In addition to being our return to school day (almost as good as a holiday for this mama, after having 3 energy-filled boys and a teenage girl cooped up in the house for several days!) today also happens to be October 31...Halloween. Of all holidays, this is my least favorite. In fact, to be totally honest, I really just wish this one would just fall off the calendar entirely (no offense to my cousin whose birthday is today...any chance you'd be up for rescheduling that?).
I know, I know...I'm probably getting lots of 'boos' from many sides, (and not the little ghosty kinds either). Look, here's my thing...I like playing dress up as much as the next over-grown kid. Truly, I do. And candy...well, heck yeah! However, having spent the past several months trying to detox my body from it's sugar addiction, and trying to adopt a more healthy lifestyle in general, having massive amounts of chocolate and caramel and yummy candy-coated shells sitting around my house is basically like dietary suicide.
Secondly, I have always struggled with all the associations of Halloween. Look, I'm not trying to start a 'religious' debate...I've heard them all, and honestly, played both sides of that field. Personally, growing up, it was a yearly flip-flop of being allowed to trick-or-treat or not, based on, probably, realistically, how worn down mom was to start with when we began our begging, cajoling and arguments about how *we* weren't celebrating anything evil, and it was ONLY about the candy and costumes for us. And all that was true. So, from a spiritual standpoint, I've heard every.possible.argument. 'for' and 'against'. All that aside, I still look around and see disturbing decorations in many yards as I drive around town. Mangled people, demonic images, and death abound. And this, from a purely 'logical' (as opposed to spiritual) standpoint...well, I just don't get, and frankly, don't like it. Personally, it holds no appeal.
I am a person that struggles with a myriad of fears on many levels, that I have worked hard to overcome. I've also worked hard to detour my kids from some of the things that I think cause those fears to take root in me in the first place. Some such things would be horror movies, overly-intense or fearful tv shows, and things blatantly associated with death. Call me 'religious' if you like...but I just prefer to think of it as making a healthy choice. I'm not judging anyone else for the things they find amusing or entertaining...I just know, for me, what kinds of adrenaline rushes I prefer...and those I don't.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying we shouldn't think about and weigh all of the hubbub from a spiritual aspect as well. Like I said, I've even heard arguments on both sides of the fence from this angle too. They both make enough sense for me to say I choose to remain fairly neutral on it, and keep my thoughts to myself. As with anything, I think it's personally responsible to consider things, and choose your personal actions based on what you believe. Without judging others for where they come out on things. Because really, this is one of those 'non-essentials', in my opinion.
"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." ~ Rupertus MeldeniusMy dislike for Halloween comes really, I've determined, from merely a personal preference vantage. But it feels tiring and annoying to me to have to revisit all this every year, with it's ever increasing popularity and related costs (meaning, I pretty much hate spending money on all this). Thus, my pipe-dream that the holiday would just go away entirely. It's like a gnat buzzing around my head...just kinda annoying.
But, because the calendar says so, (and because I actually do like my friends and neighbors who happen to hold a differing opinion and enjoy this holiday), I went and blew money on candy (though, admittedly, grumbled the whole time). And, because I'm not a total Debbie Downer, I helped my kids come up with costumes, and we participated, as a church, in a local parade in our community, as a way of blessing others (with candy) and letting them know we are fun, friendly people. I am a bit of a party pooper because I'm not willing to traipse all over with my kids (and self) freezing our tootsies off this evening...but I left the older ones attend costume parties and go candy-begging...er, um...trick or treating with friends. And, I'll let the the younger ones indulge in sweets that I provide (since they already did the dressing up for the parade, it was easier to buy them off than go door to door) while we happily hand out goodies to others, and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" from the cozy warmth of the living room.
I'm a middle-of-the-roader, and it's crankily that I sit here, and endure October, while looking forward to the 'real' holidays, with happier thoughts (though, not much healthier ones, from the food-related aspect, I'm afraid!) and far better concepts worth celebrating, like "peace on earth, goodwill to men".
On that note, I think I'll start some Christmas shopping!!
Happy Wednesday, October 31st to you...whether you celebrate it or not. We can all just have a good Wednesday, right? I think that's safe. :)