10.24.2010

Halloween...

My friend posted this article on Facebook and I thought it was an excellent read. I've read posts on Halloween in the past and thought some were well written that were in favor of celebrating the holiday... but none as good as this one :-) 
My intention on posting this is simply for those of you who are curious. So if you're not, don't feel obliged to read it. 
Our family doesn't celebrate the holiday in the typical fashion, but I've been told over the years to stop saying we don't celebrate it, because to some, we do. 
Apparently taking your kids to a pumpkin patch, where God has created and sustained seeds to turn into plants; growing up out of the ground and forming into pumpkins this time of year, is celebrating Halloween. And, going on hay rides, running through corn mazes and making corn husks dolls is also celebrating Halloween and not just welcoming this harvest time of year with harvest type traditions. I used to argue this point with others, but I've since given up. Its not worth my time, quite frankly. And, after Jason and I got married and began raising our kids, we also realized we don't base our family life decisions on the past, our current friends and what they do, or how cool or uncool our kids will be if we do or don't celebrate holidays like Halloween. But we've made our peace with the fact that we will still get the same speeches from people every year. We'll get to hear about how unfair it is for our kids not to be allowed to dress up and eat candy from strangers, and how we need to stop "being afraid" of certain holidays that we're not used to. 
I'm glad I'm at a place now where the whole topic just makes me laugh. I think its so silly how people can get so infuriated over such things. Who knew dress-ups and candy could cause such a stir?! 


Its been fun to discuss these types of topics with Ethan, as he gets older and has questions and comments about it all. We've had some pretty in depth dinner discussions where hard questions were asked and we were able, as a family, to go through God's word and come to some ideas on our own, of what we feel is best for us. I never realized how educational and fun these conversations would be! 


At any rate, I liked this article and really appreciated the calm and intelligent way it was written. Because I don't think most of my friends are actually teaching their kids to worship Satan on this particular day and because I happen to know most {if not all} of our friends actually dress their kids up in super cute costumes and have some fun family traditions with the holiday, I think I especially liked this point of view, over some of the super religious, freaky, scare-people-out-of-such-things articles I've read in the past. Though a lot of what he says is very "scary" and disturbing {isn't that what Halloween is all about?!} I liked that he leaves it with just informing and not cramming a "hide in your home and shut everyone out on Halloween night" attitude. I'm a fan of exposing truth and light and not running and hiding when something isn't done in a way we feel is God honoring. 

21 {comments}:

Jessica said...

Thanks Stef. Although Sam and I never celebrated this holiday growing up, we didn't realize that we had to address this issue now that we have kids - and that we needed to have reasons for what we chose.
Those verses in the article you shared are precisely why we decided to stay away from trick-or-treating or Halloween Parties.
I am very sensitive to the Spiritual World and know that even things like scary horror movies are playing with fire when they seek these things out as forms of entertainment. Ezekiel is the same way. He shuts his eyes when we are walking by something he remembers was scary (and with all the Halloween decorations out right now this is a frequent thing while we are out running errands).
Anyway - I know this comment is turning into more of a post...
But I was also stunned when I went to a party store to buy balloons for Stephen's 1 year birthday party that the wall pictures displaying costumes for women was basically a wall of soft porn pictures as well.
Another reason to stir clear.
If my kids want a costume birthday party one day - well they can have it. And I will even pass out candy. But I will leave the ghosts and goblins alone.

Stef said...

We had the same issue, Jess! When Ethan was about a year old, people began asking "what are you gonna dress him up as for Halloween?!" and we were both like "umm.... duh....." :) Because we really hadn't given it much thought. I knew why my parents chose not to celebrate, but its always good, as we become our own families, to make these decisions our own and not just copy tradition for the sake of tradition.

And, while I think we can pretty much go through life turning anything bad or questionable into something good, fun and "innocent", I think we're called to be light in a dark world and yes, I would say that comes to play in what books we read and what movies we watch. Its all having an impact!

Melissa Joy said...

My hubby like this article
http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/open-book/no-28-concerning-halloween/

Although we're not "there" yet, I think we'll be discussing it in the future. :)

Carrie said...

I am going to have to admit, I didn't read the article! I do understand not wanting to take part in something if you believe it is the wrong thing to do. For our family, I have never looked at it as anything more than a fun day. Plus, we need all the chances we can get to celebrate.
This year, Hannah will be in the hospital for Halloween. We are bringing pumpkins to "carve", really we are using sharpies to draw faces. I got all the kids costumes and we will make our own party. Just 'cause we can. I might be biased, but life seems too short to miss out on fun things like pumpkin patches.
Great post, Stef!

Carrie said...

OH, also, Jessica is right on about the costume stores. What is up with the soft porn choices for women at Halloween?? We need a push back on this. Adding the word, sexy, before everything does not qualify as a costume.

Stef said...

Thanks Melissa, I'll read it later today!

Carrie, that was kind of my point. I don't think we have to say "anything fall'ish or celebrating the harvest that you do is called celebrating Halloween. It makes me sad that people want to turn God's creation and things that naturally take place in nature this time of year, to say we're celebrating a holiday we've chosen not to go overboard with.

I made carmel apples with the kids last week and someone said to me "oh, so you ARE big into Halloween, eh?"

um.... no.

Volkov Family said...

I think I misread your post, then I read the article. So I think I might still be confused. Would you mind sharing what your family's take has been on Halloween?

Volkov Family said...

I already posted this once, but it didn't go through... :)
I think I at first misread your post. Then I read the article. I was wondering what you and your family have decided about Halloween.

Stef said...

Sure Rebecca, sorry the post was confusing!

Our take on Halloween is that we've chosen not to celebrate it.
Not because we're afraid of it, or because we're uneducated when it comes to the origins or ideas behind it. But because we've sat down with our older two kids to really go through God's word, to discuss how God views death, what happens after death, how He views things that are unreal and unnatural and completely false. And we've come to the decision that for our family, its not a holiday we want to rationalize or turn into something cute and fun.
But we fully recognize and understand that many families celebrate it and in their homes, stay away from the dark and evil sides of the holiday. We've just decided for us we'd rather not celebrate it at all.
And we know its the uncool, unpopular thing do to and our kids have already caught on to that ;-)

Stef said...

{re: Rebeccas's post: my comment was too long, so here is the rest}

We've had to answer some pretty difficult questions this year, as Ethan is much older and sees a lot more. Trying to explain away the tomb stones and dead, bloody body parts coming up out of people's yards is hard to explain to your child as "fun and make believe" - especially when they shoot back with questions like "but why do people do that when God says those things are not of Him and aren't good?" A lot of what Halloween is as a holiday is just exposing darkness and evil and glorifying what God has said we should have nothing to do with. So for those reasons, we've chosen to just not celebrate it.

Our kids still get to dress up and they get their fill of unhealthy sweets probably way too often. So I guess they're luckier than most kids, who only apparently do those things one day out of the year :)
Our girls are already planning Spring time dress-up tea party, where they will invite lots of their friends to come dressed up and will have lots of tea and sweets to enjoy with one another, while using their imagination in the land of dress-ups and make believe :)

Volkov Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Volkov Family said...

reply

Stef said...

I wish you hadn't deleted your comment, Rebecca! It wasn't offensive in the slightest.

Gina said...

I'm going to have to read those articles--I love learning insight on this particular holiday and the Christian faith. We technically celebrate, I suppose, but we focus on the harvest and not on Halloween. We've discussed with our kids the origins of Halloween and they know how it came about, but as I've said, that's not our focus. We dress up because it's fun (and the costumes are great additions to our dress up bin) and we attend only harvest related functions. I love all of the pumpkins and the like--all of us are turned off by the gore and soft porn (way too prevalent). I was just saying the other day that I wish the people who were so gung ho about Halloween could find the same burning desire for Christmas. Tracks are great for giving out to trick o treaters--hey, the dentists give out toothbrushes! :-)

Angie said...

Hey Stef! Love your blog. I can't remember how I found it. :) We have enjoyed reading your past and more recent posts.

Halloween for us...is ALL about the candy! ;D Yes, I'm pushing 40, but we enjoy lots of chocolate candy at Halloween! We have NEVER cared about the origin of the holiday. None of my kids were allowed to dress up in "creepy" stuff. I liked to keep things simple and cute. We went dressed in pajamas for 3 years straight. Ha ha! Yeah I know I can buy our candy. But this is a way to get tons of candy for FREE! :)

There are people who have accused us of "doing wrong", by taking the kids trick or treating. But then again...we also had some people verbally slam us for telling the kids there is no Santa. That doesn't mean I don't allow them to take a picture with the "make believe" one at the mall. :)

We have NO issues with people who do or don't celebrate holidays. It just seems like they have "issues" with us. Oh well...:)

Stef said...

Hi Angie! Welcome :)

I love that you're all sharing how you feel about the holiday. I like when this stuff can be talked about kindly and in an adult like manner. Gina, I've always been impressed with the way your family handles the holiday. I think most people we know handle it with care and do an excellent job explaining it all to their kids in a way that won't leave them confused or ignorant.

Jason's company is giving us the opportunity to go into his office on the 29th to see where Daddy works. The kids were told they can come in dress-up clothes and everyone will have candy to pass out at their desks :) I thought it was a cute idea for them to think of. I know our kids are just dying to go see Daddy's office!

Thanks for all the feedback. I think the most important thing is that we do what we do for the glory of God!

Stef said...

for further reading, I appreciated this article as well!

http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/10/23/halloweenhellip-what-should-i-say-from-a-christian-perspective.aspx

Jessica said...

So great, Stef!! We've been toying with the idea a bit too for our family. I really really like what William's Mama did growing up: celebrating the natural. Pumpkins, crows, spiders, etc. Their church also did a harvest festival. The children did dress up but it was more like playing dress-up at home.

We're still on the fence about what extent we'll be doing with our kids. I love hearing both sides & especially what scripture has to say about it. I'm sure we'll do more before coming to a stance as a family.

Wililam has also shared the history behind easter eggs and the christmas tree...i believe they also have pagan rituals/reasons behind them as well. have you heard about any of those?

Stef said...

Hey Jess!
Jason and I discussed the Easter eggs and Christmas tree topic too, because I realized they both also have pagan roots tied to them. I think its much less of an issue nowadays, AND there's a Christ centered emphasis behind both those holidays. Its very easy to avoid "celebrating" Santa or the Easter Bunny {and those two things aren't even the part of the pagan rituals} Those things were the world's version of taking bad pagan roots and making them fun and "innocent". Then as Christians we like to avoid them even more, to keep the emphases on Christ.

I think it would be much different if the Christmas tree was being use as something dark, evil, satanic, all about death and celebrating what Christ tells us to have nothing to do with. I'd have a much harder time telling my kids "but we turn it into a nice tree with lights and make it all better!"
This is why I think when it comes to this topic, it needs to be something decided in our own separate families and our own conscience and not just because its popular or not.

This year we're going to taking our kids through the history of Martin Luther - explaining the Christian history of this month. I think I'm going to take Halloween day to teach them about that... but I can't say we'll make a holiday out of it each year :)
Maybe when they're older we'll watch Luther every Halloween night ;-)

Stef said...

Hey Jess!
Jason and I discussed the Easter eggs and Christmas tree topic too, because I realized they both also have pagan roots tied to them. I think its much less of an issue nowadays, AND there's a Christ centered emphasis behind both those holidays. Its very easy to avoid "celebrating" Santa or the Easter Bunny {and those two things aren't even the part of the pagan rituals} Those things were the world's version of taking bad pagan roots and making them fun and "innocent". Then as Christians we like to avoid them even more, to keep the emphases on Christ.

I think it would be much different if the Christmas tree was being use as something dark, evil, satanic, all about death and celebrating what Christ tells us to have nothing to do with. I'd have a much harder time telling my kids "but we turn it into a nice tree with lights and make it all better!"
This is why I think when it comes to this topic, it needs to be something decided in our own separate families and our own conscience and not just because its popular or not.

This year we're going to taking our kids through the history of Martin Luther - explaining the Christian history of this month. I think I'm going to take Halloween day to teach them about that... but I can't say we'll make a holiday out of it each year :)
Maybe when they're older we'll watch Luther every Halloween night ;-)

Stef said...

{re: Rebeccas's post: my comment was too long, so here is the rest}

We've had to answer some pretty difficult questions this year, as Ethan is much older and sees a lot more. Trying to explain away the tomb stones and dead, bloody body parts coming up out of people's yards is hard to explain to your child as "fun and make believe" - especially when they shoot back with questions like "but why do people do that when God says those things are not of Him and aren't good?" A lot of what Halloween is as a holiday is just exposing darkness and evil and glorifying what God has said we should have nothing to do with. So for those reasons, we've chosen to just not celebrate it.

Our kids still get to dress up and they get their fill of unhealthy sweets probably way too often. So I guess they're luckier than most kids, who only apparently do those things one day out of the year :)
Our girls are already planning Spring time dress-up tea party, where they will invite lots of their friends to come dressed up and will have lots of tea and sweets to enjoy with one another, while using their imagination in the land of dress-ups and make believe :)

 

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