Monday, October 21, 2013

Why I Love/Hate Halloween

What I LOVE about Halloween- 

  • Dressing up
  • Community events
  • Candy
  • Carving pumpkins, 
  • Decorating for fall
  • Making family memories.

What I HATE about Halloween- 

  • Gory effects
  • Scaring of children, 
  • Celebrating dark themes
At this time every year, I warm up when I see the pumpkin-scented candles and happy scarecrows that signal the beginning of fall, but then immediately tense up at the sight of skeletons and bloody appendages displayed on the shelves of various stores I shop in.  I mean, what a contradiction!  On one hand, we have the beautiful changing of seasons and all of the fun activities that follow- apple picking, pumpkin patches, football games, and family gatherings.  On the drastically different other hand, we observe shockingly gross images of tragic death and alarming red-eyed beings glaring at us in the front yards of our neighbors.  It has always been such a difficult combination for me to process, like eating too many strange foods at once.

Pardon me, while I step upon my soap box for a minute...I wonder why this is fun for people. Why do we glorify horrific and disturbing acts during the month of October?  If someone chased me with a mask and a chainsaw in real life, I would probably be traumatized for the rest of my existence.  If one of my kids discovered an unattached human leg underneath a bush or a decapitated head hanging from a tree branch, they would probably suffer from nightmares for weeks! And only with the help of some prayer and counseling would any of us be able to process something as distressing as that.

Our minds are so vulnerable to negative thoughts already.  My children's developing brains and emotions are even more susceptible to unhealthy thought patterns.  Why in the world would we intentionally contaminate them with such ugly reproductions of the horribly worst possibilities?!

So for the entire month of October, I shield little eyes as much as I can from the evil imaginations of others.  We do not watch as much TV, and when we do, we skip commercials.  Our decorations around the house are fun and uplifting (picture post coming later in the week), and when we go trick-or-treating, we pass right by the houses with skeleton hands reaching up from their graves.  When my son asks me why he may not dress up as a zombie for Halloween, I refer him to one of my life verses:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Other verses to consider when setting our minds on what is "pure, lovely, and admirable" this month:

There really is already enough sad tragedy in our world, and I see no reason to re-create the damaging effects caused by them.  

And now that I've gotten that off my chest, I will step down from my soap box. Thank you :-)

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