I call this an impromptu essay because I had no intention of even writing an essay this morning but this one could not be ignored.
I just read an article about a Christian Creationist group who is Anti-Halloween. They would have us give trick-or-treaters fake money with messages explaining all the sins they’re committing and how they’re going to burn in hell. (BTW you can buy your Anti-Halloween kits and fake money from this group directly. So, yeah, there’s nothing in it for them.)
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, no matter what sins these people think these children are committing or will commit, they don’t even begin to compare to the sin of scaring children with tales of eternal damnation.
Halloween is an amazing time of year. It’s the one time of year you can be someone or even something else. You’re not trapped, you can be comfortable knowing you’re cloaked in the safe embrace of a clever disguise. And above all else, it’s fun. It’s good social interaction because as far as I know they haven’t created a way to trick-or-treat online or in text messages. Even I, a notoriously anti-social curmudgeon, enjoy this aspect of it. Granted the extent of that is me creating games to subject my family to like Jigsaw from the Saw movies but with less gore and more prizes.
My point is the world is a messed up place. It’s a stressful stew of tension that leaks into every facet of our lives. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday for two reasons: again it’s fun and it marks the official end of the normal year and the beginning of Holiday Hell. You know that period of time that starts even before Halloween and lasts until after New Year. It’s at least a five-month nightmare.
Some Christians just hate Halloween for a whole slew of silly reasons. I’ve been celebrating the holiday forever and haven’t sacrificed any animals to Satan, I haven’t been possessed by Pazuzu and other than the aforementioned similarities with Jigsaw, I haven’t become a serial killer.
I can tell you this, the real holiday that drives me mad is Christmas. Halloween is one day for some, we like to spend a little more time throughout the month on it. But the Christmas season starts in September and steamrolls over the top of Halloween, the Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Hanukah etc. Nothing makes me more agitated this time of year than looking at Halloween costumes with Christmas decorations on the store shelves behind me.
So now this group wants us to preach the word of God to little kids who just want candy. News flash, you celebrate the birth of Jesus from September to January. Can’t the kids have one day. Can’t I have one day. I personally don’t even want to see the colors green and red until after Thanksgiving. My head starts to ache and my eye twitches every time I hear a Christmas Song before December 1st. And don’t even try to get me to watch a Christmas movie. I’ve completely given up on them. Hallmark Channel has probably already started playing them which is mind-numbing.
I also find it ironic that religious groups take issue with Halloween and trick-or-treating in general. It’s okay for people to knock on my door anytime they feel like it to try to sell me on whatever Godly message they’re peddling but kids can’t knock on their doors once a year without getting hassled. Am I the only one that thinks that’s ridiculous? The jokes on them anyway because I don’t answer my door for anyone. If I’m home alone, religious folk, you can knock all day.
I don’t remember Christmas being jammed down our throats as early as it is now. It’s been a gradual ascension from a couple months to the half year it takes up now. And every year there’s a new argument about Christmas suppression. There’s the war between “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holiday”. There are a lot of Holidays between September and New Year’s. I say happy holidays because it’s quicker. Then there’s the controversial use of the term X-Mas. If you want to spell Christmas out every time you write it that’s fine but some people don’t have that kind of time. No one is suggestion taking Christ out of Christmas by using an abbreviation. It’s just an abbreviation. But next time you feel like people are stepping on your holiday try buying Hanukah candles. Hanukah gets the tiniest of sections in stores if it gets any space at all.
But there’s a lot of noise every year as if non-Christian people are trying to ruin Christmas like the Grinch. If there was some kind of war on Christmas, I missed it, but Christmas won. As a matter of fact, in two or three years I can see it becoming an all year celebration.
So my point is leave Halloween alone. The kids aren’t making any connections between pagan rituals and trick-or-treating. They want to dress up like their favorite cartoon character and eat junk food. That’s it. So just keep your preaching to yourself for one night. You don’t have to pass out candy or decorate. You don’t have to dress up or play games. Nobody’s forcing you but in return don’t ruin it for everyone else.