Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Great Debate

It's funny; last night when I was writing the post about Halloween, I specifically told my husband that I was trying to be kind of vague about the whole "debate" thing. I don't think I did a very good job. The truth is, we feel very unsure of exactly where we stand on the issue. We both grew up dressing up every year and going trick-or-treating. It was lots of fun, and neither one of us grew up to be mass murderers or Satan worshipers. For the first few years of raising kids, we (separately and together) allowed them to dress up and participate in Halloween activities. We have tried trick-or-treating with the kids, but due to the aggressive, scary attitudes at some homes, we have always fallen back on the church sponsored Harvest Festivals. That has been LOTS of fun, and the kids ended up with more candy anyway. Let's be honest, where the kids are concerned, it's mostly about the candy! It has been time consuming, but I have always taken great joy in making costumes for the kids. I like the challenge of finding a positive theme, and figuring out how to fit all the kids in. My favorite costume ever was my oldest daughter as a geisha. She even got to wear chopsticks in her hair that were really from Japan. That is sweet stuff. I have REALLY missed that for the last couple years.

I don't believe that there is any harm in carving a pumpkin. Especially when this is the design...

peace

I have never done this before, but I feel the need to respond to the people that left comments on my Halloween post. The truth is, I agree with all of you to some extent.

Brianna said…

We did Halloween this year and I think we will continue to in the future. My kids loved wearing their costumes (ladybug, frog and bumblebee), decorating (and eating!) Halloween cookies, and going to two harvest festivals. Eventually I look forward to trick-or-treating with them.Yesterday Kevin and I were talking about the whole issue and both felt that whatever roots the day may have, it is now a cultural tradition and much of it is very innocent (though certainly not all of it.) Plus many other holidays have some roots in or connection to paganism, even Christmas and some of those traditions. Even doing a harvest festival instead where kids dress up on October 31st and get candy, to me is still "celebrating" Halloween since it's everything about Halloween except the name.Whew, there's my take on the great Halloween debate! I'm glad you guys all had a great time!!

I was just talking to one of my best girlfriends on the phone this morning, and I made this exact point to her. We absolutely are celebrating Halloween when we attend a Harvest Festival at a church. I believe Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name, is still a rose." We have always enjoyed the games and fun to be had at the church. I see no harm in it at all.

However, as expressed by DeAnna, Darci and Julie, cultural or not, the Halloween tradition has gotten out of hand. It has taken on a decidedly evil look and attitude.

DeAnna said…

…she had a white dress on with an apron that had "blood" on the front and was carrying a fake chain saw -- WHATTTTT? at 8 or 9? The same little girl that just a few months ago was pushing her little doll in a baby stroller and wanted to come by and play with Isabella?!”

Darci said…

"… when I was walking and seeing so many 'evil sights'..costumes, decorations, yards made to look like spooky cemeteries..”

Julie said…

“I must say I shudder when I open the door on Halloween night and there stands before me a child dressed as a demonic creature. I toss them a few pieces of candy and hope they leave my front porch fast!”


I know that we are called to be set apart as Christians. Just because the "world" does things in a certain way, does not mean that it is OK for us to join in. Sometimes, it is even a sacrifice.

1 Peter 3:14-16

My friends, I don't have the answer to this dilemma yet either. It is a tough one. So, until next year.....

7 comments:

Brianna Heldt said...

I wholeheartedly agree that some costumes/activities are utterly evil/inappropriate. It's always been that way, I remember seeing some nasty costumes when I was little, too.

I agree that we're called to be set apart. For us, we've decided as a family to enjoy the innocent activities of Halloween and not give the other side of it any more attention than necessary. God is big enough to redeem anything and this year for example my kids got such simple joy out of helping with the cookies, and wearing their costumes.

It's always good to evaluate why we do what we do, and to be open to God convicting us/changing our minds.

DeAnna said...

The only thing I do know is that there will always be trick or treaters so I do think churches having Festivals or "Trunk or Treats" is still a safe alternative. It is hard to know for sure and I know I have some friends who avoid it all together and I respect their opinion even if it isn't mine, because we all really do have to choose what is right for our families. Look at you bringing up a controversial subject - next thing you know, you're going to bring up the debate about Santa. :)

Sue said...

There is a pator on Moody radio that discussed this recently. Pastor Cole said there is nothing wrong with kids trick-or-treating, as long as they are not trying to be or dress up like evil people/creatures. I would say I agree with him. BTW, your kids costumes are great! Loved the Wizard of Oz.

Sue

5KidMom said...

It was so much easier when all my kids were little. It was rarely a problem to simply focus on the innocent, joyful parts of the holiday and ignore the rest. I'm afraid things have become more complicated as they have gotten older, more aware and require more explanation. Each year, Will and I discuss these things and pray about them again. I just wish God would pop through the clouds and give us a definitive answer. That would make things so much easier! 8^)

Sue said...

sorry, that was supposed to be Pastor, not pator :)

5KidMom said...

Deanna - I don't even want to go there on the Santa subject. I draw the line at Madonna and Halloween. 8^)

Thanks to all of you for your sweet words about the kids' costimes. I have always had a lot of fun making them.

5kiddad said...

For the record, I'm leaning toward voting "yes" for costumes next year. I do think the kids should go to the Harvest Festival, and if we "trick or treat" from our parking spot to the festival, that probably will not doom their chances at eternal life. I do, however, believe that we can find or make costumes that are not negative, yet are still fun.