Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo On Halloween?

Today would be my mom's birthday if she were still alive, so Happy Birthday, Mom!

This is a picture of my mom at a Halloween party in 1977 when she was Jr. High youth group leader and I assisted her. (Sorry picture quality is not good but it is a picture of an old picture.)

I loved dressing up and going trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, mostly because I liked candy! As a kid, I used to "judge" how nice people were by how decorated their house was. Usually, the better decorated, the better treats we got. The houses that didn't have the light on, I viewed as housing grumpy old people. The ones having a light, but no decorations I viewed as people who liked kids, but weren't into decorating (this is the category I am in today). The ones who went all out with house and yard decorations I figured probably had kids living there and we would get really good treats. Some people even dressed up when they handed out the candy. I remember one time, the person looked so scary that my little brother wet his doggie costume! I used to dress up as a ghost to give out candy until I saw some little ones being afraid, so I changed to being a clown instead.

I see nothing evil in dressing up and collecting candy from generous people who like kids! I was always so proud of my dad because even when he was in his 80s, he still bought candy for the trick-or-treaters and passed it out. He really enjoyed seeing the kids come in their costumes so you see, the kids are actually a blessing to the elderly (like me, well old at least if not elderly) and it's fun to give to the kids.

We never played any pranks on anyone. We never damaged any one's property or even rolled any one's house with toilet paper. I think these activities are wrong for Christians to participate in because it's not showing any love to others and it's not how I would want people to treat me.

It's so much fun to plan and go to Halloween parties because you can do so much with the theme. We have old home movies of a party my parents had when we were just little and everyone was having fun. Some of my best party memories were from Halloween parties which include: Great looking cakes, lots of candy, dunking for apples, scavenger hunts, spook walks, costume contests, games like murder where the lights go out and the murderer tags someone, they scream, the lights come on and the others have to figure out who the murderer was, touchy-feeling games and donuts and cider. I remember one really church youth group party where we started at a home of a couple kids in the youth group and then we had someone dress up (I forget who it was now) and come in to take us all hostage. One kid thought it was real and actually tried to hit the guy! It was funny, but I always gave that kid credit for trying to protect everyone. We were all transported then to another location for a spook walk in the attic of a person only a few of us knew--our Hi-BA leader. (Hi-BA stands for High School born-againers which was a club for teens geared to witnessing about Jesus to our friends.)

When I was growing up, the church never boo boo'd Halloween, at least not mine. I never sensed the Holy Spirit convicting me that it was wrong to participate. It seems though, that in the last 30 years, there's been sort of a movement among Christians to boo it based on its history and its connection to things opposing God. Frankly, I don't get it. How is it for years it was not a big deal. God doesn't change. When I celebrate Halloween by decorating, dressing up, trick-or-treating or handing out the candy to trick-or-treaters, or planning or attending Halloween parties (as opposed to festivals as the church refers to them now as an alternative to Halloween), I have absolutely no thought about honoring the spirit world, Satan or witchcraft in any way.

Therefore, to me, it's similar to a non-Christian celebrating Christmas because it's a fun time. Giving and receiving gifts is nice to do. Many people who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior participate in Christmas celebrations without any thought to it being the day we celebrate Christ's birth on Earth. If I were convicted by the Holy Spirit of God that participating in Halloween festivities is wrong and something God really doesn't want me to do, then I wouldn't; however, so far that has not happened so I will continue to enjoy the trick-or-treaters and may even plan a Halloween party one day.

There you have it. My thoughts regarding Halloween from my Christian perspective. Certainly, if I had parents who were against it and didn't let me participate, I would have obeyed them in this and I realize there are some Christian parents who do feel that Halloween is not good to celebrate. I respect that and believe that is the reason why at least my church has modified the way they handle Halloween activities.

So, Happy Halloween!
(Sorry to report no one won the scavenger hunt--even I couldn't find it and I kind of knew what the post looked like! I think it was a blog I normally don't look at, one I found on someone's blog roll and they didn't return my EC drop.)


Anonymous said...

ITA!! I think people read too much into Halloween and freak out, thinking it's evil.

Sarah said...

Very good post!! Well thought out and very informative. Gives me lots to think about!
Thank you!

ruthinian said...

Nice post. Just want I need to address my culture-shocked existence here in Maine. This is my 2 Halloween here in the US and so far the only person I saw in costume was Brandon [my step-son] I didn't get the chance to see other kids in costumes. My Hubby was too tired to drive me around last year. This year I am hoping that he will drive me around to see the kids in town because from where we are living... there is no way I can see kids walking in costumes because my next door neighbor is half a mile away from us. And we don't do Halloween in the Philippines except in those rich gated subdivisions which they adapted the tradition to fit their lifestyle.

Kreez said...

I personally have never tried dressing up for halloween before. Thanks for the interesting read!

Anonymous said...

I personally see nothing wrong with greedy lttle kids beggng for candy because I was always one myself and my son also loved it and had fun, we didn't actually look at the pagan side it was just fun.Nice article.

Anonymous said...

I feel Halloween is really just for fun and shouldn't be taken so seriously by religions. Hope you have a great Halloween weekend!

Kathie Graham said...

Hey -thanks for the tip on the font color on . I really do appreciate it. I need to go back and modify some others, but I caught that one at least :). Thanks again!

Wendy Lopez-Redaon said...

Like you, I am a Christian and I don't mind celebrating Halloween. Its fun!

When my kid grows up, I will send him trick or treating but I will make sure he understands the concept behind halloween.

Happy Halloween too!

The Author said...

I've always loved Halloween. In fact, it's one of my favorite holidays. I have so many good memories of it as a child and then later as a mother to a child. I agree with you, I don't remember churches ever being anti Halloween and I think it is all a lot of fuss about nothing.
Thanks for your insightful post.
Thanks for sharing the memories of your Mother with us. I know she was a lovely person.

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