I don't like Halloween. It just isn't my thing. That probably has something to do with the fact that my parents ingrained the evils of all things Halloween into me from a very young age. Now that Ella is older, she is beginning to push for typical Halloween celebration, like trick-or-treating. DeLaynie is so easy-going that it hasn't bothered her that we pull away from Halloween to celebrate imagination and dress-up through sweeter, less vomit-inducing methods. Ella is her mother's child, so she questions everything, like why it's not okay to trick-or-treat, pretend to be a ghost, or joke around about witches.
Living in an area with less Evangelical Christian influence has escalated the debate tremendously. There are decorations everywhere, and the school even has a Halloween "parade" every year. (Essentially, the kids dress up and walk around.) We might could go for this, but the costumes that the kids wear are far from acceptable according to our family's standards. Edwin drove by the school last year, and his comment was that it was down-right disturbing to see the costumes that the young children were wearing.
All of this has brought about an internal struggle over where the line is between healthy imagination and unhealthy fixation on darkness. I considered thinning the line for a while, until Ella started pretending to be a "mean witch". Something about that simply did not sit right. It was at this point that I decided to err on the side of holiness. Yes, it will be extremely difficult to insulate my children from the worldly concept of "innocent fun" that plays around with death, demons, and devils, but it may just be one of those battles that is worth fighting.
If nothing else, the efforts to protect my children from typical Halloween festivities will open doors to conversations about holiness, the value of life, and loving Light and not darkness. We will not teach our children that people who celebrate Halloween traditionally are in sin. It's a parenting decision that we have made for our children because they have been entrusted to us.
Most of the choices that I struggle to make have something to do with the balance between holiness and incarnational living. The Bible doesn't draw a picture of what this looks like in each situation, so it's up to us as parents to seek the answers that we need from the One who has them. He is faithful in all things, even the Great Halloween Debate.
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