Saturday, November 1, 2014

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

After reading too many blog posts about why Christians shouldn't celebrate Halloween, I decided to let my almost 2 year old son try on his Scooby Doo costume.

Check out the havoc R wreaked on my blinds!

We are all dressing up as members of the Mystery Incorporated gang this year. I'm Daphne and my husband Dillon is Fred. I'll link up a post with pictures of our costumes after the 31st!

To be honest with y'all - we do Halloween in a pretty wholesome manner! I grew up trick or treating for a few years in my neighborhood where my parents had lived for years and felt pretty comfortable with the people I would be encountering. We also spent a number of years celebrating at our church's trunk or treat (Where members park their cars around the church and decorate their trunks. Kids go trunk to trunk getting candy in a safe atmosphere.). It's no surprise that I wasn't allowed to dress as anything creepy, evil, undead, seductive, or otherwise inappropriate.

If you want to know something great - my parents met at a Halloween costume party in 1986. (with permission, I give you... the cowboy and the clown!)

I had a great time on Halloween in this well-cultivated environment, so naturally I want to replicate that for my son.

When I became a Christian, I really started to examine my life and hold it up to what Jesus would want for me. Movies or TV shows that help me to entertain scary thoughts were obviously out! As someone who lives with sometimes-crippling anxiety, I knew I had to eliminate any temptation to doubt, fear, or cringe that I possibly could. Just remember any time you've watched a horror movie or criminal case show where someone broke in, took a life, etc and then you lay awake at night wishing you could unsee those scenes or wishing you could turn your over-imaginative brain off! To me, this type of entertainment isn't something that I can figuratively 'eat the meat and spit out the bones.' I might do this when watching a movie which has an overall great theme but uses a few curse words. While I can listen to the curse words and then safely go on with my life, untempted to start swearing wildly, I have a lot more trouble using self-control to reign in scary thoughts when I'm home alone or in bed at night.

I have a son who is the most important person on planet earth to me, so I definitely can't watch any show or movie that depicts something bad happening to a precious child, lest I end up in a weeping heap by his bedside praying protection over him.

With this said, you might think my natural inclination would be to eliminate the celebration of Halloween all together. I mean, we already nixed Santa, so foregoing Halloween wouldn't be such a far cry. However, we've decided to keep Halloween around under controlled circumstances.

  • You will never see me or my (future) daughters dressed as anything sexy! It's embarrassing how many ladies will basically leave the house in their underwear when it's 40 degrees outside (here in Arkansas). 
  • We avoid any monster/evil costumes such as the devil (obviously), zombies, horror film bad guys, and the like. 
  • I stay out of haunted houses. Anxiety + People jumping out at me = Nope. Not gonna happen! It's basically inviting me to say every cuss word I know as well as drill ugly thoughts in my head for days to come.
  • We don't decorate much for Halloween (aside from jack-o-lanterns) but we especially avoid gross or crude decor - think: dismembered parts, bloody gore. If it would typically make someone think you are a serial killer, it's not suddenly ok on October 31. 
With all of this being said, yes we do still like to dress up. And you might, Bethany...isn't Scooby Doo a show with a lot of creepy monsters in it? Yes. This is a strange world we live in. There are bad guys and evildoers out there. What I hope my family gets from Scooby Doo is that bad guys will go to great lengths to do evil and that the Mystery Inc gang volunteers to put bad guys away wherever they go. >>Draw Spiritual parallels here. <<

Am I attempting to redeem Halloween? Not really. I'm not handing out gospel tracts from my front door or hosting parties in which guests dress up as their favorite Apostle. Am I using it as a chance to evangelize? Not so much. However, I do believe that the first step in discipleship is forging an organic friendship with people, so if I happen to meet someone this Halloween season, it could be the beginning of a genuine friendship in which I get to share my faith.

Just like Christmas trees, Easter baskets, and any number of fun American traditions...I'm just enjoying life with my family and friends. I know that Halloween has origins in a lot of evil and modern people perpetuate this to a disgusting degree, but for us, it's merely an excuse to dress up our cute kid and fellowship with friends. 

Last year it was an excuse to support a local business with the purchase of this freaking adorable Yoda hat from Simply Crochet and drive around town visiting with friends. 

I make a habit of checking my actions against God's will and pledging to stay within it, so if at any point we decide that Halloween just can't be safely celebrated, we will eliminate it. We haven't gotten into the trick or treat scene in our town yet (with our son being so young) but if it turns out to be too scary, it's out. Believe me when I say that I am not just blindly staying set in my ways without concern for my family's spiritual well-being. I put great thought into the implications and ramifications of everything we do.

**Note: I'm terribly sorry to post this in November, but I genuinely thought I had hit "Publish" and actually never shared my thoughts! For the sake of not posting something too long, I'll post our family photos in the next Update

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