knocked at our door?