Saturday, October 24, 2015

A few words in defense of Halloween

There are a lot of pumpkins in my house
Since my kids have grown up surrounded by my love for the spooky, they're always baffled when someone disapproves of Halloween. Throughout the years, they've all had friends whose parents don't allow them to observe Halloween. I've always felt so sad when this happens:

Me or my kid: "What are you gonna be for Halloween?" 
My kid's friend: "I'm not allowed to dress up." OR "My family doesn't do Halloween" 
Me: "Boo." (With all due respect). 

The various reasons given for this boycott over the years have also always been baffling to me: 

1. Halloween encourages involvement in occult activities, witchcraft. 
2. It's the devil's holiday. 
3. It's pagan worship. 
4. It exposes children to evil and hell and other dark things. 
5. The bible says to avoid dark, voodoo magic. 

It's been a while since I or one of my kids had one of these kinds of experiences, I think because my youngest is 13. This happened more frequently when they were younger. But it happened again recently, so I googled it to get more info. I'd never really researched it before, and oh, my!  Some people are very serious about these things. They really do believe that if they allow themselves or their kids to participate in Halloween, they will be in danger of going over the dark side. It's perceived as a real threat. 

So, a few words in defense:  For my family, Halloween is about candy and costumes, and decorating and parties. It's about laughter and friendship. It's about tradition and sharing. It's about imagination and creativity. It's about hours spent thinking about what to dress up as and then putting the costume together, together. It's about the warmth of lights and candles. It's about posing for pictures and framing them. It's about silliness and smiles, and make-believe and adventure. It's about recreation and relaxation, and community and camaraderie. And all this is why we've stretched the celebration and observance of what used to be one night, October 31st, into a whole month-long treat! 

I want to be clear that I'm not making fun, trying to change anyone's mind or judging in this post. I respect other's points of view. I especially know how hard it is to raise kids, and I'd prefer parents to err on the side of caution any day.

But I want to assure all Halloween phobic parents out there that none of your fears actually come true. My kids have tried. They've tried to conjure up spirits and cast spells and commune with witches and enter the dark side. They've tried every form of magic, voodoo, and ouji board machinations they can think of. They are really smart kids, ingenious really, so I think that if it were possible to go over to the dark side, they would have achieved it. But, alas, for them, on November 1, they are still the same old goofy kids they were before. Except a little happier, and maybe, just a little magical. 

There is nothing dark or evil going on here
Read more about the Barkhurst Halloween here:  

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