My Facebook status this morning: Al is wondering why churches have "Harvest Fests" when they could have Eve of All Saints or Reformation Day parties instead. Dress up as your favorite saint/reformer.
A comment on my Wall from Caryn Rivadeneira: "Good point about the saints/reformers. You could even add a spooky flair by dressing as your favorite martyr."
Oooh! That has all sorts of potential. You could have people who were crucified upside down, burned at the stake, beheaded . . . I just glanced on Wikipedia to look up how various martyrs were killed, and then it struck me that that's a little morbid, that these were real people who died for the faith, and I shouldn't be trivializing it.
I'm somewhat ambivalent about cultural practices surrounding Halloween. I'm not an extreme conservative type that thinks that Christians should all boycott Halloween, but I'm not enthused about the general creepiness of the occasion, or the sexualization of Halloween costumes, or the commercialization and candification. Our kids are young enough to still have cute/innocent costumes (like puppies and Care Bears), but Josiah is now getting old enough to be something more dramatic, like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
From a community involvement standpoint, I think trick-or-treating is still one of the best ways that suburban Christians can interact with and get to know neighbors. When else do we have occasion to actually go to someone's door uninvited? Of course, if you don't have young kids, it might be a little creepy for you to go door-to-door. But then you can stay home and hand out treats and greet neighbors that come by. And handing out treats can actually be a form of Christian hospitality and welcome.
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We love Halloween at our house. For us it is a holiday about imagination and costume play.
I think I'll pretend righteous indignation over the candification of the holiday, though. What a great word.
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