Recently, I was doing research on Halloween. I recalled hearing about such things as Mischief Night etcetera either from films I’d watched or books I’d read. I thought it might be interesting to incorporate some of these old traditions into one of my books. Unfortunately, Mischief Night was no longer in practice during the time period I was working on at the time but with a new story idea, I realized I might have a place for some of these more ancient traditions.
As I began my research again, it started me thinking about why I acknowledge Halloween. I’ve met many people with many opinions on Halloween. I’ve met people who celebrate it with all its drama and creepiness. I’ve met people who darken their windows and lock their doors, hiding away from the holiday altogether. Then I’ve met people who sort of shrug and say ‘eh, I can take it or leave it’. But now I’m going to talk about why I choose to acknowledge Halloween.
When I was little, we celebrated Halloween all the time. I’d dress up as my favorite disney princess and we’d go trick or treating around our old neighborhood on Long Island. We knew all of our neighbors and they loved to see what my sister and I dressed up as every year. I remembered it as being fun; a time when I would be given candy for merely say “Trick or Treat!”. It was a game. Fun. Innocent.
As I grew up, things started to change. As my family’s religious views changed, so did our views on things like Halloween. We stopped dressing up, stopped trick or treating, or even thinking about going to Halloween parties. Though, I’d say the ‘masquerade’ parties we’d go to were pretty much Halloween parties. We just couldn’t call them that.
Now, let me make something perfectly clear. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and belief. I am, in no way, trying to belittle what someone may or may not believe. That is not my goal here. I am merely expressing my own opinion and experience in this area.
There was one thing that my family never did. One thing my mother never allowed. We would never turn away kids who came to our door giggling and shouting ‘Trick or Treat!’. We always had candy ready for the little ones who showed up at our door dressed as bumble bees or princesses or super heroes. We even had candy for the older kids who showed up as zombies or vampires. Just because we weren’t dressing up, didn’t mean that we would punish kids for what we believed.
As the years past, I think my whole family began to realize that there really wasn’t anything wrong with dressing up, having a little fun, and calling the day Halloween. One thing that I personally began to realize was that we were punishing ourselves for the mistakes in the past. Isn’t looking toward the future about changing what happened in the past? Halloween is only about devil worship if you make it that way. For me? It’s just a cute little holiday when I get to give out free candy to kids dressed in cute little outfits. And, if I choose to dress up, then there’s nothing wrong with that either.
In fact, I went to work this year dressed as a 1920s vampire. No joke. You can check my Facebook profile for pictures. I really went for it too! Red eyes, fangs, and dark red lip stain. And you know what? I had SO much fun! There was nothing ‘demonic’ about my outfit. If anything, it was a mockery. Because guess what? It was all make believe!! There is nothing wrong with dressing up as make believe things and having a little fun.
But my opinion on dressing up aside, there’s one more thing I wanted to talk about. I could never understand why people chose to turn away trick or treaters. It kind of hurts my heart to think about it. I’ve never actually asked anyone why they do that, and honestly, I don’t want to because the answers will probably be a little bit weak in my opinion. I can’t even imagine locking my door and turning out all my lights to make the little kids walking by in pretty pink princess outfits, or dressed as Iron Man or Captain America think I’m not home. I never understood the harm in giving these children a Kit Kat or M&Ms.
The point of this little rant? I’ve come a LONG way from the person I once was. The person who just did something because someone else told me it was right and God would be happy with me for it. What I have realized? God isn’t proud of me for shutting out kids who are just trying to have some fun and–most likely–get a stomach ache from eating too much candy. 😉 Be loving. Be a light. It’s kindness that wins hearts over to God. Spoiling a child’s innocent fun isn’t showing God’s love. Show His love by going to your door tonight with a big smile and a bowl full of candy. Trust me, there’s so much joy in seeing the sparkle in their eyes. 🙂