Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Traditions

I decided I would brainstorm and share some Halloween traditions I hope to institute in our family....

- First of all, Peyton and I recently discussed the issue of even celebrating Halloween. It is our opinion that innocent, child-like dress up and make believe isn't incompatible with our faith as Christians. However, insanely gory costumes portraying the undead are at odds with some of our values. And ouija boards, Bloody Mary bathroom rituals, and channeling the dead are out for our kids, as well.

- Along those lines, we're obviously going to have boundaries as far as the Halloween activities they participate in. Right now, the only thing we've really talked about is costumes. Until they are old enough to make their own wardrobe decisions (within reason), which will probably be junior high, we're going to limit their costumes to the "non scary variety". Clearly, this is going to be a case-by-case thing. Bedsheet ghosts and green faced witches are okay; Jason and other slasher characters are not! Also not acceptable is anything remotely scandalous; I have seen too many little girls (and grown ones) wearing overtly sexual costumes and it's really heart breaking. If you can't choose something that's not frightening and/or skanky, you will be forced to be a fruit again, Ann Peyton! Kidding, kidding.

Whew! Now, onto the FUN stuff....

- I am going to coordinate the childrens' costumes for as long as they will allow me to do so. There is just nothing more precious. Also, if you see a ten year old in a plush costume, it's Ann Peyton. Ha!

- As I said in my previous post, we will probably trick-0r-treat some on our street, but then ride around to friends' houses and maybe even trick or treat some with them in their neighborhood. These days I'm just leery of sending our children to the door of a stranger and accepting edibles from anyone we don't know, even if we are accompanying them. I'm really kidding; I just think doing it the way we did growing up was really fun!

- If our church still does do some kind of Fall Festival, I want to make every effort to attend as a family. Right now, our church uses it as a fund raiser for missions, so it's something fun and it's a great cause to support!

- Peyton and I have only carved a pumpkin together once so far (year before last, I think?), but once our kids are big enough to care, I want to get serious. My dad was SO talented with the pumpkin carving and I know it'll be right up Peyton's ally, too. [Although, they are a little different- Daddy was always very meticulous, intense even; I'm sure Peyton will be smashing pumpkin goo in everyone's hair, including mine!]

- My mom always baked the seeds and I LOVED them, so we'll be doing that, too!

- I think that I'm actually going to purchase some fall decorations, now that they're on sale. I didn't even get them out this year. For one, I was too tired, but also our current ones are just kind of silly and quirky and I feel like Peyton and I have really outgrown most of them (I bought them when we were dating for a Halloween party over here).

- This is kind of different, but I really would like to incorporate All Saints' Day into our celebrations at this time of year. I grew up going to an Episcopal school and while as Methodists, our theology pertaining to the saints differs dramatically from those of the Catholic and Episcopal church, I do believe celebrating and learning about the saints (and other non-canonized individuals who were important in church history) has it's place. I think studying their lives can be a source of great encouragement. Another thing we do at our church is to read aloud the names of the people in our congregation who have passed away during the previous year. I think this would be a special time, also, to remember those dear to our family who are no longer in this world and discuss special memories of them.

That's all I've got so far. I'd love to hear about y'alls Halloween traditions!


Sarah Lee said...

I especially love the All Saints Day part of your Halloween tradition! I think it's a good way to make the holiday memorable for all of the right reasons... I'm Methodist, too, but I'm not opposed to branching out to embrace the best of all traditions - All Saints Day might be a good time to visit a mass with the fam.

The Taffs said...

I completely agree with your first point. I saw it on Facebook yesterday, but just as "celebrating Christmas" doesn't make you a Christian, dressing up on Halloween (innocently) doesn't make you a heathen.