Written By Amy
Welcome to Monday! I don’t know about your family, but this morning was a little tougher than usual for us all to wake up. Maybe it’s the dark dark morning that tricks our sleep clock, or the whirl wind weekend that we just came off of. This week is full of anticipation for my kids…they love Halloween. They love the costumes, the parties, and of course, the king-sized pillowcase full of candy they raise as their treasure after the trick-or-treating quest.
I, on the other hand, don’t love Halloween. Motherhood has soured me. Let’s start with the costumes. It goes against every practical bone in my body to spend loads of money on something my kids will wear once, and is often from a cheesy Halloween store. I know, bah humbug! I can’t help it. I’ve tried….I’ve made costumes for my kids (not such a good idea–see last year’s Angry Bird costume below), I’ve borrowed costumes (somewhat appeases me), and of course I’ve bought costumes, sometimes too early and my child changes her mind the week before Halloween. As you can probably guess, I won’t budge and buy another costume=unhappy child. I try not to let my kids in on my inner thoughts. I just smile and pay.
The candy is the other issue. As I get older, those 5 tiny boxes of MilkDuds I ingest before and after Halloween (OK, 8….my husband is laughing here….fine, too many to count) just don’t seem to disappear into the oblivion of high metabolism. No, they hang around with me, for a good month. As does all the other little deceiving packages of candy that are irresistible. Just in time for Thanksgiving.
I vowed that this year I would wait until the DAY OF Halloween to buy any candy. I caved yesterday at King Soopers, justifying my “time” this week to be running back to the store (again, who am I kidding? I always end up going to the store on Halloween to replace the candy I have eaten!) Two little opened boxes of Milk Duds stare at me right now, last night’s break down of willpower right before bed. So, when my husband goes on a trip in a few hours, I will be sending the grocery bag full of candy with him to keep in his trunk until it gets back.
Finally, I tend to feel torn between the excitement my kids have over this holiday and being a Christian. Where am I supposed to stand on this issue? I have dear Christian friends who do not celebrate this holiday at all. I also have dear Christian friends whom I respect and are working in ministry who go all out! I found this wonderful piece of writing on this topic from another blog called: http://www.reallifeblog.net. Here’s what the author has to say:
DEVOTION: HOW IS A CHRISTIAN SUPPOSED TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN?
I used to be completely against acknowledging anything about Halloween. When I learned the true origins based in Paganism, I was convinced that by joining in any of the traditions, I would be condoning paganism, and opening myself to demonic activity. (I do feel that, at this time in my life, I gave way too much credit and attention to evil, even while praying about it)
Until I had children. Especially children who loved to dress up like princesses. I was torn about whether to let them take part in what they see as fun, dress-up, eating candy. Would we go to the church Fall Festival, or avoid it altogether? I decided that I would not let the enemy have the power to steal my daughters’ joy over something they didn’t understand. By giving him credit he does not deserve and making my girls feel left out, I may just be fueling the fire of rebellion later. Now, there is something to teaching them that we do not completely fit in this world. It’s true that we are in but not of the world. But I don’t know that my kids have the intellectual capacity to understand this yet.
So we don’t celebrate with witches, superstition, black cats, ghosts, etc. We do dress up in girly costumes, and go to the Fall Festival and get candy. I let them dress up at school and dance class, because that is really all it is to them~dressing up.
It’s an age-old question in the faith community: Should Christians celebrate Halloween? I found a great article dealing with the origins of Halloween and the issues of Christians celebrating it. They compare it to the issue in the Bible of eating meat sacrificed to idols. They also raise the question I was thinking about last week about Christmas trees. The Christmas Tree was originally part of a festival to a fertility god. Does this mean that if we have a Christmas Tree, we are worshiping the fertility god? No, because of it’s cultural context. That being said, I do know of Christians who don’t have Christmas Trees, for this reason. It is a matter of personal conviction.
That last sentence said it all for me. I am convicted to fall in the middle somewhere with my family. Between the crazy costume stress, the extra pounds of love I carry after the wake of the 31st, I find joy in watching my children find joy. We don’t do “dark” costumes, or celebrate anything tied to evil…but we do have a lot of fun.