Saturday, October 30, 2010

What Halloween Means to Me

This time of year, I always recall all the fun and anticipation Halloween Past brought to my life as a child.  The costumes, the parties, the tricks and treats, the trading of candy with my sisters . . . it all brings back warm memories.  I can still hear my friends' laughter, the crunching of leaves under our feet, doorbells ringing and the clunk of candy hitting candy as a new treat was tossed into my pumpkin or bag.  It was all so exciting, we could barely stand it!

My son is not likely to ever experience the Halloween High.  And he doesn't miss it.

So, what happened, you might ask.

Now, before you go accusing me of being a killjoy, please keep in mind that I don't call people "heathens" who choose to celebrate Halloween.  I don't believe that's for me to say.  I have many friends, whom I love dearly, who see things differently and I don't think they are evil or have bad intentions toward their children.  Not at all!  But my heart won't let me participate.

See, when I grew up, I learned what Halloween was really about--its origins, the reasons for dressing up, bobbing for apples, playing tricks on people, etc.  My parents learned these things, too, and now say they would probably not have had us participate if they knew then what they know now.  Probably most people these days know about all of that because it has been more highly publicized.  Here's a very brief summary, if you don't know. (I don't go as far as this person in my own reactions, though)

I've heard and read so much about why people think it's still okay to celebrate Halloween and I'm fine with reading what others have to say about it.  But I felt "lead," if you will, to write something from the point of view of a non-participator.

Contrary to popular belief, those of us who avoid Halloween celebrations are not joyless, fearful people who assume our children are going to be poisoned or have their tongues shredded by razors concealed in their Halloween candy.  We have lots of celebrations in our home.  There are all kinds of events to celebrate that don't have their origins in death and paganism.  Our little boy dresses up according to his imagination almost on a daily basis.  He can even dress up on Halloween if he wants to, just not because it's Halloween.  He has many opportunities to celebrate things with other children, even without Halloween.  And, yes, he even eats candy without ringing a single doorbell to get it.

The whole point is that we must do what God puts on our hearts to do.  And give up what He puts on our hearts to give up.  There are some things that He may put on your heart differently than He does mine.  Some issues are non-negotiable.  But Halloween is not something to argue over, as far as I'm concerned.

Was I being a pagan or celebrating a pagan holiday when I had so much fun on Halloween as a kid?  I don't believe so.  I didn't know anything about that and in my heart I was only having fun!  I had a clear conscience (well, except for some of the tricks I played, maybe. lol). 

But when I learned what I learned about what it's really all about, that changed for me.  My heart was grieved and now I can't participate with a clear conscience.  My husband feels the same way, so that makes it easy for us.  We both have things in our individual pasts that make us extra sensitive to "occultism" and things of that nature to the point of needing to simply stay away. We can't just let our son do the Halloween thing because we did when we were his age.  We can't do it just because others we esteem do, either.  Those are not valid reasons.  Little Mister, in all his boyish honesty says, "It would be fun to have all that candy, but it isn't worth the candy if it might not make God happy."

That, right there, is why *I* can't celebrate Halloween.  I'm not convinced yet that it would make God happy.  Obviously, if we ever did choose to participate, we would dress as nice things/people and we wouldn't be a part of anything that had even a slight appearance of evil.  But I don't feel yet that I can do any of it with a clear conscience.

If you can, that's great for you!    I still love you.  I still love your children.  If a child is telling me what they're excited about and it has to do with Halloween, I don't go running the other direction with my hands over my ears. :)  I listen with genuine interest when people young or old tell me of their festivities. I'm not trying to convince anyone to think the way I do.

It's not about me.  It's one of those things that is a personal decision between a family and the Lord.  Make it with Him in mind, not me!!!

It's all about our hearts, ladies and gentlemen!

But please have the same courtesy toward my family and other families who choose, because of what God has placed on our hearts, to leave Halloween behind.  Don't assume things about us that aren't true.  We aren't weird.  We aren't fearful.  We aren't hateful of those who do partake.  We still love and associate with our neighbors all year long (I have read/heard people basically saying that if you don't celebrate Halloween, you're not hospitable and won't have opportunities to reach out to your neighbors.  Gee, what about the other 364 days of the year?! lol).

Let's not waste time thinking badly of each other on things like this!  THAT makes it Satan's day more than anything, the divisiveness between brothers and sisters over these gray areas.  Don't give in!

So, what exactly does Halloween mean to me?  Pretty much nothing at this point! :)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent, excellent post! You put my feeling into words! We have never observed Halloween in any way but I also never tried to make everyone see my point of view. I really like the last part where you say that we shouldn't be wasting our time thinking badly of each other so very true!

    Thanks for sharing.


I love knowing what's on your heart and mind! Your thoughts, opinions, questions and ideas are welcome here anytime. Differences are respected as long as they are written respectfully! :)