As my children get older, I'm having to make decisions that I didn't have to make before. The deliberation that I'm currently sitting on the fence about is: to Halloween or not to Halloween.
Ellie Lofarao, who authors a blog called, Kiyria: A Women Chosen in Christ; Called to Influence affirms that in Christian cirlces, the answer to this question isn't so black and white. As a Christian, she always felt that her decision to avoid the holiday was just the right thing to do... that is of course until a turning point, when confronted by her children with an all too familiar rationale. She presents their case:
"Please let us go trick-or-treating next year. We always play dress up and we have so many hats and costumes and wigs, so you don't have to buy any and we only want to get some candy and have fun with our friends! We know Satan is bad and we love Jesus, and I'm sure he'd walk around with us and get candy if he was here. "
Ellie's post pin points the true nature of this argument for Christian parents. What about the kids? They'll miss out!
"..there are no evil spirits in our pumpkins, nor do they roam in my neighbor's black cat. As for witches and black magic, the Bible is clear. All Hallows Eve ought to be a social, wholesome, and yes, even joyful time. For our family, it is."
Angelo Stagnero, a Christian blogger who writes for the U.S Catholic blog approaches the matter quite pragmatically. He places the evolution of Halloween into a historic context. He believes adamantly that Christians should embrace the day. He writes:
"Halloween is steeped in Catholic theology and piety, and besides, it's just so much damn fun. We couldn't have arranged a more perfect synthesis of devotion and festivity had we tried. When you get to the core of what the holiday is, you find an overwhelmingly Catholic Christian holiday. It should be recognized and celebrated as such-warts, spider webs, and all.
On the Christian calendar November 1 is All Saints Day, or "All Hallows' Day." The word "Halloween" is simply the abbreviated form of "All Hallows' Eve," the vigil celebration in anticipation of the feast day."
"Halloween is a great time to get your scare on. If not now, when? Let's indulge in the sticky, the creepy, and in things that go bump in the night on Halloween. This is our night to bump back. You can dress as a devil as long as you don't succumb to the diabolical. If you dress as a demon, you are no more worshiping a demon than you are worshiping an angel if you dressed as your favorite cherub."
I am still a bit undecided on the whole issue, but as a Christian, I think I'll throw myself into the mystery of my faith at this critical juncture.
Will we buy costumes? Yes
Will we buy Halloween candy? Yes
Will my kids collect and eat candy? Yes
Basically, we will dress our girls in some kind of Halloween neutral costume, and head to the church, where the Children's Ministry organizes a "Harvest Carnival". While my children will dress in costume, we will avoid the traditional stuff, and focus instead on costumes that center around careers and things of that nature.
What about you? Will your kids be getting their creep on?