Sunday 16 October 2011

Halloween: Do Your Kids Go Out and Beg?

OK, this isn't going to be a post that will win me any popularity contests, it may go down as one of those with no comments but I feel a need to get this off my chest.

Why let your kids go round the streets and beg on this one night a year? 

I really struggle to understand this.  I know that my view is in the minority as nearly everyone else I know is planning stuff for Halloween, well all my secular friends that is. Am I just no fun? Is Halloween harmless?

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As a a child growing up I longed to get dressed up and to go trick or treating, especially after watching ET and seeing how big and amazing it all appears in America but my Dad was adamant that no child of his would beg door to door and I just did not get this.  My friends were allowed to, so why not me? I now get it and funnily enough I agree, you hear of so many elderly people being scared on this one night of the year, all these kids and youths approaching their doors and asking for goodies and sometimes demanding money, possibliy when they just do not have anything spare to offer.  I have heard of people sat in dark houses hoping that any trick or treaters might just pass them by assuming they are out.  No-one should be scared to be in their home or afraid to open their door.  Surely that is reason enough to stop trick or treating?

I expect most of you reading this are responsible parents, you go out with your kids when they trick or treat and you maybe even only visit the houses in your street that you know would be open and receptive.  Harmless fun you describe it as but what is it teaching our kids at the most fundamental level?  It teaches them that they can ask for something nice and if they don't get it they are quite at liberty to play a trick and be naughty.  Hmm good life lesson - not! When would we ever promote this kind of behaviour at any other time?

As you'll know I am a Christian and I only became a Christian in 2002, so I am still a baby, still learning and in this time I have never been preached to about the perils of Halloween and why it is a bad thing.  Many religions seem to tolerate it and think nothing of it but I just believe it is wrong.  Halloween is all about spirits and ghoulish things. To my mind these are all of the Devil and of course he is the polar opposite to what I believe is Holy and therefore I just can not bring myself to allow my kids to celebrate or be involved in anything to do with Halloween.

I could not believe the other day how mature JJ is becoming.  He has never been allowed to trick or treat but when he was 5 he was so desperate that he dressed in fancy dress (a cowboy) and we went out for a walk and he gave our sweets to those children who were trick or treating.  This felt OK to me as we were offering a treat rather than being asked for it and JJ enjoyed himself.  I now realise this probably sent a very mixed message and was not a great idea at all.

We have also given sweets to the children who knock at our door and  I was chatting to JJ the other day and he questioned that if Halloween was not a good thing and it was celebrating all things dark and bad then surely we should no longer give out sweets as otherwise we are just encouraging people to believe that Halloween is OK. My mouth dropped and I had to agree he has a strong point, so this year we will not be opening our door to any trick or treaters.

On October 31st this year we will be going to a light party at a local church, a party which will focus on celebrating the light of Jesus Christ rather than the dark of this world. I expect most parents would not want to be known as Satan worshippers, but effectively in celebrating Halloween that is what I believe you are doing.  That's quite a statement isn't it?  Sorry if it offends but do think on it and ponder what it is about Halloween that you want your children to learn.

How about you?  What do you think then? Is Halloween harmless fun?