Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Day Casper Died :: My Twists & Turns with Halloween


The details are a bit fuzzy, but I once Halloweened as Casper the Friendly Ghost.  His apparition "body" was tied around my neck in the form of a plastic barber’s cape; his face clung to mine via an elastic band. I saw the world that night through his two little slit-eyes, and I have to say, it didn’t look so bad. There may have been some scary stuff happening around me, but I was too preoccupied with my pillowcase loot-bag to notice. Halloween was fun, never mind the fact that it got a little stuffy and humid behind my molded plastic mask.

One year later, someone jammed the brakes. And by someone, I mean dear ol’ Mom and Dad. In one fell swoop, Halloween was nixed, along with Smurfs, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, and Scooby Doo. All the fun stuff. I’m not gonna lie, it hurt.

But I trusted my parents – I still do, and when they said Halloween was devil worship and Care-A-Lot was the veritable portal for New Age Mysticism, I believed them. Plus, they had a point, Fred, Daphne, and the gang did make it seem like violence had no permanent consequences.

So, we embarked on a unilateral boycott of All Things Halloween, which reached a fever pitch around 1987 when even participating in the school party felt a little too close to the fire. I stayed home from school that day and went Christmas shopping at the mall. It all made perfect sense.

I didn’t give it another thought until 20-odd years later, when I found myself with a husband and assorted small people, one of whom recently shrieked with glee, “Calvin, it’s the Arthur about Halloween!”

You may recall our impromptu, half-attempt from last year. 

Well, for all of my collective years spent in denial, it’s time to sort this out a bit. Here’s where I am so far:

1) Halloween is kinda creepy.
2) But, I'm not sure it does anything to further God's kingdom when the Christians lock their doors and pretend they aren't home.
3) Also, holding a Not-Halloween party, complete with costumes and candy, is actually sort of like celebrating, uh, Halloween.
4) "Pagan" holidays aren't automatically sanctified when they're held in a Fellowship Hall.
5)  And dressing up like Bible characters? Lame and confusing.

"Nice robe! But weren't you David last year?"
"Uh, I'm clearly Moses."
"But you have a staff..."
"Dude, it's a rod."
"But it's curved..."
"Look, my dad wouldn't let me cut the straight limbs, okay? Dang  you, Martha! You're such a    know-it-all!"
"I'm not Martha this year. I'm totally Mary. I've matured."
"But you're carrying a little bottle of olive oil."
"It's perfume. Duh."
 
6) I think Halloween can be "celebrated" with as much innocence or pagan fervor as we wish. Sort of like Christmas.
7) A pillowcase full of free candy? Come to Mama. No, really. Give me your candy already.

I don't know, maybe it's time to put the "allow" back in Halloween.

Then again, I've got zero practice making costumes and I'm way too cheap to spring for Plastic Casper.

So maybe we'll just wing it again and let the stale gummy bears fall where they may. 

Or maybe I'll kick it around for one more year and hope Halloween Arthur tides us over.


67 comments:

  1. yep and yep. its no more "unchristian" than the spoils we celebrate at Christmas, an actual day for us to celebrate Christ!, or how we covet little chicks and eggs and spend $75 on a smocked monogrammed dress for our 2 year old to wear easter sunday! (NOT that I EVER did that. that would be wrong. ahem.) my kids play dress up all year round.one day a year they have permission to walk around OUTSIDE in their costumes and beg for candy. sheesh. is THIS the hill we are going to die on?! anyway, love reading your blog. my favs are the ones about Robert!! more Robert! lol! have a blessed day.

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    1. LOVE your comment! "Is THIS the hill we are going to die on?!" My thoughts exactly!

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    2. "its no more "unchristian" than the spoils we celebrate at Christmas, an actual day for us to celebrate Christ!," Preach! (This being said as a Christian who has no issues w/ celebrating Halloween but every year struggles with the Santa/presents/etc. issues of Christmas.)

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  2. This is such a touchy subject for me. It all started when we went to Sam's Club and a lady was dressed up like a witch. Very sweetly she came up to my, then 2 and 3 year old to give them candy. They freaked! Terrified, actually. My son tried to crawl under the seat in the cart! But she wouldn't leave. I finally told her, "Please! Just step away!" I see this every year. An adult or older sibling will put a mask on in the Halloween section and scare a little guy. Not just a little "boo". But intending to terrify them. What is redeemable about this holiday? I can see the redeemable aspects of Christmas and Easter, but where is it in Halloween? Then harvest parties....why can't we just teach our kids to just say no to the things that don't line up with our faith? We've found it to be one of the biggest lessons of their life. "you don't always have to have a replacement so that you still can participate." "It's ok to just not participate." Amazingly, we still deal with this as our son is in the Navy and the girls are seniors and juniors. "it's a harvest party." ..."do you dress up in costumes"... "yes" ..."then it's a Halloween party". I would love to have a costume party in February!

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    1. We had a pastor friend come over yesterday and he invited us to his church's "Harvest Festival".

      "Oh," I said, "is it really a harvest festival or is it a Halloween party pretending to be a harvest festival?"

      "It's a harvest festival," he said, "but the kids dress up (no scary costumes) and we pass out candy, and there'll be trunk-or-treating in the parking lot, too."

      "Oh."

      Call a spade a spade, already. I watched a video of a British pastor who validated Halloween as a time to make fun of death because we, as Christians, have victory over death, so it's actually promotes the gospel when we dress up as ghosts and dead people. I'm sorry, but that idea was never taught to me as a child, and I have a hard time reconciling that with why everyone else celebrates Halloween (pick one: A. Fun and candy, or B. Pagan religious beliefs). All I remember as a child and teen was how much candy I could get. My mind was filled with this selfish pursuit surrounding the day, and it's not something that I want to shape in my children's minds either (yes, that goes for Christmas and Easter, too, and no, I have nothing against candy. Goodness, no.)

      And there's that other part of me that just doesn't care what people do or don't do on Halloween. Let's just be honest when we talk about our motivations for why and how we celebrate, is all I want.

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  3. We have ridden the whole roller coaster of Halloween's ups and downs. (Personally I have always hated Halloween, though I am not sure why!) Our kiddos are all grown so it is now up to them to navigate for themselves, but Dave and I are going to set up our outdoor fire pit outside and invite our neighbors over to sit and chat while we wait on kids to drop by. I am sure there will be smores....and I will eat lots of them! :-) We are looking at it as a way to try to build relationships!

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    1. **Obviously the outdoor fire will be outside! :-) I meant out in our front yard! bless my heart........

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  4. I am right there with Heather Lee. :)

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  5. Ha, ha! Been there, too! I grew up in a pastor's family and actually Halloween was never taboo with us, but after I married and had kids, we decided not to celebrate it---sort of----we still had the dress-up fall party with candy, etc. I always have candy ready to give to the trick or treaters. My kids, who are almost all grown (23, 21, 19 & 15--and who all live at home) decided they're going to dress up this year.

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  6. I say kudos to your parents for sticking with their conviction. They clearly felt it was wrong and so they lived out their convictions. As a Christian I don’t see anything redeeming about Halloween either. No matter how you dress it up it is still a celebration of all things unholy. I think our Christian children need to understand when it is appropriate to not partake of certain things. If we “do Halloween” just so the kids can get some candy and blend in with the other kids then I think we have done them a disservice as well as our Lord. I say this as having "done Halloween" for years with my children before I was saved and not participating after. My church did not ban Halloween it was just my personal choice. I don't look down on Christians who choose to celebrate but I think that if you have any doubt as to whether it is appropriate for your family you should err on the side of your conviction.

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    1. Ror the record - my parents are THE BOMB! I'm all for holding onto convictions. I've just learned that I don't automatically share all of theirs, and that's okay with them.

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  7. Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays as it is the one night where all the front porch lights are on and people open their doors to perfect strangers. Can you tell me any other night where that occurs? I live in the "nice" section of an urban city so we see many children that we have never seen before as we are deemed the "safe neighborhood." Every child who comes to my door is sweet and polite and I think we both get something from the exchange. For me, the night is filled with warm neighborly good will and the chance to open my door and my heart. I also have 4 children who are teenagers and young adults and I would never stop them from going out and experiencing their neighborhood in a different light. Plus, we LOVE candy...:)

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  8. My husband's family didn't do Halloween (or Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Power Rangers, etc) but I loved Halloween growing up. I live in an apartment building in a college town now and I'm so sad that we don't get any trick-or-treaters. Similar to Robin above, I love the glimpse of community that you get with Halloween. I also just love candy, spooky, scary things, and littles in adorable costumes. (I may or may not already have my non-existent children's first couple of costumes planned out.) You're totally right about Christmas though...any holiday can be celebrated by a heart that's not oriented toward Jesus, and it will be a pagan holiday.

    Until we live somewhere with trick-or-treaters, I guess I'm happy watching Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus on my couch alone, and keeping all of the candy for myself. :)

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  9. I love seeing all the kids from my neighbourhood come to the door, It's fun to see the Dad's and Mom's etiher right behind them or at the end of the driveway. I've never been a part of any religion that frowns on this so some of these comments have come as a suprise to me as I was always taught that "All Hallows Eve" and "Hallowmas" actually had Christian origins.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallowmas

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    1. I expected some "differing" opinions on this post. :) I'm with you and many others, this is a night for us to build community and we can play on our terms. I'm not into scaring the liver out of little kids. I'm not into gore. But there was something especially beautiful about opening the door last year to our neighbor kids, many of whom have next to nothing, and handing them some love.

      I'm lazy when it comes to planning stuff like this out, because I don't really care if my kids trick-or-treat (i.e. they want to this year and will, but we have no costumes planned yet) but plugging my ears and locking the door doesn't feel right to me, either.

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  10. Having left a religious culture that did not celebrate Christmas, Halloween or Easter because of their "pagan" origins, I too am wondering what the best approach is. I know where my heart is in the desire to honor Christ in all this but, what am I going to teach my children? It's unchartered territory for me - having come from an extreme, I want to find the right balance. And how can we be Christ to those watching? Thanks for sharing about this topic, I want to learn more!

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  11. I agree that it's possible to enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes, without worshiping the devil or even "celebrating" Halloween. I think it's funny that churches have "harvest festivals" as an alternative to trick-or-treat, since the pagan traditions were all about celebrating the harvest. Trick-or-treat was an American tradition invented as an alternative to all the Halloween pranking & mischief that took place on that night. After years of hearing the "No Halloween" argument, but never really feeling the same conviction myself; I came across a book called, "Redeeming Halloween". It's a pretty good read, gave a lot of history.

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  12. To be honest though, while there isn't a direct connection between the ancient Pagan holiday (Samhain) and our more recent holiday of Halloween, it's not at all evil or horrible. The Pagans don't praise a devil at all (in fact, they don't believe in the existence of a devil) and their "spells" are really just prayers. As for the holiday itself, it was originally meant as an end of the harvest festival.

    The only semi creepy thing comes from the Celtic pagans, which believed that Halloween was the time where we could easily interact with spirits.

    Later on the Catholics came in (my people!). They declared November 1 as All Saints Day, or more commonly known as All Hallows. Therefore, the mass the night before (October 31) became All Hallows Eve (later on shorted to Halloween). All Saints Day basically is a holiday where we respect and give honor to our more recent role models, the saints, and to worship Jesus.

    Nov 2 became All Souls Day (where the Catholic church honors those that have died), and this is where trick or treating comes in. In England, poor families would beg for food in exchange for a promise to pray for the family's deceased relatives.

    For more information on it, check out this article: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween

    So it's not really evil, unholy or creepy. The day itself (Halloween) and the act of trick or treating has Catholic Christian roots and happens to fall on a similar holiday as an ancient pagan festival. To be honest, as long as the kids understand the true meaning of the holiday and keep a Christian heart, the trick or treating and Halloween parties are fine.

    Also, if we know of any Pagan friends this time of year, shouldn't we show love to them rather than call them evil? Jesus said to love one another. Just my thoughts. =)

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    1. "Also, if we know of any Pagan friends this time of year, shouldn't we show love to them rather than call them evil?"

      BOOM.

      Thanks for your thoughtful history. We're learning together!

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  13. I must admit, I love seeing the kids come to the door for their treats. Always so cute and polite. I'd be sad to miss it. I think it is most certainly possible to dress up and celebrate Halloween without it being a devil worshipping event.

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  14. Just this morning, I reread this quote by Brennan Manning. It's one of my very favorites:

    “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

    I'm pretty sure that locking the door, turning off the lights, and exclaiming the evils of "Halloween" might fall into the "deny him by their lifestyle" category. In my humble opinion, Halloween is so minor compared to the true evils we should be fighting against. It's majoring on the minor.

    Dress up, swing the door wide open, and hand out the Butterfingers and Tootsie Rolls to Casper, Little Red Riding Hood, and lots of Minecraft characters and cute Minions. That small piece of chocolate may be the only "sweetness" those little costumed souls experience in a very long time.

    Off my soapbox now.....

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    1. "In my humble opinion, Halloween is so minor compared to the true evils we should be fighting against."
      Love.

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    2. "I'm pretty sure that locking the door, turning off the lights, and exclaiming the evils of "Halloween" might fall into the "deny him by their lifestyle" category." Come now....that seems like a pretty big leap to say that if a Christian does not celebrate Halloween then they are denying Jesus. Because someone may choose to not participate it does equate into believing their neighbors and friends are evil. We're taking some pretty big leaps here. It almost seems that the spirit today is if you don't participate in Halloween it's somehow unChristian...really?

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  15. YAYAYAYA!! I love the fact you are even CONSIDERING Halloween.

    email to follow :)

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    1. I mean, we're totally doing. :) The part still left up for debate is whether I'll pull it together enough to do it WELL. :)

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  16. I'm totally laughing, which I needed this morning after a hard day of chemo yesterday! I say go simple make your cute kids scarecrows or farmer people, levi's rolled up, straw from the bottom of their pants and shirts, gingham shirts or even white t-shrits, a few freckles made with your eyeliner pencil on their cheeks and noses, some rosy cheeks with your red lipstick, and a straw hast! So simple and happy! Can't wait to see what you come up with for those cute kids!

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    1. Like THIS??? hahahahaaaa
      http://flowerpatchfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2010/10/tuesday-falling.html

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  17. Interesting post. I have always loved Halloween and view it as many above have stated, a time of community and opening your door to others. Also am Catholic and have always been taught it as All Hallows Eve, the night before a holy day. The year my red headed daughter dressed up as Pippi Longstockings with wire coat hangers used in her hair to make her braids stand out and her best friend went as Jan Brady, is one of my favorite memories of their childhood. My husband gets bummed if we don't have alot of trick or treaters, now that ours are college and high schoolers. Since kids have so much distraction and technology from when we grew up, I love that this tradition is one that has stayed the same since my childhood. Dressing up, running through the leaves with siblings and friends and getting free candy, now that is a tradition I can stand by!!!

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    1. Those costume ideas!!!! Love it.
      And I like what you say about the simple tradition of it all. Thanks for chiming in!

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  18. If anything, I think Halloween is a great holiday celebrating the spirit of community. People who sometimes don't ever even acknowledge each other open their doors for the night and give gifts to the youths of the neighborhood, admiring their creativity through costume. What a joy Halloween is to a child.

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  19. Interesting topic! When our kids were young we tipped both ways, (and back again! yes-no-yes) on Halloween. Personally, I love seeing my grandchildren dressed up and having fun, along with the rest of the munchkins that come to the door. The only thing I really hate about trick-or-treat is when giant size 'kids' come to the door - come on peeps, leave it for the littles!
    This is where the do-ers and the don't-ers can love and respect each other.

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  20. This sounds like a PERFECT time to go to the thrift store!! Who needs a reason to add to the dress up bin!!

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  21. Ruby:http://www.lifeisnotbubblewrapped.com/2013/10/08/diy-toddler-sweatshirt-cat-halloween-costume/
    Calvin: Shark http://www2.fiskars.com/Sewing-Quilting/Projects/Holiday/Halloween/Easy-Halloween-Costumes#.UmlJRb7naUk
    Sy: http://seevanessacraft.com/2012/10/20-crafty-days-of-halloween-diy-dino-hoodie/

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  22. Agreed, on all accounts, especially the candy.
    ~FringeGirl

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  23. My church loves Halloween! That might sound strange, but it's true. Our church is in North Minneapolis, one of the rougher parts of the metro area. Every year, members of our congregation gather in the parking lot, decorate the trunks of their cars (we've dubbed it Trunk-or-Treat) and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. We have around 500 who come through. We serve cookies and cider to the parents, and remind the community that we're here, and we love them. Instead of closing the door on events and situations that some have deemed inappropriate, we've chosen to open them wide and see it as an opportunity to show God's love to people who need it. It sounds a little like something Jesus might have done...shining light into the darkness. :)

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  24. One post after another, I couldn't love you any more. xoxo

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  25. #3 - #6 - yes, yes, yes. I have always celebrated halloween. Even my VERY religious (as in she doesn't go to movies, wouldn't let her kids go to dances, doesn't drink, etc) grandma let her kids trick-or-treat. So in my mind if Mimi was okay with Halloween than Jesus was okay with it. ;)
    I'm not about scary or evil (like Freddy Kruger/Scream/whatever is popular evil these days) but I love seeing kids dress up, passing out candy, getting candy, taking my kids places (not trick-or-treating just because I don't feel it is safe these days - which makes me sad b/c I was a pro at trick-or-treating as a kid.)

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  26. I have always loved any activity that makes me feel like I am a part of a larger community of people. I love wearing my Ohio State gear just before the big OSU/Michigan game, even though I am not really into watching the actual game. I love wearing green on St. Patrick's Day, even though I don't drink beer. Halloween fits this bill for me. I love being a part of this ritual where everyone dresses up and walks around collecting candy, being a part of something bigger than just themselves. I do have two Halloween gripes, though: 1.What is with the costumes for adult women? Why do we have to dress inappropriately just because it is Halloween. It is offensive! 2. The creepiness: I just don't get it. And I don't understand 8 year olds dressed as the Scream guy. 8 year olds shouldn't know who that guy is. (Sorry for anyone who lets their 8 year old watch "Scream." I will get off my high horse now.)

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  27. I'd love for someone to direct me to a good source where i could read about the basis for Christians bring opposed to halloween. And i mean that genuinely. I'm a Christian, a mormon, and our church doesn't direct us one way or another on the subject of halloween. The way i've been raised and taught about the holiday is pretty much how chrissy described it up there, even though i'm not catholic--celebrating the harvest, honoring the dead, etc. I honestly don't understand where the Christian view that halloween has to do with devil worship came from. Now for my family (i have a 7 year old and a 4 year old), my husband and i agreed before we even had kids that halloween costumes would always be innocent. . .nothing sinister or too mature. Our oldest did ask about those more scary costumes when she started kindergarten and started noticing the other kids' costumes. . .but it was simply information seeking, she has never expressed even a remote desire to dress other than how we've allowed her. The point is, like a few others have said. . .if we'll let our littles dress up in doctor/astronaut/kitten costumes the other 364 days a year (and my girls really do play dress ups just about every day), why would we have an issue with it on that day? Um, just don't teach them that halloween is about the devil? Right? If we're doing this parenting thing somewhat well, then the vast majority of our children's reality will be what we've taught them. At least while they're still these young, innocent ages. Create the reality for them that aligns with your beliefs. . .on halloween and every other day. That's what i feel like i'm doing anyway--there are a lot of versions of reality out there that i don't want my kids to know about.

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    1. I just googled it and found this interesting article:
      http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/onlinediscipleship/halloween/halloween_watt05.aspx

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    2. Thanks for this link...He ends with talking about celebrating in a "fun" way, or providing a "fun" alternative. I sort of think that's what all of us are talking about. If we're dressing up and passing out candy on "the day", but doing so with love and light, is that a "fun alternative" or is it celebrating evil? I go with the former. We're bringing our light and Christ's love into the world. This is what we were tasked to do!

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  28. I live with 'Festivus', you know the King of all Holidays. ... I could just chuck it all. However, having 'littles', tangles it a bit.
    I don't do gore or soft l*orn. Seriously. I call that like I see it. My kids know they can be a skeleton, because, well we do that in Classical Conversations, and there's no blood. That's my bottom line, when a costume is 'nasty', it's nasty all the time. blood or just plain inappropriate. it's a simple line, but we let them be Zeus or Poseidon, both, pagan gods of Greece, but I can see the pressure mounting, to be 'edgy'. But at least I have boys, who really just want candy.
    that's where I start drifting into the 'should I buy the chocolate from Nestle, or just skittles?' because of the source of the chocolate?...
    I figured a while back, shutting my doors to kids in the neighborhood really got me nowhere. I never thought that was the answer. But a preacher's kid, we trick or treated on the way to Wednesday night Bible class, changed in the car and went in to sing hymns & have Bible study.
    I don't 'like' Trunk or Treat, but ... I'll probably be participating this weekend as Dorothy & my husband Superman. He has jet black hair. & I have the costume ( I just put a kid logo from a t'shirt on his after cutting out & then loosely stitch a tie to a dress shirt like he's breaking out of his Clark Kent outfit--- it works for a guy) I figure kids like to see adults dress up, and it's more of the 'I'm going to be in your kid world so I'll be a part of your life.' Denying it all exists is just hard. And not a hill I need to spend my energy on.
    I also grew up not 'celebrating' Christmas in a religious way. It really surprises people, but there are many/some Christians who do not have nativity scenes up, don't declare the holiday as Christ's birth. I celebrate it (now), in a way that is participatory with others, -- why would I turn away from the manger when every one is looking dead on?
    It's a tangled, tangly world. Lord bless us all. Be patient with us. Here's hoping Arthur will stem the tide and they'll feel like they've had Halloween! My favorite is Charlie Brown. You can regularly hear the phrase 'I got a rock.' around our house.

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    1. Loved reading your thoughts! Thanks for being part of the convo here.

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    2. I too didn't celebrate Christmas in a religous way. I just bought a manger at Hobby Lobby and feel incredibly guilty and nervous abt putting of out!

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    3. I too didn't celebrate Christmas in a religous way. I just bought a manger at Hobby Lobby and feel incredibly guilty and nervous abt putting of out!

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  29. Hi Shannan, if you have a PO Box or something I have a snow white costume that my niece wore last year that would probably fit Ruby. I always pass their costumes on and would be happy to mail it to you.

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    1. Aw, thanks so much! We actually did some googling around last night and found an easy costume that she's excited about. Stay tuned. :)

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    2. LOL OK! My son (who is also adopted) is 20 months and he is going to be a frog for Halloween. He has been wearing his costume non-stop since it came in the mail. He would sleep in it if I would let him. He jumps around saying "ribbit, ribbit. mommy, me" to tell me he is a frog. LOL

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  30. oh my goodness...
    i totally had that casper costume too!!
    and a black cat one that was the same.
    the good old blow up/plastic costume.
    wow...
    i completely forgot until i read this!
    fwiw, halloween isn't my most fav either.
    i just like the innocent dressing up part with my kidlets.
    they, of course, love that part.
    and candy.
    duh!
    who doesn't like candy?
    thanks for your thoughts, as usual!
    xo

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  31. Halloween is truly horrible where we live. It's called "Devil's Day" and we have the choice of "Devil's Playground" or Devil's Walk" for entertainment. The area homes are decorated with gravestones and unspeakable looking dead things, not pumpkins, scarecrows, or Caspar. I also truly, deeply loathe the bunnies and eggs thing on Easter. Sooooo. . .we created the Time Change Bunny. He fills the kid's (and Dad's) sock drawers with candy when he changes their clocks forward and back. We even have a time change bunny song to the tune of "Wells Fargo Wagon" from Music Man. My kids have never missed either "holiday" because of our weird family tradition.

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  32. I seriously never understood boycotting Halloween. When I was growing up, Halliween was putting on costumes and getting lots of candy. Period. Only when I was grown and having my kids was there all this talk of pagan worship, etc. I just don't get it. But I don't decorate with spider webs and tombstones, either.

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  33. Bravo. Love your sentiments and your journey. None of us have all the perfect answers and we're all a work in progress. I'm kinda thinking that's how the Lord wants it.

    I'm an extrovert. Bring on the neighborly love.

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  34. My Grandma of popcorn balls and taffy apples did the sudden turn around when I was around 10 or 11 years old. My sister and I were soooooooo confused.

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  35. So how do we know what's the truth....you hear a great argument on every side!? Just had someone send me this. I tend to learn toward the thinking that the whole day IS about fear and death which is kinda a weird thing to celebrate.(and CANDY!!!) America always finds a way to make some money selling candy for every holiday :). http://www.prophezine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=676%3A10-reasons-i-kissed-halloween-goodbye&catid=41%3Atop-headlines

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  37. You know...I still think about your writing last year when you said something to the effect of, "I dunno - closing the doors and turning off the lights just didn't seem like the right move this year."

    And even though I also struggle with this desperately, and my prayers to ask God to bless this time of year are a little more nervous than usual - I come back to this thinking in the end. I'm also comforted that in Romans (I THINK...yeesh.) Paul uses a boat with a pagan goddess on the front of it to travel. It tells me that this was simply the boat that was brought to him, and if God could use it for spreading the gospel, then a mere carved image of a non-existent goddess did not present a challenge to God. God is not INTIMIDATED by these things, such as we are - He is so much bigger than that.

    I dunno. Does that make sense? If we happen to live in a neighborhood where we can use these things to reach out to our neighbors, then we become all things for the sake of the many. And that just happens to be what's going on over here, although I would not be surprised at all if there was something entirely different going on in another part of the world, in another mom's heart, where turning off the lights IS the right move - and I would certainly respect that. And that's just how GREAT our God is who weighs mom's hearts! ;)

    But as it is over here - we use our little snack ziplocs and put a piece of candy in it with a Bible verse about fear - and just pray over them that they don't come off like a "Moses costume" ;)

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  38. hey! you weren't homeschooled were you?? from ohio AND homeschooled... you might be my long lost twin!! my parents did the same - up and one year nixed all our halloween fun. i was about ten. we had started homeschooling that year and alot of the people we now associated with told us how bad and evil it was so we stopped. ~ and for the first 14 years of our own married life we didn't participate in halloween either. just sorta adapted the same mindset. it's easier to do what others have done before you rather than research it for yourself, ya know. and.. we lived in the middle of the country and didn't have a neighbor within five miles. that made trick-or-treaters at our door basically non existent. so we didn't really have to deal with it.

    then we up and moved to canada, and right smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, with real neighbors! so when that first halloween rolled round suddenly we were faced with what to do like never before and we did what we should have done from the beginning, pray and search God's Word and listen to His voice for OUR lives. not what He had given our parents to do, or others around us, but just us!

    last year as one of my neighbors invited me and my daughter to walk around the block with her and her daughter, i knew as i did, and listened to her heart and got to know her in a way i never had before just shouting hello's across the yard that this.. this "celebrating of halloween" if you will, was more honoring to God than staying home with my door closed and lights off.~

    i like this quote from john piper and feel it says it well, " I'm willing to run the risk of attachment to worldliness in order to be biblically faithful in witness. The same thing with Christmas and birthdays and Easter and worshiping on Sunday. All of these things have pagan connections. I want to be loose and broad and give freedom to believers to find their way to be most effective. So I respect those who are renouncing it {halloween} as too connected with evil, and I respect those who say, "No, let's redeem it and penetrate it and use it."

    i think God leads us all differently. and perhaps what He gives freedom to do one year, He won't the next. He's God - He's allowed to change things up on us. :)) but for our family, my own life, i know the key is doing what i do because it's HIS voice i'm following, and not everyone else's.

    thanks for making us think~ great post, girl.
    xo

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    Replies
    1. Yes to all of this! Just read the JP quote to Cory, who is happily snarfing pretzels on the couch. :)

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  39. I realize that I'm late to the party here.
    I grew up not celebrating halloween also, my parents didn't allow trick-r-treating, and costumes were limited to occupations or role models.
    My husband and I led a Bible study on Halloween (that was totally coincidence, not intentional). Anyway, as a result we were looking up the history of the church because we were talking about the 5 Sola's of Christianity, and we found out that October 31st is also the day that is celebrated as the anniversary of the protestant reformation!
    So it is a rich day in the history of the church as well :).

    -Kels

    ReplyDelete
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