Seriously, I have heard this before and it makes me cringe. So, what is Halloween? Whatever you make it in your own family. When I was a child, Halloween was about fun papers to color in school, fun projects to make in art, Halloween parties, and neat songs being sung by my Kindergarten teacher who was dressed like a witch. She had the long black hair for full effects. Were we scared? Heck no. Did someone tell us it was demonic? No! Did Mrs. Byrd put us in a trance? No, even though I'm sure she wished she could have.
Halloween was about cool decorations, candy, stories being read, and costumes. We spent the whole month talking about our costumes and we even wore them to school. You remember those paper-like plastic overalls with the pictures printed on them? And the horrible synthetic masks with tiny slits cut out for seeing, smelling, and breathing? Oh yes, the good ol' days! For 2nd-4th grade I went to a Catholic school and we still had "regular" Halloween parties with no limitations on what we could dress up as. I remember my brother's kindergarten class dressing up and getting to parade around. The kindergarteners where I teach still get to. Our neighborhood was THE COOLEST! We had 6 girls all the same age and our brothers were about the same age as well. The parents and bigger kids would put on a neighborhood haunted house. They dressed as mummies, vampires, witches, etc... and we had a blast. They blindfolded us and led us through to feel "eyeballs" (grapes), "guts" (pasta noodles), etc.... I have years and years of pictures of all us in our costumes.
I love to decorate the house with cute candleholders and figurines of teddy bears dressed in costumes. We love to hang orange lights and bring out the pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns. We love to bake and decorate Halloween cookies and my children love to plan out their costumes (Tinkerbell and Thomas of course). We will take them trick-or-treating as well as to a festival in town. On All Saints' Day we will participate in whatever festivities we can find around town. And as they get older, we will share with them more and more about the true history as our church teaches.
So...am I a satan worshiper? Uh-No! Am I a pagan? No! Is Halloween a satanic holiday? If you make it out to be one it is.
My husband did not carve a Jack-O-Lantern until we were married. He never got costumes and he never trick-or-treated. So it saddens me to hear about children (in safe neighborhoods) who don't go trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating is the climax of October 31. It is about seeing your neighbors and possibly getting tricked. It is about getting home and counting to see how many pieces of candy you got.
Now as an adult, I realize that Halloween means so much more. There are plenty of sites out there with the history of Halloween- All Hallows' Eve. It is the preparation for All Saints' Day the next day. So I am going to continue doing as I did as a child and I will also incorporate the religious teachings into the date as well- in an age-appropriate manner. But for goodness sake, it is NOT a satanic holiday!
Think about it, Valentine's Day began because of St. Valentine and I choose to teach my children that, but really, what is Valentine's Day to a child? A day of love, hearts, flowers, exchanging Valentines with classmates, parties, and cards for Mommy and Daddy, etc... St. Patrick's Day is about St. Patrick, but to a child, it is about wearing green so you don't get pinched. Easter is about the Resurrection of our Lord and we treach our children that but they still love the Easter Bunny, what he brings, and Easter egg hunts. Thanksgiving is about lots of food, Indians, pilgrims, turkeys, and The Mayflower. Christmas-a season, not a day. A season of preparation for the coming of our Lord, but in a child's eyes, a time of Santa Claus and presents. Again, we will teach our children the true meaning of all of these holidays, but while they are young, let them have fun!
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