Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Poll

Where do you stand on Halloween?
Anti-Halloween....3 (33%)
Don't really care...1(11%)
Enjoy it...4(44%)
Love it...1(11%)

When I was growing up, I had the distinct impression that my mother was anti-Halloween. I vaguely remember her explaining why we didn't trick-or-treat or recognize the holiday. One year stands out to me, though. I remember that Mom bought us masks to wear for Halloween. (I think they were of presidents or something). We got to go over to Grandpa Yoders and I got to help Grandma Polly pass out candy. I was so excited. Woo Hoo!!

So, when I went to Hesston College, my lovely friend, Joel Short, indulged me. We got all dressed up as a little old couple (complete with baby powder in our hair to make it look grey). I went trick-or-treating for the first time in my life. It sounds lame now. I mean, really, I was in college. But it was one of those things I had always wanted to do, but never had the chance.

In my memory, after I was too old to trick-or-treat anymore, my mom let Tim and Lynette go. This is one of those things that I wanted to check out with my Mom and find out whether I am remembering that correctly. Since I'm the oldest, I always thought of this as one of those times I was the Guinea pig.

This poll came about after a discussion at church. We were discussing how some parents don't allow their children to trick-or-treat and think of Halloween as an evil holiday. Then there are others who go all out and decorate more for Halloween than any other holiday. Those of us there were somewhere in the middle; we don't go all out and are not anti-Halloween. We plan to take our children trick-or-treating. I guess that since I've had Tyler, Halloween has become a special fall tradition when he gets to dress up and have a fun evening. Up to this point, I've either put outfits together for Tyler or borrowed a costume. Partly because of trying to save money, and partly because until this year, he hasn't been old enough to really care about his costume. I don't think I'll ever be able to allow Tyler to dress as something scary or death-related, like the grim reaper. Last year, Tyler had such a great time and didn't want it to end. I hope he feels the same way this year.


amy said...

I've been thinking about this issue lately now that I'm a parent, even though Alex has no idea what Halloween is yet. Growing up, my parents never made a big deal about the holiday either way. We went trick-or-treating occasionally, but not every year. I'm planning to do the same with Alex - hopefully she'll have some fun with Halloween, but I also don't think she'll be dressing as anything witchy or death-related.

What about Santa Claus?

Carolyn said...

You are right Melody, there was a lot of emphasis on Fall Celebration parties at Maple City Chapel and a lot of teaching on Halloween being the "devil's holiday." I don't really know how the holiday originated. As kids we dressed up for the country neighbors with old nylons over our heads or paper bags made into faces. We also had scary barn Halloween parties. When I had my own kids, I never really knew how to feel about it all. I don't think it was a Christian holiday, but maybe someone could do the research.

Kris said...

This is interesting. I believe it originated as All Saints Day... a day really to recognize the saints of our past rather than a way to celebrate scary things. But perhaps saint gave way to ghost and one thing led to another and here we have Halloween as it is celebrated today.

We celebrate Halloween as a family. We don't go hog wild and I certainly don't spend time or money on decorations. I prefer harvest/fall decorations, but we do carve jack-o-lanterns with the kids. The kids love to dress up and we'll trick-or-treat tonight.

Our church has a Fall Fun Fest every year on the Wednesday of Halloween week. It's open to anyone in the church community and neighborhood. There's a free simple meal with carnival-type games and prizes (little candy, more cheapy plastic stuff and stickers.) The rule is no scary costumes... they must be family friendly. And we plan to continue encouraging that as long as our children are in our home.