Friday, October 30, 2009

Just So We're Consistent

Pin It Halloween.

And the dilemma starts for every Christian who does not have this issue nailed down. Christians like me.

On the one hand, no, I don't want my children participating in pagan ceremonies and rituals. I get what Halloween is about. I don't want my children seeing people walking around as vampires or witches, or with Scream masks. I certainly don't want them participating in any pranks/vandalism that goes on Halloween night. To be honest, I don't want to supply candy to every child in my neighborhood, and I don't want to spend a ton of money and effort on costumes. I know that the Bible says that Christians should flee from darkness, and to have nothing to do with most of the Halloween activities. I really do get all of this.

Then on the other hand, as far as the kids are concerned, it's harmless fun. We have never gone trick or treating (although to be honest that's more to do with not knowing a whole lot of people in my neighborhood more than being opposed to it). We usually go to the Fall Festival at our church, or when I'm at my parents' house, we go to the Fall Festival there. It's safe and fun. The kids usually do have costumes; dress up is a fun game around here, and we usually have an assortment to draw from if they want a costume.

Some years I feel "against" Halloween and want to stay home and have a movie night and just not participate at all. Other years, it really doesn't bother me at all, and I want the kids to go have fun. I've said before that it's okay to do the fall festival if it falls on a night other than the 31st, but that particular date is off limits.

Clearly, I haven't made a stand on the issue. (Oh, and if you're tempted to try to persuade me one way or another, trust me when I say I already know all of the arguments.)

This year, we have costumes for the girls from the Renaissance Festival, and Brendan is (of course) wearing his Buzz Lightyear costume. (Again.) We're going to the Fall Festival at church, as we usually do.

I'd love to reach a settlement in my mind on this issue. It's tough when some times it's an issue I care about, and sometimes, it's so far down on the list that it really just. doesn't. matter.

Just so I'm consistently inconsistent. My kids are going to learn a lot from that.


Becky said...

Dan and I wrestled with this one this year. What to do when you aren't a member of a church anymore? When you have to come up with your own thought-out plans/ explanations to your kids? We used it as an opportunity to introduce critical thinking to the kids; to learn to separate truth from tradition. To examine our own (and their own) motivations for doing or not doing something. Bottom line: we love playing dress-up here, too. It's a lot of fun to get silly together. We even think it's okay to get silly together on *the same day* when other people choose to dress up and get scary/gory/inappropriate (do you know how many days we'd sit indoors staring at walls if we chose not to live life because somebody else was living it in an inappropriate manner on that day??). They are responsible for their motivations, but it has nothing to do with ours. We had a '20's mobster (Ben), a pirate (Reese), a Batman (Michael), a princess (Nicole), a fairy godmother (me), and the hockey great from the Detroit Redwings - Steve Yzerman - showed up, too. We had a ball. And got to talk about selfishness, greed, making demands, retaliation...and how those things are not things we celebrate on *any* day. But gifts are graciously accepted, silliness and laughter are wonderful things, helping each other (carrying things/getting dressed) is awesome, creativity is something to be encouraged (all costumes came from our own closets or re-purposed stuff from Salvation Army) get the picture. It was a really hard thing for us given the whole dilemma that you eloquently outlined. But I think we came to the right decision for our family. Whether anyone else gets that or not.

Kristen said...

I don't have kids but I am torn on the issue too. I don't like where the roots are but then the kids just see it as fun. It is such a dilemma that I think everyone has to think about themselves.