Ok...I was NOT planning on blogging today. I mean, this is one of those few days of the year that gets pretty much everyone's feathers in a ruffle. However, all the blog posts being shared about "why Christians should do Halloween" or "why Christians shouldn't do Halloween"...every single one of them is getting on my very last nerve. These are personal family decisions. Let's allow EACH family make their own decision & NOT tell people who aren't asking, why or why not they should or should not celebrate Halloween. If someone asks you, what your family is doing, by all means share, share your reasons why or why not & then allow them to make their choice-NO JUDGEMENT either way!
Since I'm now talking about it, I may as well share our journey in relation to Halloween. 20 yrs ago when we started this journey of parent hood, We chose to NOT celebrate Halloween when our son was little, but we did NOT advertise it everywhere NOR did we try to make people feel bad for either choice. (I am aware Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Blogs did not exist! Yet, we still did not go "preach" what to do/not to do.)
You see, I grew up trick or treating & my husband did not. WE (together) made the best choice for our family, which was to not celebrate, decorate, trick or treat, dress up, et all.
There were many reasons, the biggest of which was what Halloween represents, yes we can choose to NOT look or decorate evil....however, if you look around the theme at MOST places, it is dark, desolate, death & destruction. (Have you browsed the Halloween aisle recently? There is very little innocence, light & life found there; if at all.) When I was growing up, my parents were particular about our costumes-gruesome & gore were NOT allowed! The power of darkness is very real in the world today & we were not fooling around with that! I remember fondly being C3PO & Batman.............oops, sorry got to waxing nostalgic there :)
Secondly, We lived out in the boondocks of Amish country, so opportunities to actually go were limited & it was a no-brainer that our Amish neighbors were not going to leave a light on for us. We wanted to respect our neighbors beliefs too (ya know, Jesus did talk about this....love your neighbors as yourself, treat others the way you want to be treated.) If we wanted respect from our neighbors, then respecting our neighbors was important to us. When I trick or treated growing up, my parents took us in our immediate block & then we went to my grandparents homes & their few neighbors...safety was of utmost importance even back then. When our son was growing up, my parents lived in VA-um...too far to go for sure & my in-laws did not celebrate Halloween in their little neighborhood, so going there wasn't an option either. (I did not tell them what to do either! It was their choice-and not right/wrong in my opinion. We chose to honor their choice.)
When our son was in Preschool, they did celebrate Halloween & we DID allow him to participate. What was wonderful about that-it allowed us to be creative AND it was THEMED day...favorite storybook character & the like. NO scary costumes or decorations were allowed-NONE! (I think we may have had black cat decor) We also played "dress up" other days of the year at home, at preschool, etc. Then upon entering primary school, he attended a Christian school AND he had ample opportunity to dress up during the school year, so Halloween wasn't a "necessity" in our lives. If we wanted candy, we went to the store & bought some.
As he got older, our church began creating a "bright spot" in a local neighbor on their trick or treat night. Our son, then in Middle School or High School, wanted to trick or treat with friends in addition to helping with the event (it was NOT unusual to see that age out and about in that neighborhood), so we discussed it & he chose his costumes wisely & creatively-utilizing the "tools" of discernment we had taught him over the years. Macgyver, Firefly (the movie) & my favorite Stickman (made with black clothes & glow sticks) were some of his costumes of choice-nothing dark, sinister, scary, or disturbing. And again...thankful for many reasons.
One of which was reiterated on "The Steve Harvey Show" today. It was playing in the background while I was writing this post. One mom wanted her husband to join her in dressing up for Halloween with their 3 young children. (I say young...oldest was probably 9-ish). So the staff of the show decided to help them out :) They were the Munsters...a "not so scary" costume choice one would think...until dad came out & lef this two youngest children not only looking scared to death of dad & clinging to mom, but sobbing...tears streaming down their faces in fear of this "scary" man. Even their oldest child, did not go near dad.
That is where my biggest struggle with Halloween comes from...the PURPOSE of Halloween in general is to scare the crap out of people...I know NOT everyone has that purpose, but I ask again, Have you browsed the Halloween aisle recently...how much innocence, light & life do you see in those aisles? I don't see much at all & what I do find takes a whole lot of digging through the dark to find.
I share our journey, not to tell you "why Christians should do Halloween" or "why Christians should not do Halloween", because that is NOT my job. (and you can see that our journey was all over the place depending on the environment & time of life, each of which we prayerfully considered. It may look willy nilly-but it was not!) I share our journey, to let you know that it is ok to choose what you choose just be sure you are listening to God prompts daily. If you have a check in your spirit about participating...then don't. If you have a check in your spirit about not participating...then maybe rethink turning that light on & truly being a light in your neighborhood.
But most importantly, as a Christian whatever you choose to do for your family, CHOOSE WISELY.
...stop making other families feel guilty for the choice they are making for their family.
...stop "shaming" each other for their choice (some of the blog post titles, just make me want to cry!)
...start acting more like Jesus in how you live your life-EVERYDAY & with EVERY choice.
...start listening to the Holy Spirit's direction. If you have a check in your conscience...stop & listen to it.
...get into to the Word & read how Jesus lived-EVERYDAY & in EVERY way.
Phew, for not planning to write, that sure got long didn't it? I will leave you with this final thought: This is the day the Lord has made & I will rejoice and be glad in it. (not Halloween...just the 24 hrs that is a day. any day) Enjoy these 24 hours however you choose...honor God!