Friday, October 27, 2017

Why I Don't Celebrate Halloween

My daughter, Rachel, who is away at college, recently had a conversation with some of her friends about Halloween.  They talked about upcoming parties, costumes, and the like; but in the midst of the discussion, one of her friends brought up that she had heard that there are actually some people who don't like Halloween!  Even more, that there are some people who actually believed it was evil--Satan's holiday!  The other girls were incredulous at this revelation, but Rachel hung her head with a knowing look.  Finally, she spoke up.  "That's my mom..." she quietly admitted, much to the surprise of the others.  "Really??" they asked.  "Yup," Rachel said.  She knew all about those people who hate Halloween.  She grew up with one.

In Rachel's eighteen years, and Andrew's sixteen, they have never participated in a Halloween celebration.  We didn't wear Halloween costumes, we didn't go trick or treating, and we didn't go to Halloween parties.  Yes, they have been deprived (as I am frequently told, in a tongue and cheek manner, by my daughter), and I may be responsible for the therapy they will clearly require in their adulthood.  But that's not to say that my children never had dressed up for fun in costumes or have eaten a boatload of candy...just not on Halloween.  

So why don't I like Halloween? It's a good question.  I actually grew up doing all those things I didn't allow my children to do--costumes, trick or treating, etc.  And in doing so, I never believed I was engaged in any "evil" activities.  So why now?  

Let me start by saying that my position has nothing to do with the history of what Halloween is or is not.  Not that I am not interested in those things, but they are not the reason I feel the way I do.  My objection to Halloween is not what it was, but what it is in the here and now.  And regardless of what anyone else tries to argue, what I see is a dark and evil celebration.  Every year, it is all around us, everywhere, during the month of October.  Halloween Horror Nights, Fright Night, The Shallow Grave, Haunted Houses,  Hallow-Scream, and horror movies...these are the celebrated events of Halloween.  These are the billboards, signs at grocery stores, and picture ads everywhere I turn during the Halloween season.  There are monsters, vampires, zombies, and a whole host of creatures of the night that "come to life" for this holiday.  All of it is creepy, dark and meant to instill fear.  Halloween is a time when things of the dark are brought to light to be celebrated.  And because of that, I do not like it or want to be a part of it.

When I have shared my view about Halloween with others, it is most often met with the objection of, "But that is not what we do for Halloween.  We don't allow scary costumes or go to any of those scary events.  For us, it's just a night of good, clean fun and lots of candy."  And I get that.  Even more important, I believe that.  I know many wonderful people who have celebrated Halloween, or celebrate it now with their children, and I don't judge them.  That is their decision.  But for me, I just can't do it.  Even if I chose to celebrate Halloween with those good intentions and wholesome approach, I can't erase the reality of what is also a part of this holiday all around.  There is darkness, there is evil, and I don't want to have any part of it by celebrating the holiday.

When I Google Halloween images, both of these pictures below come up:

Image result for scary halloween

One is cute and innocent...the other? not so much, and that's hardly the scariest one that came up.  Both represent Halloween as we know it. So for me, as long as this dichotomy exists, and darkness remains a significant part of what Halloween is, I cannot and will not be a part of it.  When I search through God's Word, there is a clear distinction between light and dark, and they cannot exist together.  It is either one or the other, and as a child of God, I am called into the glorious light.  So for me, Halloween can stay in the dark, where it belongs.