Thursday, October 29, 2009

to trick or treat or not to trick or treat… that is the question…

so i appear to be having a halloween dilemma.

i’ve always ‘celebrated’ halloween. you know, we carve a pumpkin, dress up in costumes, go ring doorbells and get candy.

i did it when i was a kid. my kids have done it.

but that’s not to say i feel entirely comfortable with it. i haven’t looked into it a lot, but i am aware of the sketchy, pagan history of the holiday, and it does kind of disturb me that that’s what we continue to celebrate. and i do remember at some point, my mom expressing concern over the holiday and kind of wanting to ‘quit’.

that said, what most people ‘celebrate’ as halloween is a far cry from where it came from. i don’t think that putting a kid in a bunny costume and ringing the neighbor’s doorbell is all that evil. dressing up is fun. candy is fun.

but the bible warns about associating with witchcraft and mediums and various evil stuff like that. ***edited to add*** and as a christian, i believe that following the bible’s guidelines is important. does this not qualify as one of those situations?

and then there’s the issue with the massive OVER-commercialization that drives me nuts. think of all the people making outrageous sums of money over all this. you have to have a new costume EVERY year. and have you seen what costumes cost? good grief. and then there’s the copious amounts of candy you have to buy, and the decorations, and a trip to the pumpkin patch (unless your pumpkin patch is just out back), and the lights, the window clings, the bats that fly around in a circle, the fake spiderweb stuff, styrofoam tombstones, and the spooky background music. apparently you should send your friends and relatives halloween cards as well.

i know that’s kind of silly. every holiday is commercialized. and yes, it bugs me, every holiday. it’s not really a reason to stop celebrating them.

side note. have you noticed the route that women’s costumes have taken lately? it’s impossible to find a non-slutty women’s costume! this drives me nuts. even the costumes that are practically identical to the ones for little girls are SO not identical. you could be the slutty pirate, the slutty firefighter, the slutty princess, the slutty dorothy, the slutty little red riding hood, the slutty police officer. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT????

this all has kind of come to a head recently when, after accumulating several pieces for shane’s costume, he’s announced that he doesn’t want to go trick or treating. HUH??? apparently he thinks he’s too old. not sure where he got that idea, but i’m kind of seeing it as an opportunity to make a change, if we’re going to. that coupled with the fact that layla has a bad cold might make halloween this year a non-issue, although she has been looking forward to it.

obviously, this is a totally personal issue, and a decision that every family has to make for themselves – if they even see that there is a decision to be made. i don’t have any problem, whatsoever, with other people celebrating halloween, well, if they’re doing all the invoking of evil spirits and all that, i DO have a problem, but not ‘normal, safe, modern-american halloween. i’m just contemplating whether or not it should be something our family does. hmmm… must do more research, methinks.

just trying to do the right thing here.


  1. You can do what our church does...we have a trunk or treat in the church parking lot, or if its bad weather, the kids go into the gym and play games etc.

    We have fun fall activities, pumpkins, modest costumes, cake walks, "carnival" games.

    For the trunk or treat, people hand out candy from the trunk of their car--some people decorate it, some just hand treats out. This way, you know the treats are safe because they come from church friends you can trust. But you could do this with a mom's group, home schooling group, or even your knitting group.

    Rachel, only YOU knows whats best for your family. I have NO DOUBT that you are teaching them sound Christian principles and they most certainly see it in your example. You can "celebrate" these pagen types of holidays but make them more "home made".

    Great post!

  2. I saw the best costume today. Louise D and her husband were Popeye and Olive oil and Maddie was Sweepie. I also saw a guy dressed as Waldo from Where's Waldo. (we did the M$ trick-or-treating)

  3. All a personal choice, and I've been there myself. But, I do want to touch on the history of Halloween. The origins are both Catholic or pagan depending on what part of the world you're from. As far as the pagan holiday it started as a celebration of the end of summer. All these things have changed and morphed through the years, each culture taking and adding what suited. So I don't see why the idea of Halloween, or any other holiday for that matter can't be made to suit one's own beliefs, likes, dislikes, and what not. Make of it what you want for you and your family.



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