Halloween has always been an eye-roller for me, except for the one year I stapled a thousand fake leaves to red sweatshirts. Bill and I carried rakes, and the kids were a leafpile. That was fun.
But, for the most part, I really dislike Halloween. Not for the spiritual reasons that plenty of folks have, but for much more basic reasons.
Now before you go hatin’, these are the reasons I am the Halloween Grinch. I’m not imposing these on anyone else. I’m just saying..
From the obvious, to perhaps the less obvious and slightly more offensive …
My kids don’t need the sugar, and I certainly don’t. ‘Nuff said.
Unless it’s a Friday night, there is school or church the next day. A late night propelled by sugar is just not a good idea.
We bought into the idea of being part of your community. When Josiah was just a baby we moved into a planned community where all the mailboxes match. We heard that on Halloween, outlying neighborhoods would drop their kids off in our neighborhood. The cute ghosts and princesses would come through with king-sized pillowcases, we were told. So, the Finley Family pulled out our dress-ups. In the excitement of tiaras and tutus, and the token cowboy hat for Josiah, we talked about the community aspect of Halloween and why we, as a family, were going to give out candy. The older three girls would take turns opening the door for the Trick-or-Treaters. Adelyn was coming up on three at the time, and she got first dibs on opening the door. The doorbell rang. She ran to the door and threw it open. Standing in the door were three gigantic beings, covered in black, and wearing Scream Masks. She slammed the door and began screaming herself. She didn’t leave my lap for the rest of the night. Neither Adelyn nor I like scary costumes.
Amount of money spent
Cha-ching! So … I might touch a nerve with this one. Did you see that people are spending $370 million on pet costumes this year. Pet costumes! I’m not even talking about the people costumes or the candy, for goodness’ sake! Do you know that with that kind of money, Americans could sponsor 811,403 children for one year through Compassion International. I don’t even know if Compassion has that many children to sponsor. If we took the amount of money spent at Halloween, we could do a whole lot of good around the world.
This one is purely personal, but somehow sending my children around to beg for candy just doesn’t sit well with me. It cheapens the fact that begging is a reality for many of the world’s most impoverished, and even ties into human trafficking. Last December, in Bangalore, India, 300 children were rescued who had been drugged and used for begging. One of the rescued children said, “My parents sent me to beg they said don’t come home empty-handed.” I don’t want to send my children out begging for candy when children around the world are being forced to beg.
I am the Halloween Grinch, but I’m not the Halloween Police. We don’t make a big deal out of it. We just don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it.
If there’s something fun to do and it’s a fit, we’ll do it. Last year the kids ran around with their cousins. I valued time with their cousins over my “Grinchiness.”
We’ve been to church-sponsored “Trunk-or-Treats.” One year we went right after our homeschool co-op. I was teaching an ancient history class and we happened to be studying Ancient Israel that week. I made the brilliant, and I really mean brilliant, decision to have the kids dress up like Israelites and create tabernacles out of graham crackers, Twizzlers, etc. Then the kids were already dressed up and sugared-up by the end of the day. Our family headed out to a Trunk-or-Treat and my oldest daughter told everyone that she was dressed up as Jael. Remember Jael? She’s the one who sunk a tent peg through Sisera’s temple. Few people got it, but the ones who did thought it was really great.
We’ve gone to Harvest Parties. We’ve ordered pizza and watched movies in the basement. We’ve gone out to eat…
But what we haven’t done is bought costumes for our dogs.
So tell me… what do you think about Halloween? Hate it? Love it? Or, like me, just kind of Grinch-y about it?