It’s that time of year again – October – when you see the beauty of autumn colours and Halloween decorations abound. Halloween – grrrrr! This is one of those yearly festivities I am not happy to see.
As a wife, I’ve had lengthy disagreements over the years with my husband on whether or not we let our kids attend Halloween parties, to whether or not we allow our kids to go “Trick or Treating” with their besties (Hubby is ok with it, while I am not!), to explaining to them why as Christians we do not participate in Halloween (except the one time we took them to an “All Saints Day” alternative to Halloween), to the guilt of letting my kids go one year (I remember praying for forgiveness on blended knees!).
As a teacher, I’ve had to deal with this on a professional level in a school which raises funds by hosting a yearly Halloween costume dinner for all students and their families in a gym decked with witches, goblins, devils, ghosts and all the macabre. Incorporated into lesson plans for The Fall season and harvest time are “bricolage” activities of Jack-O-Lanterns and skeletons, along with grim ghostly other worldly storytelling – NOT my favourite time of the year (where’s my inner child?). Halloween is an official part of my job (and source of stress!). Most years I hide away from the maddening crowd and help out in the kitchen (donning on an apron instead of a costume).
Am I being silly? Am I being overly sensitive?
Yes, I know Halloween has Christian and pagan roots – and quite frankly I’m tired of people using this as an excuse to justify participating in Halloween. In my heart I know that what we see today as Halloween is total commercialization. That’s one side of the spectrum. On the other extreme, it’s also an excuse for all those who are participants of all things ungodly to rear their evil heads.
There is really no denying this. It can also be controversial for Christians as they bicker for and against it. It comes down to personal choice. For myself, Halloween is a great source of stress and anxiety – and personally – I think about this verse:
Ephesians 5:18-20: Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No matter how it’s whitewashed in our society – I can’t accept Halloween as an innocent costume and candied festivities for children, when in reality there are real witches out there casting hex and spells on politicians and others. I can’t celebrate Halloween no matter how innocent it may seem when there exists real evil and darkness in this world:
1 Corinthians 10:20-21: No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.