halloween & personal convictions
I grew up in a non-Halloween house. Meaning, I don’t recall a time I ever went trick-or-treating (although when I was younger we would pass out candy/trinkets. The “Jesus Loves You pencils??? Those were from us. )
So, no trick-or-treating, but the occasional church sponsored “fall festival” was okay. Those (at the South.ern Bap.tist churches we were at) had an optional dress-up code, which we did not usually do, or better yet, you could dress up like a Bible character.
As I got older, my mother decided that Halloween in any shape or form was just bad. No more fall festivals, no more Jesus Loves You pencil handouts. Instead, we started a new family tradition of going out to a nicer restaurant for dinner that evening.
Gotta admit, it didn’t really bother me much growing up. I was one of those who easily and painlessly took on the convictions of my parents without question, and actually enjoyed the dinner-out night. In retrospect, I do wish that a little more emphasis had been placed on the fact that convictions come from the Lord, not from a person, or from a book, or from a TV show. Ahh… but that’s another topic too.
As I grew into adulthood, got married, moved across the country, and eventually had children, I started to think more about traditions, convictions, and what we wanted to pass on to our children. Did everything that we did when I was growing up need to be transfered to my new family unit??? It was a debate (not literally… well, maybe sometimes… 🙂 ) I came to the realization that just because it “was the way it was” growing up, did not mean that’s how it had to be now. My parents convictions were not necessarily my convictions. God needed to be the one to convict me of things in my life… not my mother.
I have been convicted of many things since that realization. Most have nothing to do with holidays, or celebrations… and therefore I won’t discuss. One thing I have not been convicted about is the “fall festival”. Yes, we plan to take our children to a fall festival tomorrow evening to play games and win candy. Yes, we took our children to our own church’s fall festival last weekend where they got temporary tattoos and bowled with pumpkins. My sweet Rachel dressed up like Cinderella, and Eli was the cutest little army-man you’ve ever seen.
Do I think that my mother would be unhappy with our decision and/or lack of conviction? Probably. I also know that my family’s traditions may change over time. Once the kiddies outgrow the fall festival games, will we let them actually go trick-or-treating??? Not sure. Seems a little sketchy to me to get candy from a complete stranger… but, we’ll see.
So, that’s my Halloween contribution for the year. I know in the Christian community in general it’s always a great debate… to Halloween or not to Halloween. Anybody care to share your convictions about the spooky season???