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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Celebrating Halloween As A Christian

I wrote a total of eight posts for DTA this week. Most featured heavy research and large projects. This next week I am happily facing more of the same so today, I am taking a day of rest.

A few of my new readers were surprised that I celebrate Halloween so I thought it was a perfect time to once again feature a well loved post from two years ago.

“Celebrating Halloween As A Christian” first ran on October 23, 2011

I was recently posed the question from another blogger of how could I, as a Christian, not only celebrate Halloween, but in some ways promote it.

This is not a new topic of conversation in blogland. For many years the Christian community has struggled with the innocent and fun merrymaking against the ghoulish undertones of this holiday.

I myself grew up in a farming community where the harvest was celebrated. My elementary school’s biggest fund raiser was the school carnival held every October. Even my childhood church held “Happy Harvest” festivals. I can still remember getting completely soaked while bobbing for apples.

My elementary school also had a costume parade. Every year we couldn’t wait to see what Mr. Lovell the principal and Miss Pat the school secretary would wear. My favorite was the year he was a spider and she was of course Miss Muffet. I so wish I had a picture of that, but this one is almost as cute.

It was not until I was in my early 20’s, while taking a theology class, that I learned the origins of Halloween. While the Romans celebrated the feast of Pomona, who was the goddess of fruits and seeds, it is thought Halloween is more closely linked to the Celtic festival of Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in) which translates to “summer's end".

One school of thought is that the early religious leaders knew they would have a tough time getting people to give up their merrymaking when accepting Jesus Christ. Several of the Christian holidays we now celebrate were began during the times of the year that other non religious festivals once occurred. It was the idea of providing an acceptable replacement of sorts. Brace yourselves, because yes, Christmas is included on that list.

I had to make a decision. Was I going to continue to celebrate All Hallows Eve, which quite possibly had been a Pagan pacifier?  Well, I knew that I would never give up Christmas and Jesus literally went to His death so that I could have Easter everyday.

So as for me and mine, I decided to choose the good.  Just as I try to everyday. This means you won’t find any devils or witches (Hush it Mr. Décor!) in my home. It’s more about bountiful harvests, scarecrows and jack o lanterns who let their light shine.

I also allow hobo’s, gypsies and most of all, pirates to grace our interiors with their presence.

Lil’ Kim, The Duchess of Décor, and her bff Tracy circa 1978

For me to give up Halloween would be akin to wiping out an entire childhood of wonderful memories. On Halloween I will no doubt call/text  Tracy, who 37 years later still puts the gypsy in my heart. We will laugh as we recall the Halloween in 7th grade when we trick or treated for so long that our pillowcases were filled to the top. (We won’t mention that I got grounded for staying out so late or that we ate candy through Easter.) We’ll then talk about what our kids are doing for Halloween and how much of their candy we hope to consume…

For Halloween is a chance to engage in childhood flights of fancy, make believe and fun. Even if you are 45.

Dressed as Billy Joel Fans~ An “Uptown Girl” and her “Big Shot” in 2011.


Our 2013 Costumes

18th Century Ensemble Decor To Adore 128-002

Today I will focus on the good,


“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9


Di said...

I love your Costumes, very elegant. And thank you for your wise words. Di

Something Nice and Pretty said...

No witches or scary things at my house either...I to have great memories of my childhood Halloween which were so much fun for me and my friend! My husband and I still dress up but always fun outfits!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I have never been a Halloween fan! LOL!! I only do it for the kids! :)

Christine said...

Remember when we would rummage through the "costume" box to create our costumes? Your picture hobo and gypsy picture sent me back to my childhood.

No witches, ghosts or scary things for me either!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Christine~ that was my older sister's blazer, my mom's wig and a paper hat from Long John Silver's. The eye patch and belt were made from felt in the closet and the buckle and sword were painted cardboard.

I have truly been a DIY er all my life. :)

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Very well said. As a fellow Christian, I too struggled with this and when the children were very young, we did without Halloween for a couple of years. But God knows what's in our hearts and how we worship Him. Halloween came back into our household, and I too enjoy dressing up in (usually) silly costumes.

Little Bitty Damn Houze said...

Great and appropriate post! I concur!! Happy Halloween!

LadyLydia said...

You have a very healthy view of it. I love costumes and dislike symbols of death such as skulls and blood. The season can be used to bring out the beauty of the creation and also a celebration of historical things with costumes and tea things

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

No witches or goblins on or from 34th street either. We always go "homemade fun stuff"!

Chrislyn, Jason and Holland dressed up as the Flintstones plus Bam Bam Rubble and went to a trunk or treat event yesterday.

Since it was nap time, Bam Bam was fast asleep so I stayed behind and tended to him. When the kid's returned, Chrislyn said, "Mom, we really "did" feel like we were from "the stone age", hardly anyone knew who the Flintstones were." Her husband Jason, inquired if everyone was taking their vitamins. LOL

You put your heart and soul into your posts, Laura. Each is a gift!

Debra Oliver said...

Hi Laura, you covered things so well. When I was a kid Halloween was all about fun and silly costumes and running all over creation at night with a pillow case full of treats. now things are different all the way around. I didn't know the origins of "Halloween" until my kids were almost grown. Halloween has always been a fun time partly because my grandmother's Birthday was Oct. 31, so we always did it up big. I try to enjoy the harvest celebrations and Fall traditions and stay away from anything overtly concerning "spirits", witches, death, or gruesome. An old ceramic jack'o'lantern and black cat things are about as far as I can go. LOL!! I think each person knows in their heart as conviction as to what is right for them. Such a great post!

Susan said...

Hello Laura....For me, Halloween is a fun holiday for the kids. When I was young, myself, we loved trick-or-treating and all the fanfare of the holiday.

I love to dress up when I answer the door on trick-or-treat night. It's just for fun.

Thanks so much for your visits to my blog, too. Always love it when you stop by. Susan

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I completely agree :)