What are we celebrating?

Tonight was what our church calls “Trunk or Treat”… where church members park their car, decorate their trunk, and costumed children parade by gathering candy. They also have games, bounce houses, hay and pony rides… general fun for those under the driving age.

When I picked the boys up from school, they were very excited to be able to don their chosen attire and harvest the sweets. J told me of a conversation he and friend had, where they were discussing the few days left until Halloween. J continued with this “I told him our church celebrates Halloween tonight.” I cringed. The idea of actually celebrating what Halloween stands for did not sit well for me. The conversation became one of trying to help an 8 year old grasp the concept of redeeming something that was rather dark.

I guess I have viewed Halloween as something you do… like going to a movie… NOT a celebration… Dictionary.com lists celebration as “to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities; to make known publicly; proclaim; to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice.” Halloween is listed as “Eve of All Saints, last night of October” (1556), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year’s Night, a night for witches.” Proclaim or praise a night for witches? I don’t think so.

So what are we doing? When we are participating in Halloween, are having an evening of fun with our kids? Or is there something more we are doing? I am not sure. I know as a child, I enjoyed pretending to be someone else… I know my kids (drama kids that they are) enjoy the same… so what am I teaching them? If he had used any other word, I am sure I would not be having this conversation with you… I would not be l thinking about it. I really didn’t like to hear that our church celebrates witches…

And yet, our kids had a great time… Here they are with GR…

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2 thoughts on “What are we celebrating?

  1. We also are having a trunk or treat on Halloween in our church parking lot. It is strange when you really think about it. It is interesting how traditions just get passed on from generation to generation. We sometimes continue to do things because we have always done them or we did them growing up. So I guess a personal decision needs to be made on whether to take a stand and discontinue these traditions with questionable underlying meanings or overlook the true meaning of the holiday and just focus on having fun with our kids. I am going to contact our pastors to hear what their thoughts are on Halloween and our trunk or treat event. It would be interesting to hear the views of pastors from different Christian churches.

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