As we approach Halloween I am always intrigued by the changes that have occurred since I was a child. Growing up everyone in our neighborhood and church went trick-or-treating. There was no question that the next day at lunch everyone would have a lunchbox full of sweets.
Then when I was in elementary school the candy of a few became laced with drugs and razor blades. Then many schools began to create safe festivals to make sure we were safe. This not only allowed us to dress up, receive candy but also to play fun games on this night.
So much had changed when my own son was born. Christians no longer stayed home to pass out candy to their neighbors. They no longer sent out their children to their neighbors. No, the lights on many Christian homes were dark.
The reason? Because "we don't believe in Halloween" was the answer I received. They didn't want to participate so they brought all their candy and dressed their kids up and headed to church for their "Fall Festival." When I began to question some of the other mothers that gave me this answer asking what the difference was, I was told "the kids don't dress up as Satan or a witch." What, you couldn't dress them as something nice to go out into their neighborhood?
When the speaker asked if there were any questions my little four-year-old David stood up and told him he was wrong. We had carved pumpkins, but they had "David's House" and nice things. He also told him he was going to dress up as "Bear In The Big Blue House" and he was going to visit our neighbors. David also told the speaker that his mom said he could go out so there was nothing wrong with it. This little speech from the mouth of my babe left the speaker speechless.
I can respect it if someone truly doesn't believe in Halloween and doesn't participate in any way. One of my friends told me this week that they never participated in Halloween, but that her parents also refused to allow them to attend the fall festival at church. This is consistent with their belief and I can understand and would never question that belief. However, a rose by any other name is still a rose and getting candy while dressed in costumes during the end of October is still Halloween.
I had fun as a kid dressing up and roaming the neighborhood. I even dressed up one year as a witch. And guess what? I never did have any interest in witchcraft or magic. Yes, nowadays we have to be more careful with what houses we allow our kids to visit. But I was more than willing to watch carefully over David's trick-or-treating. This year he is a teenager and will not be getting dressed up or going out, but I am glad we made the choice we did.