I have mixed feelings about Halloween. I mean, I want to like it. I really do. There’s candy and dressing up, and that all seems innocent enough. But somehow, I can’t get past the feeling that we’re celebrating death. It probably has something to do with the zombie hands rising out of the simulated cemetery in my neighbor’s yard that leaves me feeling a little unsettled with the holiday.
It seems I go through this internal tug-of-war every October. Should I let my kids celebrate Halloween or not? I know the reasons to abstain. I heard them every year as a kid while my parents were turning out the lights in the house and pulling out of our driveway. It was code for trick-or-treaters are not welcome here.
I know my parents were just trying to stick to their convictions, and I was blessed to have parents with principles. But honestly, as a child, I always dreaded this holiday because I felt like I was missing out.
Anytime someone would ask me, “What are you going to be for Halloween?” I would sheepishly have to tell them that we don’t celebrate Halloween at our house. Of course, the next question that followed was always, “Why not!?”
I hated this question because honestly, I didn’t really understand it myself. It was my parents’ beliefs, but it always felt like I was the one that was really sacrificing for it. I mean, even our church had a fall festival that we weren’t allowed to attend. Why was dressing up in princess costumes and playing games all right for my church friends, but just a little too close to Devil worship for me?
So when I had kids of my own, I decided to let them have their jack o’lanterns and costumes. I figured they already feel different enough from other kids with homeschooling and not being allowed to watch half the shows regular kids watch. Why not give them Halloween?
But then there’s my dang neighbor and his zombie hands that make me question my decision.
Are we celebrating death? Is it Satan worship to trick-or-treat? Or can we celebrate the fun side of Halloween while leaving the eerie part hidden in the shadows?
I really don’t know, and I’m curious to know your thoughts as I navigate my way through yet another parenting dilemma.