I have a confession…
I actually have lots of confessions I could make, but this one is about a pretty big mistake I made with Halloween.
I used to love Halloween! (wait, that’s not the confession, read on…)
When I was a little girl , Halloween evoked lots and lots of creative and spooky fun for me. So many imaginative thoughts. I loved creating my costumes. I loved the feeling of the crisp fall night walking around our tiny town trick-or treating with my friends. Gathering goodies in a big brown paper grocery bag, hoping I could get it home before it ripped and spilled my tasty little treasures… and boy-oh-boy, did I ever love those treats!!
I grew up in the 1960’s and life seemed so different then. Part of that I’m sure was because I was just a kid and didn’t have a clue of all the things there were to really mess up that easy going feeling I had most days. Surely the lack of instant and frequently regurgitated news stories led to a much more peaceful atmosphere. But I swear, people and life really were different then. The culture and society just felt so unlike it does now. It seemed that folks just knew their right from wrong… at least to a little kid it felt that way.
Trick-or-treating and Halloween were just good ole fun. I never thought about it as anything but amusing and yummy. It was all just pretend silliness. Some of my favorite costumes were dressing up as a scarecrow, or hobo, and one year I was a witch with a black wig…
Then I grew up and had kids of my own… (well barely grew up, I had kids very young, that’s a ‘confession’ for a different time!) Things changed… my outlook on Halloween took a drastic turn one Halloween when I was home with my babies. I heard a speaker on the radio talking about his history involved in witchcraft and Satanic worship. His testimony really changed my nonchalant attitude about Halloween, pretty much instantly. He was now converted to Christianity, but gave an all too realistic view of just how wicked the holiday can be to someone pursuing the occult.
After that, for many years of my kid’s youth, we decided to completely skip the holiday altogether. No costumes, no decorating and no trick-or-treating. After hearing that guy talking about such dark things convinced me to run the opposite way.
However, now in my older years, with grandchildren, I’ve started to mellow and re-adjust much of my often too zealous approach to life those younger days seemed to demand.
I do have wonderfully fond memories of my childhood Halloweens. As a child, (and an adult) I have loved God, and never wanted it any other way. Celebrating Halloween, or not, didn’t change that, so maybe there was some middle ground?
Here’s where I’m at on the holiday these days…
I remember reading a while back that many of our holidays started off as pagan holidays, and the church turned those holidays into celebrations of Christian events. Such as Christmas, (now celebrated as the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ) and Easter, (now the time we remember the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ). I don’t know for a fact if that clever holiday ‘switch-a-roo’ is true, but seems plausible.
So putting that fact, (or possible fact) together with the truth that there are silly things that can make us feel frightened, like a big ole scaredy-cat, a spooky owl calling ‘who whoo’ from a tree branch in the dark… the shadows moving with the night breeze… a flickering single candlelight in a carved jack-o-lantern… (or worse of all to one of my daughter-in-laws… a SPIDER in the house!!) all simple explanations, but slightly spooky, right?
And then there’s the treats! Need I say more on that one?!!
So put it all together…
Is there a way to have Halloween and honor my faith and love for God?
I think there is… Maybe Halloween isn’t for everyone, (especially for that guy that used to be involved in the occult!). So by all means, if it is some sort of a stumbling block for you, absolutely stay away from it, no biggie… but for many, Halloween can be just a fun holiday that we play with things that feel a little spooky, but are in no way construed as being supportive in not loving God.
Fortunately, there is a lot of ground between those two things, and I have no problem decorating with a few black cats…
(or dressing up as one, with my granddaughter!)
having a spooky owl here or there,
and a couple of jack-o-lanterns adorning my house…
while I hand out candy to trick-or-treaters and watch a couple of our favorite classics, ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ and ‘The Ghost and Mr. Chicken’!
Let’s face it, pretty much just about anything, even good things, can in their own way distract from a relationship with God if allowed, right? Even a pious attitude about NOT celebrating Halloween… a sinful heart will creep up any way it can if we’re not careful!
So what about you? Do you regret some zealous decisions you made in your youth? How do you celebrate Halloween?
Here are more Halloween and fall decoration ideas:
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Coming up next week… Check back on Monday, October 21st to see the before and after guest bathroom floor tile! UPDATE The floor is finished!! Here is the link for it.