11/2/08

Halloween

Here are my dorky adorable kids dressed up warm and ready to head out begging for candy. It is fun seeing them excited about finding their costumes. I'm not into buying costumes..unless they are at the second hand store. They mostly dig through the "dress up clothes" and put together some sort of character. I resent spending money on Halloween. Which brings me to my next point. I have decided I really dislike Halloween...more and more each year. I am not legalistic about it or have banned it completely but I have drawn some lines and have redirected the focus as best I can. First rule is no dressing up as anything that makes light of or celebrates evil in some way. I know I might seem like a Halloween scrooge or am not "getting into the Halloween Spirit"...the spirit of which I have a problem with. I just have a huge problem with making something that is very real, very serious and very dark...into a funny childrens costume..or a "its all in fun "celebration. My children may dress up as pirates and superheros but it will literally be a cold day in Hell before I will dress my beautiful daughter up as a witch....aka someone who practices witchcraft. Or let my boys strut around dressed as Satan. Who ,by the way ,likely enjoys the fact that we have made him into a fairytale creature with a pointy tale....that way we can overlook the reality of what he is.

My daughter , the party planner and decorator extrodanaire, is quite disappointed that we have never decorated for Halloween. Once again my own personal protest. I will not spend money on this "holiday"....and I certainly won't have gouls and ghosts hanging about my home, my sanctuary. Aili asked why I don't like or celebrate Halloween and I explained that other special Holidays like Christmas and Easter actually have something to celebrate and stand for something good.....Halloween celebrates nothing but gore, witchcraft, greed, and all things dark. We can attempt to redirect the focus to family activity and dressing up but its still just Halloween. My kids do carve pumpkins ( into happy faces) and do go "trick or treating". Its hard in a small town when there are no other options to distract them from the fun their friends are having and in a small town it is also seen as being part of the community. I don't know if I have "drawn the lines " in the right places or not...but this is what we have done so far.

My next Bah Humbug about Halloween is the concept of "trick or treating" . Even the phrase we proudly teach and prompt or kids to say is something that rubs me the wrong way . We may as well prompt our kids to say " Give me candy or I'll vandalize your house!" It means the same thing. It just sounds so much cuter coming from a three year old in a pumpkin costume. The concept of giving my kids bags to go door to door begging (or demanding) and the greedy look in their eyes as they stockpile their loot also has me questioning the wisdom of this tradition. I work hard to teach my kids, even at Christmas time, that it is better to give than to recieve...especially better than recieving under threat of vandalism. This just goes against all my principles...even the candy. I take my kids immediate and long term health seriously so I don't keep candy in my house, my kids get "treats" on rare occasions...unfortunatley one of which is Halloween. So to have bags full of sugar, food coloring and all sorts of garbage looming over us definately goes against my principles of healthy eating. But because it is only once a year I allow them pork out on candy and potato chips. They even shared a can of pop at lunch yesterday (yes they get pop in their bags) which is definately a novelty. The sooner its gone the sooner they can stop begging for it.


Ok , I will concede that they are pretty darn cute in their costumes. Silas wasn't so sure about his costume but he got used to it and the people handing him candy took his mind off of the costume. It was a little tricky with his nut allergies. I had to confiscate the bags as soon as we got to the house and inspect all the labels and remove from the premises all the treats that contain peanuts....which was about half of what they recieved. The good part was that cut down on the amount of junk we have in our house. My older too were SO gracious and good about doing this for their brothers safety. They are very protective of him. I "re gifted" the reeces peanut butter cups and other bars back out to the trick or treaters. We kept the candy without nuts but Silas can only eat the ones clearly label with the "no peanuts" sign. I told my kids that next year we would be in Mexico and that we wouldnt be having Halloween there.....other countries just don't celebrate this kind of stuff....unless they actually believe in it and are involved in witchcraft, spirit worship etc. We are unique as a society in our unawareness of the reality and seriousness of this stuff. They were dissapointed but I told them that we will have other fun holidays there like Mexican independance day and Childrens day that we don't have in Canada....we will avoid going out on "dia de los muertos" (day of the dead)....which is a "holiday" that makes Halloween look pretty innocent....probably because it is done to appease the dead and is done out of superstition. Its a cultural tradition that doesn't make light of evil like we do...but tries to appease it out of fear. Both are wrong ways to deal with the reality of its exsistance.

By the way I am not afraid of Halloween, or anything it stands for. I don't dislike it because I fear the reality of evil spirits and the occult, however I know enough not to dabble in it and not to take it seriously. I am not shunning it out of fear but rather distaste and even disgust for the fact that no one celebrating is aware of the reality of the spiritual realm in which it represents. I know that in the spiritual realm that we do not usually see with human eyes....but can be understood and felt...that I am covered, freed and protected by the side that wins. Why would I fear the baying hyena when I have the fearsome and awesome Lion of Judah standing with me. In that, there is no room for fear or superstition....but it also gives me no desire to dress up as that hyena and start celebrating it.

Thats the end of my Halloween rant. The only positive thing about Halloween that I can think of is that it means we are that much closer to Christmas is actually something worth celebrating.
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3 comments:

Valen said...

Amen, preach it, sister! I've never liked Halloween and while I've mellowed from my no trick or treating days, almost everything about the day rubs me wrong.

Jobina said...

your halloween "rules" sound a lot like our own...no dressing up as anything bad, no decorating (starting in September I decorate with fall leaves around the house, but no Halloween stuff). I let our kids go around our little street and that is quite enough. I get so tired of the constant begging for treats for a month, that the less they get the better!
Your kids do look awfully cute though!

lanagummeson said...

:) you make me smile - I am in a country that does not celebrate October 31st but strangely enough they arranged for the staff kids to get to trick or treat on campus and at other staff houses :)

It has always been a holiday that confused my spirit sensitive spirit...

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