My Halloween Love/Hate Relationship

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.

 

Last year’s costumes:

 

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)

Christian Pumpkin Devotions

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.

 

God and Pumpkins

Written By Amy

This has been shared to me several times, but I think it’s a great reminder this time of year of the simple truth of the Christian faith expressed through the carving of a pumpkin.  Share this with your friends, and with your children.

 

How becoming a Christian is like carving a pumpkin:

God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.  Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff.  He removes the seeds of fear, doubt, hate, impurity, and greed. Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

The following is from a blogger named Liz Higgs that I stumbled upon.  You can check out her blog here…she has some great perspective on celebrating Halloween as Christians.

“You can also use this prayer with your children when you carve your pumpkins in conjunction with the story (above).

{cut off top of pumpkin} Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards} Remove the things in my life that don’t please you. Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes} Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.

{cut out nose} I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth} Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle} Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do. Amen”

By: Liz Curtis Higgs

 

 

 

 

All About Pumpkins

Written By Amy

 

I love pumpkins.  I think its because they are so clearly God’s creation…growing from a vine in the raw dirt, forming into a multitude of shapes and sizes.  And the color!

Here are some fun pumpkin decorating ideas (credits are cited below each picture)

This board I found on Pintrest…I would print it out in color and put it in a frame on my entryway table.  You can print it from the blog (just right click and save on your computer, you might need to enlarge it on your printer).

 

http://aplacecalledkindergarten.blogspot.com/2011/09/friday-favorites_09.html

This brought back a flood of childhood memories!  Just fun to look at!

http://thisisnthappiness.com/post/11105105666/tom-whalen

Below, I loved the painted pumpkins…really going to try to do that this year, and put them on my front porch.

http://www.thepartydress.net/category/home/page/6/

 

What a neat idea, and this is a printable!  Just click on the link below the “Bucket List.”

 

http://katieballa.blogspot.com/2012/08/fall-bucket-list-2012.html

 

That’s Fall Friday for you!  Have a blessed weekend!

 


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Fall Decorating Ideas

Written By Amy

Fall decorating always seems to sneak up on me.  I just finish transitioning to back-to-school life, full of soccer games and homework, and all of a sudden it’s October and my few but cute fall decorations wait patiently in bins in our storage room for me to remember them.

Here are some fun fall decorating ideas I found on Pintrest, easy to more challenging.  I love the satisfaction of home-made, and maybe you do too!

You can find all of these ideas at http://pinterest.com/bhg/fall-decorating-ideas/

They are using live roses, but I might find these at Hobby Lobby for a low-maintenence version.

How personal and EASY!

Sticks and orange berries in a vase…

A little more effort, but how cool!  Paint your pumpkins white, then just press in brass tacks!

Hope you are having a wonderful end of summer, and can enjoy letting a little fall in through the front door!

 

An Oooey-Gooey Halloween Game

Written By Jen

Last Halloween Scott’s sister and I hung out all day together.  All the cousins absolutely love to be together.  Scott’s sister’s husband is in the USAF, so they move around the country every couple of years.  We don’t always live in the same state, so we all feel pretty blessed when we get to hang out.  Here is a little fun we had last Halloween, Oooey-Gooey Gummy Worm Race.  You will need disposable pie  tins, gummy worms, whipped cream and towels!  The kids will think it’s pretty fun to put this game together.  First, make sure you have one pie tin for each participant.  Place an equal amount of gummy worms in each tin.  Then, cover the gummy worms in whipped cream.  Use a dish cloth as a bib, this game is a SWEET MESSY!  Get everyone in position.  The goal is to see who can get all the gummy worms out of the pie tin the fastest using only their teeth.  Finally, start the game!  On your marks, get set, GO!  Let the laughter begin!

Spread the gummy worms out in the pie tin.

Add the whipped cream.

Get ready!

GO!

He is not in the mood for messy!

Competitive!

I'll do it my way.

 

Everyone had fun!

The WINNER!

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