|Screenshot from "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"
Because of Martin Luther and his Ninety-Five Theses, October 31st is an important day for those of Protestant faith.
As a Mormon, I and others of my faith, do not celebrate Halloween as a religious holiday, though most do celebrate it in the secular way that most of society does today.
When we were first married, Russell and I both loved it! He liked the spooky, and I adored the dressing up, so we began our marriage doing Halloween up in "style." But as we continued on through the years, we both began to feel that our spooky decorations invited a feeling into our home that we didn't like. So I started removing more and more of the spooky and adding more and more harvest-type decor. That felt much better!
We continued Trick or Treating to family, dressing up with our kids, but we found we like to dress up as book or historical characters,or as something really fun, cute, and harmless. We've never allowed gore or really scary stuff. (Though the boys have dressed as "Death" a couple times, but in the most mild manner possible.)
In recent years, we have decided to forgo the neighborhood Trick or Treating in favor of our ward's (congregation's) celebrations. We love to participate in the chili cook-offs, the children's costume parades, and in the "Trunk or Treat".
Other than the gory, scary, violent turn that Halloween has taken (yuck), another of my objections to Halloween is the CANDY! I have been a big candy addict in the past, but I have never enjoyed seeing my children ingest gallons of the stuff, only to spend all of Autumn sick.
For the last few years, our kids have eaten 3-5 pieces after their "Trunk or Treat" rounds, and then have handed us their full bags. We then redistribute the candy, piece by piece, in exchange for the completion of their daily chores. (Can I just insert here that my kids have been soooo good about complying with our parental judgement on this issue!) It worked great for us! The jobs got done with less complaints, and we didn't have a glutton-filled candy extravaganza.
BUT, now that I have been off of sugar for months now, my objection to the inhalation of candy at our house is bigger than ever. We gathered the candy after our ward party the other night, but my husband and I are not sure what to do with it now. We'd love to do something nice like send it to the troops overseas, but we'll have to see what the night brings.
I have run into a couple of wonderful articles lately that have got me thinking more about why we chose to do what we do each year. They have inspired my husband and me to examine once again why we do what we do, and what we can do to make Halloween the kind of holiday that uplifts our family, and brings us closer to God.
Learning about the Reformation
Halloween: Two Ways To View the Holiday
Tonight, we have decided to watch a wonderful program about the Reformation produced by BYU-TV called "Fires of Faith."
Excuse me while I eat a yummy dinner made by my husband and a pumpkin pie to celebrate. And we'll thank our Father in Heaven for His blessings to us all-- especially for the gift of religious freedom-- as we learn more of the Reformation with our children.
Happy Halloween, everyone!