Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts on Halloween

Lastnight as I was driving to church for our evening service I was admiring the new look of our little area...
Most of the trees have changed, there are leaves on the ground, people have decorated their yards with fall flags and pumpkins, etc. Every few houses there would be some kind of Halloween decoration - a black cat cutout on the window, faux spider webs on the bushes, etc.
And then I saw it.

Heads. About a dozen or so of them. Heads. Sticking out of the ground, bushes, you name it.. heads were stuck in it. I tried to distract Ava from it by saying something like, "honey, look over there... another red tree" and "over there" being the opposite side of the street of course. But, too late. "Head Mommy". Sigh. "yep, those are head's Ava". And really what more conversation could come out of that? I was grossed out and it just made me very promptly step onto my soap box about this ugly event. Someone had chosen to decorate their yard with the appearance of a ton of decapitated heads - fake blood included. Yuck. I can handle spider webs, black cats and the occasional white sheet hung from a tree to be a ghost... but, HEADS? Come on!

After my dad was saved in his late 20's we stopped "doing" halloween. Trick or Treating and Halloween parties were replaced with the annual trip to Chuck E Cheese or a church Harvest party. And, yes, some of those church harvest parties were just like trick or treating... I know that debate. But, dad set a precident that we didn't do halloween. And honestly I didn't really miss it. My parents were awesome about helping us pick out or make homemade costumes to wear to our church parties - and they would even buy us our own bag of candy every now and then. I loved knowing that every Halloween we would lower all the blinds, turn out the lights and escape the neighborhood for a family night. I think once or twice I may have complained that I couldn't go trick or treating with my friends... but overall loved our change.

Now, I'm not anti-Halloween. And you won't find me scorning or judging someone for dressing up their children for the day. And you think I would complain about getting something for FREE (candy)? nope. I've seen plenty of mini-cheerleaders, pumpkins, M & M's and the like... cute. But it's the gross side of the day that gets me. I hate the fake blood, gory or prostitute-like costumes, the mean things kids do... like, smashing old ladies pumpkins in the street or spray painting pranks. I just find it very difficult to see any beauty in the holiday as a whole. I'm grossed out by walking into stores and having to weave through fake spider webs infested with ghouls covered in plastic blood just to pick up a loaf of bread... and now that Ava is getting older, I kinda dread explaining these weird things. I know its a teachable moment - but, what am I teaching? And, here's the kicker... my husband and I may or may not have seperate ideas about the day. So, yea, what do you do with that?!

Halloween. Set in my favorite month of the year (seasons-wise) and such a sore spot for me. I love the roasted pumpkin seeds, hot cider, FREE candy and cute cheerleader costumes on 1 year olds... but, what is the deal with our worlds obsession with fake blood, vampires and death? Just thoughts today. What does your family do? Do you celebrate or not? If not, what do you do instead? Today I'm thinking I just want to lower my blinds and disappear for the night because quite honestly, it freaks me out.

But something tells me Ava will be suited up in her cheerleading outfit and somehow we'll have pictures taken, etc.... before I even know what's going on. {sigh}


beccarankin said...

This is totally what I've been thinking about. I grew up not celebrating and Dustin did. His mom LOVES it, my parents don't. What to do, what to do. I love the cute side of it. The harmless getting candy, etc., but I hate the scary, gory side. Dustin and I need to sit down and have a chat about it. It's hard to say no to little girls who just want to dress up like princesses. :-)

The Sneaky Mommy said...

I grew up not celebrating as well--except our "harvest party" was turning the basement of our old church into a creepy haunted house. Go figure!
We do celebrate with our kids now. Here's the kicker--thanks to my godly husband--we are totally open with the kids about how there are many people who don't love God and their celebrations include dark horrible things (such as the gory decorations you saw). We then talk about how we can be a light--sharing candy, befriending our neighbors, showing love and manners, and having fun together as a family. We are called to be salt and light. We don't have to buy into all that Halloween is--we need to point that out for sure. We can, however, use this very openly social time in neighborhoods to build relationships and spread the love the Christ! (just my two-cents worth!) You'll work through it and arrive at what's best for your family! :)

Sara said...

I agree with all The Sneaky Mommy :) said.