Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Not Exactly Sure That's True

The two little daughters of Conspiracy Guy just appeared at my door to play with Hank. They stepped into the house, and took one look around at my black feather wreath and paper Halloween garland that Laura and I put up on Saturday night. Also my big jack o' lantern candle and Hank's little witch bears that he carefully placed on the table in the foyer. The older girl said, "Halloween celebrates dead people." Sigh.

She went on, "We're going to have lots of decorations, but they're going to be happy decorations." Okay. Hank was standing there like, "I don't know if you noticed that this bear is dressed like a witch, yet it remains a bear at the same time, and what could make me happier than that?" I said, "Well that sounds fun. So are you going to a party at your church instead of trick-or-treating?" That's a popular choice around here, so I figured that there was a "fall festival" in their future. Laura is going to one with Frenemy's daughter. But she said, "Oh, we're going to trick-or-treat, but we're not having Halloween decorations." Okay. Seem a little wishy-washy to you?

16 comments:

Fantastic Forrest said...

Yes. I am so annoyed by people who do not engage in the annual devil worship rituals that our family has enjoyed for generations.

Daring Daughter has a new friend at school, a very nice girl who transferred from a Christian elementary school. When DD invited her to join us for a trip to the pumpkin patch, she declined, saying that her parents thought jack o'lanterns were evil. "Ha ha!" laughed my girl. Then she realized the child was dead serious.

She also seemed pretty sad about the whole thing, like she knew her parents were loons.

Michele said...

Some people have interesting takes on age old holidays.

Keely said...

I'm fairly certain the Great Pumpkin comes and whisks away people like that at the crack of midnight on All Hallows Eve.

Cassie said...

Aren't there quite a few holidays that celebrate dead people? Like Memorial Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day, MLK Jr. Day and, um, Christmas (Jesus died once).

Besides, Halloween isn't so much about celebrating dead people as it is about free candy and T.P.ing the houses of the party-poopers. No?

The Messy Mom said...

I think I have a pretty fair representation of the evangelical family, as a pastors wife here in Dallas. My son has had a costume so far every year, and we already took photos of him in the pumpkin patch this weekend. I think that stuff is fun, but personally AND I DO STRESS THAT EVERYONE CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT, I don't get into the blood, gore, murder, demon, fright stuff (which would not include a bear in a witch costume.) Kids are going to say things, but I thought your response was appropriate.

meghan.feldmeyer said...

Okay, my liturgical sensibilities must speak up! Since when is it wrong to celebrate dead people? Halloween got its start because it is the eve before All Saints' (in custom with the Jewish tradition of the day beginning at sundown the night before)...ancient peoples thought that on All Hallows' the line between the living and the dead was a "thin place" and so they would often dress in ghoulish costumes so any of the dead who would come alive that night would not take them back to the land of the dead (by tricking them into thinking they were already dead). Anyway, you probably didn't want the history lesson, but I'm personally a huge fan of celebrating the saints of the Church and the saints in our own life and Halloween is a Christian holiday that celebrates the dead. And I'm glad for it! At Duke Chapel we have the coolest All Hallows' Eve service EVER (costumes welcome). I am also glad for candy and dressing up and pumpkin carving, etc. There is nothing wrong with having fun and celebrating, which is part of the joy of feast days.

meghan.feldmeyer said...

Okay, I feel like I should clarify that the force of my argument is directed towards many Christians who say that Halloween is about the devil...I'm trying to point out that it has profoundly Christian roots. In my previous comment it looks like I'm picking an argument with YOU, which was not my intent. :)

Becky said...

I totally agree, Messy Mom. We don't get into the gore, violence, fright stuff because I don't think it's childlike, and it's just not our taste. I like a spooky, fun night for the kids. I can still remember the fun and thrill of getting to run around after dark, and then coming back inside where the lights were on to share our haul.

And awesome history lesson, Meghan. Thanks for commenting! You articulated much better than I could that I think it's a misunderstanding to say Halloween is diabolical somehow. Or no more than Christmas is for repurposing pagan traditions and motifs. (Obviously I'm not a religious historian here.) So I certainly didn't think you were arguing with me, 'cause I agree with you. I don't know if that came across in my post, because I was more focused on how funny it was the way their parents' words were coming out of these little girls' mouths.

And Cassie, the penny item at Publix this weekend was toilet paper! Just sayin. . .

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

You're a PAGAN, Becky. A GD pagan. And(!) a child-corrupting heathen.

Call me -- I promise I won't call CPS. No, I have a plan for your salvation.

Amy said...

Meghan, you are something else, girl! Thanks for that. I can understand their ambivalence, I think, though. They don't want to deprive their kids of the fun stuff but aren't so sure what to make of what they're probably heard about the rest of it.

I think your response was really good, Beck, as usual. And hearing how those little girls explained it makes me wonder how Ava restates what I've told her to others! You're never quite sure if they're getting the message!

The Dental Maven said...

"Happy decorations?" For Halloween? Oh, please.

Michele Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele Renee said...

(oops, spelling errors above)
I think Conspiracy Guy's theory on the decorations is just his statement of why they have/or don't have certain decorations. To justify why they have/don't have certain decorations.
Your neighborhood is so intriguing!

leafmonster said...

We usually have Halloween decorations starting on Oct 31st at about 3 pm, if it is nice weather. And then leave them up until the day before Thanksgiving, when they are frantically removed before the MIL gets here. It has nothing to do with consistency with trick-or-treating practices. The more candy, the better. The fewer trips to the attic for decorations, the better. Party on, dudes.

Erika said...

They would be terrified in our neighborhood. Probably enough to make them move out of it. There are 3 scary (and I mean SCARY) haunted houses on and near our block. The front yards are filled with graves and ghouls and zombies. One of the homeowners used to be or is a set designer, so we are talking majorly lifelike undead. The cool thing is that you drive/walk by it during the day and as they are assembling it, so the kids can see exactly what's going on in the safety of the daylight hours. But then it's still totally freaky on Halloween night. It's a lesson in the power of imagination and our desire to come together as a neighborhood and agree to be totally freaked out together for one night.

Also, one of the neighbors gives out jello shots to the adults.

Coffee with Cathy said...

I dunno. I think a little spooky and a little creepy never really hurt anybody. The really scary thing is the one Halloween during my Super Mom phase when I determinedly dressed about a dozen of the girls' stuffed animals in their own little homemade costumes. Yikes.