Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So, do you celebrate Halloween?

It's fall! And I love it! I think I've mentioned it before but I really do love fall! I especially love October! October is my birthday month and the month the Hubs and I got married. I love the weather, football, food... all of it!

So, what about Halloween? Well, I've read a few articles online about it from various perspectives, did my research (you know I like to research!) and had many conversations with the Hubs about it. And yes, I've prayed about it! There is a lot of confusion on how Halloween and it's origin truly started. It has roots in paganism, yet it also seems the church (as it's known for doing) attempted to counter it with it's own holiday (All Saint's Day). In the past those days were separated (one on October 31, one on November 1 or 2). Anyway, you can do your own research! It really is a bit fuzzy (or at least that's how I felt after reading about the history). My thoughts are that it's kind of mashed up into this American holiday. I know there are many out there who choose not to celebrate it at all, like they don't even mention it and pretend it doesn't exist. Then there are those who do celebrate it in some forms, as in allowing their children to dress up and go to a fall festival or two. (If you allow your children to participate in the traditions -dressing up, getting treats, even if they are from a church- whether they are on October 31 or not, you're still somewhat participating in the holiday.) Then there are those who allow their kids to dress up and actually go trick-or-treating on Halloween Day. So, what category do we fall in?

We fall in the third. And before I go any further, I fully respect the choices of other families. These types of things fall in the "liberty" areas. I appreciate their viewpoint and hope to receive the same from them. I'm just sharing our decision. So, yes, my children dress up and they go trick-or-treating. I'm not a fan of skeletons, ghosts, and the other more gory aspects. We avoid those aisles at the store and we avoid those types of houses as well! So here is how our night looks:

The boys dress up (Star Wars is the pick this year!) early in the evening. By 5pm we're ready to leave the house. We make three or four stops visiting the Hub's family first and then we head to my mom's. My mom's neighborhood is a very busy trick or treating neighborhood. Most years they get close to 200 trick or treators! My mom always makes a big pot of chili along with hot dogs. Once we get to her house, about 6pm, we let the boys take a trip down the street to a few houses that we are familiar with. Several of their church members live in their neighborhood and we usually stop by those houses and then head back. We eat dinner and the boys enjoy giving away candy to other kids who come to their door (we always hand out million dollar bills too). Some friends of ours always stop by with their boys and they get to play for a bit and we always get their picture together. Around 8:30 pm we head back to the house and that's it!  Luke was curious why some people don't celebrate Halloween and I just told them it was a personal choice. We do take the time to talk about the evil aspects in basic terms that he can understand. That's unfortunately something we have to deal with every single day of our lives. Evil is everywhere and every day. But we also don't focus too much on that at this point and at his age. I told him that if anyone asked him if we celebrate Halloween to answer, "We dress up to have fun and spend time with friends and family!" And that's the truth! And I believe we do it in such a way that glorifies God!

My only issue with Halloween actually is the candy! We try to limit candy in our home as much as possible, although it's nearly impossible! So, we keep it as treats only. On Halloween night my kids get a few pieces and maybe the next few days they get a piece or two, then it magically disappears. We don't go to many houses, so we don't have a lot anyway.

One thing to mention and for us as believers to remember, is that no matter what you do and what your convictions are harping on or having a pious attitude on 'liberty' areas of scripture do nothing to soften the hearts of unbelievers and it also doesn't create unity within the body of Christ. So we must be careful in how we present our convictions and where our heart is on the matter!

*Just a side note. We do talk about Reformation Day during school and as a family. Some may be wondering whether or not we incorporate that and of course we do. Reformation Day is our history. Halloween is just like a fun little party we have. They don't even compare!

Have a safe and fun Halloween or day! ;)