Disclaimer: I know this is a touchy subject for some, but this is merely OUR opinion and not what we think/expect others should do…
It’s October, which means stores are starting their Christmas campaigns, we see all sorts of Halloween and harvest-y stuff out and we forget about Thanksgiving. As a child growing up in Africa we celebrated Halloween by dressing up and trick-or-treating around to the other missionaries homes. We didn’t always get candy, since there was no Wal-mart around, but we got cookies, and other baked goods. I do not remember ever enjoying Halloween. I HATED trying to come up with a creative costume idea–which is why I was always a fairy, princess or angel. My sister was the creative one. I remember being so relieved when I was too old to do the trick-or-treating thing.
When David and I got married we talked a lot about Halloween, especially as it came around every year. I remember us carving pumpkins our first Halloween together and neither of us thinking it had been a good idea. We were both allowed to get dressed up and trick-or-treat as children, but after childhood neither of us was too crazy about it. Since having kids we have gone back and forth about our opinions of Halloween. We know it’s a holiday that has purely pagan roots, at it’s beginnings was designed to keep the spirits away, etc. Everything from dressing up to the jack-o-lantern has pagan spiritual meanings to it.
Last Halloween was the first year that we considered dressing Cora up in anything. She was only 1 1/2 so obviously had no idea. She trick-or-treated with her cousins and we passed out candy in our own neighborhood. This is when I think our opinion of Halloween changed. As we were passing out candy, with our 1 1/2 year old sitting next to us, scary costume after scary costume came to our porch. I was getting freaked out, and I was getting nervous to think what my little girl was thinking. We had always waffled between should we do it or shouldn’t we, and I think it was that night, last year that we made up our minds that we would not be participating.
So, you ask, what happens when our kids are in school and everyone else is dressed up, etc? Well, we’ve certainly thought about that and have concluded that we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I know that might sound wishy-washy, maybe it is, but we don’t feel we can make that decision just yet. We’ll revisit this again in a few years when it becomes an issue. In the meantime, we as a family, will celebrate this time of year as it is–a season of harvest. A time of apple-picking, pumpkins, pumpkin festivals and the anticipation of Thanksgiving! And, I don’t feel at all bad about not dressing my kids up and taking them out in the streets to get candy.