People sometimes ask me, “What’s changed?” and usually I struggle to come up with a reply off the top of my head because not many outward, tangible things have changed since I left patriarchy. Unless you are a close friend or family member you probably wouldn’t notice my life being much different than it was 5 years ago. But once in awhile I catch myself doing something that the “old me” would never have done and I think I ought to write about this on my blog!
So that’s what I’m doing today.
This week, for the first time in my life*, I carved a pumpkin! My kids, Sharpies in hand, drew faces of their choosing and then watched while I carved out the eyes, noses and mouths. Then we inserted a votive candle into each, turned off the lights and stood back to admire our handiwork. This Halloween business is kinda fun! I thought to myself.
Growing up, my family treated Halloween just like any other day. My husband had a similar childhood experience, except in his case Christmas and Easter were also on the list of banned holidays because of their pagan influences. Not surprisingly, we continued this tradition of ignoring Halloween with our own family. In order to avoid all the cowboys, princesses and witches that might show up at our door on trick or treat night we would go out to dinner, leaving the house dark and unwelcoming.
To this day my husband and I have zero experience with trick or treating. We’ve never gone trick or treating, we’ve never taken our kids trick or treating and, because we now live in the boonies, we’ve never had trick or treaters come to our home. This year we had planned to finally join in this tradition of dressing up, begging candy from complete strangers and overindulging on chocolate, high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40. Unfortunately we wimped out over the weekend when hurricane Sandy hit, bringing rain and colder temps, and then a family party kept us home on Halloween night. Oh well, there’s always next year!
Though I haven’t been afraid of Halloween for a few years now, this year marks the closest I’ve come to actually celebrating the holiday. I’m most comfortable when I’m following the evangelical crowd so it’s taken some time to come to terms with Halloween and how I feel about it. I’ve never had any personal conviction from the Lord regarding Halloween. In fact, I don’t recall ever asking the Lord about it at all!
There’s no shortage of Halloween-related articles floating around the internet this week. Here are some of my favorites:
Hallowing Halloween: Why Christians should embrace the devilish holiday with gusto—and laughter by Anderson Rearick. An excerpt: I am reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights of my childhood calendar to the Great Impostor and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his…As for Satanists, their calendar is a perversion of Christian seasons—there would be no Satanists if there were no Christians. Let them claim all they want. I give them nothing.
For some Halloween history, here’s Concerning Halloween by James B. Jordan.
Shame on those of us evangelicals who allowed Halloween to be taken away from families and many communities, all because we prefer to believe that life is a Frank Paretti novel. From iMonk’s Annual Halloween Rant.
Elizabeth Esther: This year, in fact, I actually laughed and chortled and giggled with sheer delight at the haunted houses, the creepy villains, the grim reapers. I laugh because I know why the darkness rages: it’s been defeated…O death, where is thy victory? O grave, where is thy sting?
*Updated to add: My mom, who I think must be my most loyal reader, informed me that we did in fact carve jack o’ lanterns a couple times in my childhood. I have absolutely no memory of this but I’m going to take her word for it