Monday, October 3, 2011

On Halloween

I've been around the block a few times concerning fall and Halloween. I was raised in a family that had fun visiting haunted houses and dressing up for trick-or-treating. That was until my teen years, when we were involved in a church that stressed Halloween was a "no-no" because it involved celebrating evil. When I had kids, and they got to be about 4 (my first child, anyway), their eyes lit up watching the fun of other youngsters in the neighborhood having fun in costumes and they wanted to dress up, too! We refrained. When the Halloween stuff came out in stores, I would comment on how ugly it was and that this wasn't a nice holiday... I focused on fall leaves, pumpkins and even carved some fun faces in those over time...

When my youngest were in 2nd and 3rd grade and in public school, there were class Halloween parties and a carnival. They had costumes for the first time and we had fun playing at the carnival and walking through a haunted house. The next few years we participated in our church's Halloween party night. Children of all ages could dress up and parents were asked to avoid scary costumes. The very large patio had booths of all sorts with FUN carnival type activities and games. Teens often signed up to run the booths and to help set up and clean up. There were also a few bouncy houses.

Another reason that I participate in small ways in this holiday relates to my stepsons. They grew up with their own costumes as well as mom and dad dressing up in costumes and either trick-or-treating, handing out candy at home or heading to the church celebration. It was a lot more important in the first couple of years following the death of their mother to keep their traditions in place. I would not take that away from them.

While I respect each individual's choice in how to approach Halloween, I find it a time where we can enjoy the costuming, play with pumpkins and the children find themselves with an area of common ground with their peers. I have seen children in conservative families shun others who participate in Halloween. What is that teaching them and their peers? As we grow up in our communities we need to have relationships with those who have different beliefs so that we can establish common ground and display non-judgement in order to get close enough to others that we can share our personal beliefs and faith.

I am not a die-hard celebrator of Halloween. I know there is a lot of teaching on the subject. I may change my views, even. For now I am somewhat in the middle. My grandchildren have parents who want to play dress up and decorate and have fun with this holiday and I wont shun them... I have co-workers who will have fun on Halloween and I will listen to their stories and even tell my own favorite scary joke that my brothers used to tell me... gosh, it was sure scary when I was 6!

So, please respect that I may have a different view than you do. I will respect others' views as well. If Halloween in any way, shape or form disturbs you, please ignore photos that involve this season. Please forgive me if I have offended you. My Christian testimony remains. Jesus is my Savior. My life belongs to God. I long to be used by God and so close to Him that no sin is worth the distance it could create between my God and I.

Here are a few of my recent photos...

stuffs again 165

My daughter, Shasta and her Jayden:
bbies! 027A

bbface 089SSU

This past weekend my teens came to visit and Julie, Shasta, Victor, Cody and I painted pumpkins for fun:

My purple pumpkin:


One of Julie's:


A collection of them:

punkins 025

Shasta's trio:

punkins 046

And another recent favorite photo:

bbface 077SSU



Anonymous said...

In full agreement Betty. Well written and great way to approach it. Parents need to teach their children the real meaning, but "educate" them, as you have done. :-) Hugs. Nanc

An Island Mom said...

I just have to say that your pumpkins are adorable. I love the purple one especially. What's the sparky stuff on it?

Betty Marie said...

For the purple one... I used a cheap hobby poster paint one section at a time and while it was wet, sprinkled purple glitter on it!