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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Shallow-een

We dressed up this kids for the first time this year and went door to door for candy. We have mixed feelings about this year's experience. Usually we bake cookies as a family and pass out candy but this year our oldest two girls really, really wanted to dress up. We talked with them about how scary some people choose to dress up and how some houses think it's fun to scare kids and that we were only going to go around to a few of the neighbours on our block (ones we knew had kids and wouldn't be scary). Then my SIL invited us to her church's Trunk or Treat event. So, we decided to go there figuring that it would be a safe choice. WRONG!

WOW, were we surprised by the costume choices of the church vol's who were passing out candy. Some were Gory, others just inappropriate for a family affair (like patients with their large fake plastic butts hanging out the back of their hospital gowns) witches and other weird things. Just NOT what I expected. I am NOT talking about members of the community who arrived at the event. I am talking about church families who volunteered to park their cars and pass out candy! Now, I know I may be more sensitive than the average American when it comes to my Halloween sensibilities but really I don't think I am overly sensitive.

I hate to feel that it's is better to shun the social aspects of the day and the great opportunity to meet neighbours and develop connections within our community opening the door to share Christ in our 'hoods but I struggle with a certain discomfort. I struggle with the question of where to draw the line. Let's face it most kids have lots of fun dressing up and getting candy and our kids have no clue about the darker undercurrents of Halloween so to them it's just a fun filled night w/ a few people participating who like to dress scary. (let's not get into all the history... I know it all and am not intimidated by it) If every Christian were to abandon the day then, truly, where would the light be!?

I am all for Churches taking the day and making a mark for the better. The question is how to do it? Can we enjoy Halloween without compromising? If a church decides to get involved in the festivities does it have a responsibility to be different or is it okay to conform to the culture? How should Christians make a mark on the holiday? Or can that even be done? Should they even try? Chime in if you have any thoughts!

We left the event with a sadness best expressed by my hubby, "How in the world are non-believers served by this event? What have they gained by coming to this church on Halloween?"

Definitely something I will be chewing on.

In the meanwhile feast on the adorable cuteness of our girls enjoying, in sweet innocence, their dress up day!




7 comments:

Carpenters said...

It's too bad that the celebration at the church wasn't more appropriate. On the other hand, your girls look great in their Halloween costumes strikin' a pose! They are so beautiful!

With love,
Penelope

Julie said...

I hear ya, on all of it. I wasn't allowed to do the Halloween thing at all growing up with I thought was a kill joy so we let our kids dress up and we hit the streets for about an hour. There are a few houses that we know to avoid because they are too scary (although Noah said he wasn't scared this year). I couldn't believe some of the costumes I saw. Who lets their 12 year old dress up looking like a hooker??????

I can understand how as a church it might be hard to "regulate" the costumes of volunteers but you would just think that those people would use some common sense especially if they are trying to use it as an outreach. Very sad.

Girls are adorable though!

the Steiger's said...

I am sorry for your Halloween expirience. Somehow even here the costumes were more scarier than in the past. But I like your girls. They look cute.
Lenka

Anonymous said...

Your girls are adorable.
RE: Shalloween- I am speechless and sad....
Candy (awaa)

Stacey said...

First let me say they look adorable! I bet they had lots of fun.

We went to a trunk or treat thing with Jeff's brother and family. It was so much fun and we really enjoyed it. I can't believe some places really let their volunteers dress like that.

I think churches can have a "fall festival" without conforming to the norm that the world has set. It can be fun and we can have a good time.

Am I rambling here??

Apryl said...

Jen,
A few years ago we decided to 'stop doing Halloween'. Both of the churches that we have been members of have had a fall festival and BOTH of them have said from the pulpit not to wear anything inappropriate. We are called to be DIFFERENT from the world. It's hard to find a place in that gray area, but for my kids sakes I had to draw a line. We felt like this was a good alternative--not celebrating something nasty, but not missing out on good fun of dressing up and eating loads of candy. Sorry you had such a terrible experience, I can't believe people would feel like scary/lewd costumes would be okay, come on people!
apryl
(awaa)

Amy Riley said...

I agree with Jen! A Halloween a few years back we ran into a pair dressed up as a farmer and sheep, he had blood smeared in his crotch area and the sheep had a bloody butt. I wanted to strangle them, but was usuing my hands to sheild Maryann's eyes. I's all for the kids dressing up as princesses and batman until they are 15!
Amy