Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bit of a conundrum

Warning: This post has no pictures or videos. Shocking I know!

Something has been on my mind today, so I thought I would take it to the blog! I had an interesting discussion today with my sister in law, Amy. It had me thinking all day today and then tonight the topic came up again with someone else!

My friend Christy and I were working on some ESL lesson plans for our community class. In an attempt to stay culturally relative, we were overwhelmed with the question of how we are supposed to explain Halloween to our students from a Christian perspective? Quite honestly, I don't know where to start...and even worse, I kind of feel like I need to know how I feel about it!

I don't have memories of trick-or-treating. I know that my brother and I dressed up for church "Fall Festivals." I've always disliked the dark side of Halloween (witches, ghosts and etc).

I am also a big advocate for creativity and I don't think there is anything wrong with dress up and pretend (as long as it's not evil). I know that most Christians have a very strong position on Halloween. It's a controversial topic and I don't want to start a comment war. It's just that I like for things to be one way or the other, and for me Halloween is hovering in the gray area. I should know by now, that most of life is lived in the in between.

How do you feel about Halloween? If you are a parent, what are you telling your kids?

Just wondering...that's all.


Hillenblog said...

Thanks for the freedom of not being moderated...the spam is almost non-existent. While we arn at it..thanks for mot making me use that crazy word verification...

I always taught our kids...that if they did not share half of their candy with their dad...the evil witches and ghosts would come into their room at night...and haunt them until they move out and go to college.

Oh...Scratch that...I just saw the crazy letters...

Well...un still living on the edge...

Preston and Courtney said...

I just look at it like a time to have a big costume party. I love to dress up and in the "real world" we only get to do it on Halloween. We do it to have a different day of fun and everyone goes back to being a child and not worrying about what everyone thinks.

I think I will teach my child, just have fun and enjoy the day. Don't read in between the lines and make it something it is not.
Good topic though :)

SammyB said...

I agree completely with Preston & Courtney.

We have 3 kids, and we can't imagine not doing Halloween. My wife and I both grew up dressing up, going around to houses in the neighborhood with friends, and getting all the candy you can grab. How is this not fun?

That is about the extent of it. There is NO deep rooted history to what WE are celebrating. Seinfeld said it best, "Get Candy. Get Candy. Get Candy!"

Do we tell our kids that we are celebrating Satan and tell them to be as evil as they can on this crazy sin-filled night? Absolutely not.

Many Christians take this one too far, then they still "celebrate" Halloween, but then pretend they're not by calling them "Fall Festivals". This isn't a direct attack on you Andrea, you most definitely are not the only one that renames Halloween this.

Emily said...

When I was growing up, neither my brother nor I could participate in Halloween related activities of any kind. My mother dressed up and celebrated Halloween when she was young, but once she had kids she decided she didn't want her children influenced by the potential dark side of Halloween. I remember she got books from the library explaining the history of Halloween and used those facts as reasons why we weren't going to celebrate it.
I can't find the book I wanted to find on the internet (and I can't get in touch with my mom right now!), but one I know she has in the library now is . That's not the main book I remember, but you get the idea.

Halloween was never a big deal to me when I was a child and I don't feel like I missed out on anything. I did plenty of activities and ate plenty of candy when I was little as it is! I guess when I have children I will make a decision about Halloween with my spouse.

Adam & Amy Ruth said...

I wish I didn't have an opinion on this one but I'm afraid I do. I guess it all started with me...I was afraid of everything scary as a child and so this day never seemed to work for me regardless and I think my folks were just ok with that and never pushed anything. But as I got older and really learned more about it, my feelings always stuck. My dad was a police officer in my childhood and I all too well remember the horrible things that happened all the time but especially on this night. (if you really want to know... call me...not blog appropriate)Something in my spirit never settled on doing it halfway on this one. I strongly feel that this night was originally
made into something and to worship something that my spirit just does not bare witness with. Don't get me wrong...the costumes and candy really have nothing to do with it...that is just what we do to have fun and justify a reason to be goofy...I just wish that acknowledging "that day" was not part of it. So for me...acknowledging it is being ok with it and I'm not. Happy Trick or Treat!!! (and...I'm not even a "Fall Festival" kinda girl)

crispy said...

I read a good book some years back called "Redeeming Halloween". It gave some great ideas of how to allow your kids to participate in different ways. Pretty good read ~ I think it comes from Focus on the Family.