Saturday, October 31, 2015
Why I Hate Halloween
I know it's not popular to admit, but I hate Halloween.
By the time you read this, another Halloween will have come and gone and my loathing of the holiday will have escalated. I am assuming, since you are still reading that you are interested in why. So I'm gonna tell you.
I hate Halloween because I cannot decide how I feel about it. I am wishy-washy over it. Is the holiday just a fun, innocent event that allows for dressing up? Or is it fraught with evil and I should not have my kids anywhere near it?
Some years I have stuffed down my questions of whether or not we were celebrating evil and I have let my kids trick or treat. I have tried to make sure that the parties we attended were "safe." I wanted to believe that in this day and Age of Grace, that we have liberty to do things like trick or treat. And since my family wasn't coming from a place where we viewed the holiday the same way the world does . . . well, then it must be okay.
And then there have been years where I have read convincing articles for all the reasons why Christians shouldn't celebrate Halloween. The origins of Halloween are quite off-putting. Certainly evil. Not something I want to associate with, nor have my family exposed to -- especially when they were younger.
Some of the costumes that people don are enough to give even the most seasoned celebrant nightmares. One year we went to a party held by an extended family member (my kids were seven, four and three years old). Several of the party go-ers wore costumes that were so gruesome that I had to whisk my children into another part of the house when the offending costumes entered the room. I didn't want to be rude and leave the party (read as: sticky familial relations), but neither the kids, nor I were having any fun trying to avoid the fake blood, axes to the head and eyeballs that looked like they had popped out of the owner's head. I kept asking myself if this was really worth the loot bag the kids would receive at the end of night. For me, at least that year, it was not.
The other reason I hate Halloween is that all of a sudden my kids get really greedy. It is something we deal with on a milder note every holiday. But October rolls around and all my kids talk about is how much candy they are expecting and what elaborate costume they expect me to buy them. It's not as if they are starved for sweets the rest of the year and Oct 31st is the only time sugar enters their body.
During the years they were able to trick or treat, I would spend a long time checking candy. Ugh. Also, my kids would freak out at the suggestion of sharing. There have been times I gathered the candy and 2/3 of it ended up in the trash because there was so much of it that I felt it was unconscionable to actually let them eat all of it. In years past, I have curtailed how many houses they could tromp to, in an effort to not bring home so much candy. You can imagine how well that turned out . . .
And then there's the fact that Halloween is so commercialized that it completely overshadows Thanksgiving in our culture. (Thanksgiving is viewed as a ho-hum, albeit gluttonous, bridge from one greedy candy-filled holiday to another greedy present-filled holiday. But that is a post for another time.)
We have done the alternative activities like church Harvest parties and the Trunk or Treat events. It all is just another version of the same thing -- mildly sanitized -- but just the same (The issues of evil aren't so prevalent, but the other issues remain). If I let my kids celebrate Halloween, I feel like there are all kinds of rules I have to set up in order for my kids to be safe. It makes me question what kind of parent I am. And I do that enough all the rest of the year. There are arguments about costumes. There are arguments about candy. There are complaints about how cold or rainy it is. Complaints about having to wear coats/tights/scarves and hats that may cover up their costume (or are a part of their costumes and they won't be seen at all . . .) Complaints that he/she got more M&Ms, Twix or whatever. Complaints that their candy has to be checked before they eat it.
I guess what I am trying to say is that Halloween makes me tired.
And afraid that my kids think that on this one day of the year they can get pretty close to evil and not suffer repercussions, when that is not the case at all . . .
Have I mentioned that I hate Halloween? I have? Well, I guess I can end this post then.
And that's something we can all count as joy,