Monday, October 31, 2011

Toil and Trouble

I'm so glad that today is Halloween. Because tomorrow it will NOT BE Halloween. It will be done and I don't have to think about it for at least another 11 months. Except for all that candy. I'm contemplating a Candy Fairy. But what to do with it? Because some candy-addicted part of me just could NOT throw it away, and giving it to someone else seems to be just passing the trouble around. 

I'm also ready to be done with  all the rigmarole of dressing up and school parties and such, and all the annoying blog posts about Halloween themed things. Nevermind F@cebook. The oodles of photo posts tomorrow showing off cute kids in costume not included.

Then there's also all the scary decor that freaks my kids out, people dressed as ghosts and goblins and vampires and Scream guys. Let's not forget last years Trick or Treating episode where, as we went up to one house, the spooky werewolf  "decoration"  jumped up and came to life, freaking out my 2, 3, 5 and 6 yr olds and making even their mom crap her pants. So. not. cool, dude. Needless to say, we'll be going to a Halloween party this year, bypassing the cold hours of dragging my kids around town, and my end-of-the-night sore feet. We'll enjoy festivities in a well lit, werewolf-free, warm building, with a short (and sweet ;D) Trunk or Treating at the end, thankyouverymuch.

Pumpkins I carved a few yrs ago. I enjoy it, and also prefer making non-traditional ones. 
No typical jack-o-lantern faces for this lady. My favorites are the ones with leaves, and the tree on the top left you can hardly see. Last years' designs here.

I enjoy the American cultural tradition side of Halloween, the dressing up and carving pumpkins, getting candy, baking yummy fall treats. Heck, I even started a Boo'ing in my small town, which got many "oh that's so cute" from mom's and dad's alike, but part of me gets a sort of check in my system. And yes, that would be a spiritual check. I can feel the cringes, as I type that. Yours, not mine. No, this is not some holier than thou post, but I also don't hide my Christian side, and feel it's ok, no important, to question my actions, motives, behaviors from time to time. I don't believe in shove-it-down-your-throat Christianity, I think proselytizing on street corners with a bullhorn is offensive. But this here? Just expressing some inner conflict I have. It's not just relevant to October 31st. It's a year-round thing.

Thing is, I'm not into entertaining evil. There is very much a spirit world that is active in our culture (hello... shows like Ghost Hunters and stuff like that). I'm a visual person. A long time ago I read Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. Whoa. Whoa whoa and whoooaa. Totally changed how I saw things. I very much feel "darkness" around me, on certain people. It's a creepy crawly feeling. Unsettling. And I don't want my kids exposed to that. Sue me for being a protective mother.

The rules for costumes are nothing scary or evil. This year we will sport a sheriff cowboy, a princess, a cat and a ninja. We talk about how evil doesn't honor God and "that's why you can't dress up as a vampire, son." No ghosts, goblins or witches. It's a fine line, and I'm sure some would consider it playing with fire, but where do you draw the line? I don't want to make my kids into outcasts by holding them back from school for the entire month of October, unable to play with fiends or having to shield their eyes while walking down the street. (Ok, I kind of do that, but little kids have nightmares and so that's an easy decision.) On the flipside, it bothers me that schools read books about "cute little ghosts", and the older ones play "Spooky Bingo" but I'm not going to homeschool, so what do I do? Have conversation. But "double double toil and trouble" on PBS Kids? Really? I know it's Shakespeare, but seriously, I wouldn't be reading that to my toddlers. 

This is not all just relating to kids, either, though. I get kind of irked, and maybe this is judgemental and so I'll apologize in advance, by my Christian friends posting comics of witches around their cauldron, or a series of "spooky" graveyard photos complete with crows. What are we celebrating? And again, where do you draw the line? Where do YOU draw the line? I'm still not sure about where I do.

I'm ready to be done with this uneasy feeling I have.

That's all.

And tomorrow I will post cute photos of cute kids in costume. :D