Hallowe'en... good or bad?

For years when mine were little, we studiously avoided Hallowe'en. We went to the Church's Light Party (if fancy dress was in order, it was superheroes, or princesses not witches or skeletons) and made little or no adjustment to the daily order, so no bobbing for apples, peeling skins for divination or any thing that smacked of magicality at all. It worked for us; we didn't go Trick or treating, and those who visited us were politely told, "We don't celebrate Hallowe'en here" The children grew up sensible and well-adjusted, they don't do gross horror films and I'm proud of them.
This year they are all old enough to make up their own mind. The lads are easy; if it involves effort, then they're not bothered. But the Princess is a great joiner, and wants to be part of her group. So when a friend invited her to a Hallowe'en party I gave her the option; of course the answer was yes.
"I'm not celebrating Hallowe'en," she said, "I don't do evil, and I don't want to scare people, but I do need to dress up and I love being with my friends."
 *gulp*
"What would you like to dress up as?"
"Well, I'd like to be a zombie Princess. You know, with a crown and a pretty dress." (she is 13, nearly, but sometimes seems just like her 7 year old self) "Oh, and you can paint me white. And do some blood splatters. But I don't want to be gruesome. There are some really horrible zombies on the internet and they're just gross. I want to be scary, but not terrifying."





So, here she is. My daughter, zombified. And, yes, she had fun. They played board games, went trick or treating (her first time ever) around the close and came back high on sugar and tired as heck.
My friend who lived in the USA for a while explained her attitude to Hallowe'en; back there, the costumes are important; they're clever, not gruesome, they're family friendly. And the decorations are really autumnal; piles of Pumpkins and cobwebs on the front porch. It's just another family night; the dark side isn't the most important part. I hope this is how the Princess saw the evening; I think so.

And today over breakfast we will talk about All the Saints, and remember that the early European Christians in their wisdom took over the feast of Samhain from the Pagans and put their emphasis on the Light. That we can feel the heat and love of daylight as a wonder only because we have known the dark and cold of night. That knowing that some people feel only the power of the 'dark side' (in terms of greed, selfishness and self-absorption) means we as Children of the Light have a responsibility to shine brighter; to help more, to give more (time, money and of ourselves) to balance the world.

Comments

  1. I love that last paragraph! Your daughter was the perfect balance of princess and spook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! She had a really good time and scared enough people to be happy.

      Delete
  2. There are some who make Halloween a terrifying experience, but the vast majority here do not. I don't remember anything really scary when I was a child either. I've lived in two very different parts of the US and it was the same in both, so I think most people really do look for a harmless good time on Halloween. I enjoy it because dressing up is fun, and the going out at night is unusual in and of itself. I'm glad your daughter had a good time. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, USA make it a family festival, where here it falls into scary very quickly; I quite like the idea of all sorts of fancy dress out on the street together.

      Delete
  3. I'm not keen Halloween either. I don't have your religious faith, but I really dislike the way is has become so Americanised (is that a word?) and consumer led. I'm all for a celebration at this time of year but would prefer there to be more a celebration of Harvest or something like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we need space for more celebrations, but done without the consumerism. I love the idea of proper harvest festivals, with shared meals and walks, but it isn't susceptible to big selling points (all you'd need is some food and a route) so it doesn't get made a big fuss of!

      Delete
  4. Glad the Princess enjoyed her evening. Love the flowers in her hair.
    We haven't forgotten the Sylvanian families, just not got round to doing it here yet. Promise it will be sent one day soon-ish!
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me, we are patient and will wait; just glad you're back after the month off!

      Delete
  5. My youngest went to a friend's party and they went Trick or Treating around their close - she absolutely loved it but was much more interested in running around in the dark and collecting sweeties than any dark Hallowe'en connotations! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the combination of sweets and running around at night; I love the idea of carolling but can never persuade the family to come with me!

      Delete
  6. I view Halloween as a fun family and friend filled night. We don't celebrate it as such, it's just become a tradition. When I was young we carved turnip lanterns and did apple bobbing but that was about it! I held off truck ircTreating with my children for ages until we joined forced with another friend with similar views. We let the children dress up, scary or not (but they usually choose scary) and we knock round the houses in my road and then her road. Only at houses that are participating, and most of whom we know. We are fastidious about the children saying thankyou and tho she and I hover in the background, we say thankyou too. We always see loads of friends out and about too and it makes a fun filled evening :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind a little group of children we know, but I dislike the groups of teenagers who have barely tried with the costumes!

      Delete
  7. Halloween nearly always falls during the half term holidays here so for me it means of a week of fun at home with the kids. We watch Scooby Doo and "Disney scary" films and generally enjoy a lot of family time together. My hubby and I take them trick or treating which they love because going outside in the dark is so rare for them they think it is amazing! BUT we only knock on a handful of doors on our road, we visit our friends and a few houses who have decorated their windows or put a pumpkin or two outside. We have never knocked on a door that wasn't inviting trick or treaters. Like Jill we hang around in the background to say thank you and to remind the kids to do the same if they forget and we are home in less than half an hour. I think we only stopped at 5 houses this year, I certainly wouldn't spend hours going from door to door bothering people who are sat in the dark wishing people would stop knocking on their doors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please ignore the random "of" I have thrown into the first sentence there >.<

      Delete
    2. Ignored. (the of, not the comment)
      You sound like you trick n treat considerately. Thank you. And I love the idea of watching Scooby Doo. I would have got away with it, too, if it hadn't have been for those......

      Delete
  8. I think that you have a great outlook on this, and although when your children were small and you didn't "do" Halloween, it is good that you still celebrated with things at your church and so on, and that you now give your children a choice what to do when they are older and can make their own decisions is great too. But you know all this already! I am just agreeing with you and saying that I think it is great too. I "celebrate" Halloween, but not in a scary way, but in the pumpkins, leaves and autumn way with some sweets for the children too, but nothing horrible. We then also celebrate bonfire night and have fireworks too. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's that seasonal festival element; I like watching the year pass according to the festival highlights. It's funny, but some TV programmes have begun to assume highlight proportions; Children in Need, the X Factor final and BBC Sports Personality of the year!!

      Delete
  9. Mine never went out trick or treating when we lived in the City now we are in the country number 3 doesn't go out but enjoys handing out goodies to those who come calling and in a relatively small village it doesn't usually amount to many.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think most kids view Halloween as an evening to dress up and have a good time with their friends. What child wouldn't want to knock on a door and get handed sweeties? I think any evil connotations of Halloween have got lost over time for most people, it's now viewed as another Americanised festival. The houses around here put out a pumpkin if they're happy for callers so there's no knocking on doors of people who don't want to join in, which I think is a good thing for everyone concerned. Daniel and Eleanor are too old for it now, but we still enjoy answering the door and seeing all the children in their costumes. The Princess looked fab.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments.

Popular posts from this blog

Blogger, why are you messing with my head?

I spent my pocket money. All of it. And it was good.

Do you cycle? You need to read this article