Monday, November 3, 2014

My issues with Halloween

We don't live in a neighborhood where people go door-to-door on Halloween and I don't like it enough to go to someone else's neighborhood to participate.  So for the past few years I have opened my home to friends who also didn't go trick-or-treating.  But this year, my kids wanted to go out.  I had planned to go with friends over where they live but as the date got closer, I just didn't feel right about it.

It's not simply an issue because my faith.... because let me tell you, Christians have varying opinions on this topic depending on their own experiences and beliefs.  We could start a big debate but that is NOT what this post is about.  It is about MY OWN personal conviction and unrest with a certain aspect of Halloween that I do not like!  So the following thoughts aren't because I'm a Christian... any human being could have written this.

The problem I have with Halloween is the gore and blood.  Many toddlers are afraid to even walk the aisles at Walmart!  Why is it ok to celebrate murder and expose our children to it?  I don't let my kids watch R-rated movies but suddenly everywhere we go in October they are bombarded by it!  My neighbor hung a bloody dead body wrapped in plastic from a tree close to the road.  My kids and I had to see this each time we passed by.  It was disgusting!

I had to explain what it was and why someone would want to put it up.  Do you know how bizarre it is when you try to explain all this to innocent and curious children?  I hate that we celebrate the grotesque and suddenly we're shocked when we read headline news about someone committing a gory crime.  We are a very desensitized society because we don't see how our "fun" is affecting us!  We should be more sensitive than we are to seeing a slaughtered, murdered human being - even if fake, because it looks so real!

We didn't go trick-or-treating because I didn't want my kids exposed to the gross costumes that'd be walking the streets.  People in masks carrying bloody knives is NOT FUN to me or the kids!  I also didn't feel right going to someone else's neighborhood knocking on their doors.  I love the sense of community that Halloween can bring... in our own neighborhood, but that isn't an option for us.

My kids were so understanding when I explained to them that we wouldn't be going trick-or-treating this year.  They didn't need much convincing actually because that dead body was all the evidence they needed!  We got together with friends for a playdate and the kids dressed up!

Later we did our own version of "trick-or-treating".   I went in the boys' bedroom and the kids knocked on the door.  I opened it with candy in hand to find them smiling BIG SMILES saying "Trick or treat"!  They were so cute!  I ran to the playroom and closed the door, they followed me giggling & knocking.  I opened the door, gave them treats and ran to Vienna's room, then my room!  More laughter.  More candy.  And a fun time!  Jay brought home pizza for supper and they got to enjoy their treats while we watched a family movie together.  We had a very fun Halloween and one we all felt comfortable with!

Again, I know people who don't do Halloween because of its association with the occult and the history of it and they probably don't approve of my kids doing what they even did!  I'm not trying to start a debate about whether we should participate in Halloween or not.  As I told my kids, the problem with ANYTHING when you live as a Christian, is doing something against your gut instincts.  When you do something that just doesn't seem right in your heart... that is the holy spirit convicting you.  You gotta live by the Spirit and listen and obey, even when it's against what the rest of the world is doing, even close friends.  I'm teaching my kids that if you ignore that little voice... ignore that whisper of conviction, it'll get quieter.  And I'm also teaching my kids that it's ok to be sensitive in a world that so often tells us to toughen up.

Thanks for swinging by,


Debbie Mazerolle said...

Well said Mary. You celebrated Halloween in your own tradition and I'm sure the children had as much fun or more doing it the way you did. I would like to see the door to door trick or treating disappear and having it at the local community centers, schools, etc. That way everyone who wants to take part, or not, can do so. Your kids will have lots of conversations in the years to come around all of your adventures and trick or treating with you in their house will be one of them. ox

In Light of the Truth... said...

I'm sooo with you on the hating of creepy and gory!! We're so blessed to be a part of small community (population=328) where everyone is pretty family-friendly--I didn't notice scary costumes or house decorations so we were still able to go out for a bit on Halloween night but also did some at-home fun. But i can see how there would be places we probably wouldn't want to trick-or-treat at all! Also loved what you said about allowing the kids to remain sensitive instead of "toughening up". Our kids don't even like most Disney movies cuz they think they're scary, and that's fine with me! Seems easy enough to avoid still! =) Love you and your heart for your precious kids!