Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts on Not Doing Halloween

Let me just start by saying that we aren't not doing Halloween out of conviction. I know a lot of families who choose not to participate in Halloween activities out of Christian conviction, and I absolutely respect that. Actually, I wish there were the case because it would make it easier.

We had a lot of conversations in the years before Jude was born about whether to do things like Halloween, Santa, and the Easter Bunny. We've chosen not to do Santa and the Easter Bunny out of genuine conviction, but Halloween wasn't a problem for us. We loved trick-or-treating when we were young, and we don't see the problem in kids dressing up in something cute (although gory, evil, and sexy costumes wouldn't be allowed) and going around to the neighbors' houses to show off their costumes and get some candy. I also really like what a lot of churches do now with trunk-or-treats, and the fun themes that church members create for their families during these events.

In October in Moldova, the churches celebrate a day of thanksgiving for the harvest by decorating the church with fresh fruits and veggies.

The last two Halloweens, I've watched through the window of Facebook as my friends enjoyed these activities and dressed their kids up in adorable costumes. Halloween isn't celebrated in Moldova, so I eagerly looked forward to Jude's third Halloween because it would be his first where he could dress up and have some fun.

Fast forward to now, and Jude's social and language delays mean that he wouldn't care about what was going on. We'd likely wind up dragging him from door-to-door while he tries to take off running down the sidewalk toward the playground. On top of that, he's on a very strict diet (that I keep meaning to tell you more about, but haven't gotten around to it), which means that he can't have any candy at all. Not even just for one day. Not even just one piece. But, of course, he'd see the candy that neighbors were giving him and would want it. We would all wind up tired, frustrated, and wondering why we chose to try to do it.

I know that we could dress him up and let him run around in his costume just to get a few pictures (and as a mom-tographer, you know how much I love cute pictures), but I just don't really feel like faking it like that.

So, we've decided not to do Halloween after all, and I guess I'm just a little sad about it. But the Lord is constantly growing in me the Fruit of the Spirit and teaching me to selflessly make choices that honor others above myself, and all parents know that our kids are a major avenue for this lesson. I am beyond thankful to the Lord for giving Jude to us exactly the way he is, and giving up Halloween is the least of the sacrifices that I've made for him in the past and am willing to make for him in the future.

Josh's Reformation Day art from last year

In Moldova, our family celebrated Reformation Day, the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of All Saints' Church, which conveniently also falls on October 31. We talked about it, did some crafts, and watched Luther. This is the tradition that we will continue to celebrate on October 31st. The Lord is setting my heart to look forward to this fall tradition instead, and who knows, maybe in a few years our kids can act out the major scenes from Luther and I'll still get some cute pictures of them in costumes.

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