There is a lot of controversy in some Christian circles over Halloween. Should it be acknowledged, let alone celebrated? If so, how? Thomas Blevins addressed this topic last week on Elevate Dads, and Addie Zierman (author of the beautiful memoir When We Were One Fire) shared this post from 2012 with her fans online. I think Rachel Held Evans (author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year of Biblical Womanhood) has the best take on the subject. She posted this on her Facebook timeline today.
“I was a God-fearing Christian until I went trick-or-treating when I was eight and converted to paganism,” said no one ever.
So calm down. It’s a fun holiday. Focus on the positives and enjoy it. My wife and I always celebrated it as kids and we turned out okay. Plus, it’s not like we have a choice. Halloween is Anna’s favorite holiday. Why?
She loves Halloween because she loves dressing up.
Anna’s first two Halloween outfits were our idea. Who doesn’t want to show off their cute kid in a cute costume. So at nine months, she was Winnie the Pooh in a bee outfit. She had a matching Winnie the Pooh plush toy in his own bee outfit, which she carried as we carried her. You can’t get much cuter than that.
Her costume at 20 months was a monkey, complete with a banana from her play food set. This time, she got into the swing of trick-or-treating around the complex, walking up to the doors, holding out her bucket, and signing thank you.
Since then, she’s chosen her own costume. At two, she was Elmo. At three, Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty). At four and five, she was Super Girl (her only two-year costume to date). At six, she was Merida from the movie Brave, and this year, she’s Snow White.
Halloween has become a dress-up holiday for her, and since she loves dressing up, it’s the holiday she looks forward to the most. The candy is secondary, and the darker aspects of the day don’t even register for her. Why?
Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up this week at Anna’s elementary school. The kids get a couple of days off, but the teachers and staff are still working. Anna wanted to express her appreciation, so for her October Girl Scouts Service Project, Anna made Halloween “Slime Lime” cupcakes for them. Great job, Anna!
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When I wake up most mornings my first instinct is to go back to sleep. My bed is comfortable, my sheets and blanket are warm, and starting this week the rain is hitting the roof incessantly. Nothing makes me sleepy faster than the sound of rain.
I roll over. I want to go back to sleep. I want to stay warm and safe and cozy. I don’t want to get up, to go outside, to face a day I don’t know.
A day that is a dare.
It could be a good day or a bad one. I could win the lottery (highly unlikely) or get struck by lightning (almost as unlikely). I don’t know what’s going to happen. The only thing I know is that if I lie here and go back to sleep nothing will happen.
I have to dare to get up. To face what the day will bring. To live with all the joys and sorrows and risks that life entails. Never knowing if the next time I walk out the door will be the last time, or the 20,000th to last time.
But to stay here is to sleep. And that’s not living. I’d rather take the chance. I’d rather take the dare
Plus my daughter is standing next to my bed, and she won’t stop nagging me until I get up.
“Dad? Wake up Dad!”
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Photos by Anna Ozab.