Every year as the calendar changes from September to October I experience an increase in anxiety and I start working on how I will once again articulate my reason why. Why we don’t celebrate Halloween. And yes, I know I don’t owe anyone an explanation and yet everyone seems to want one. I love Harvest but not Halloween. This isn’t a debate it’s just my own personal belief system. As a child in my home Halloween was not a holiday we celebrated. My brother and I stayed home from school and from the window watched our peers walk to school dressed in their costumes. At night my grandmother would check to make sure the porch light was off and my brother and I would climb into her car or our mom’s car and drive to church for a Harvest Festival. We dressed up as angels, Bible characters, athletes, babies, 50’s girls – anything that my mom could make using the items that we already had at home. We never dressed as something scary and not once in our lives have we gone trick or treating. As a child I would tell my mom to just wait because when I became a grown up I was going to trick or treating and when I had children I would let them do the same. Only I didn’t. I never went trick or treating and at the age of 7 my daughter has never done the same. I’ve contemplated letting her go but in the end have always decided to go with my gut. When people ask her if she celebrates Halloween she says no. For her it’s a matter of fact and nothing to be sad over or ashamed of. She doesn’t complain or ask me why we don’t and since she is not a fan of the scary she’s okay with it. I do let her go to school. I do let her eat candy and I do let her dress up so really she isn’t missing out on much. I’ve even let her go to her friend’s costume party last year. They toned down the scary for us. This weekend as I sat in the congregation of a church I had been visiting they spoke of a Harvest Festival. My daughter had never gone to one because the church we have been attending didn’t do anything and instead we would have our own harvest or praise parties at home. The announcer shared that they weren’t into the “terror” often associated with Halloween. Neither am I. If you took out all the scary parts it would be right up my alley. Who doesn’t love to dress up and eat candy?! They also shared that just like their friends our kids want candy. Um I want candy too. They also want to dress up. For us that seems to be what it boils down to. My Little doesn’t have the desire to trick or treat, to sit and listen to scary stories or do the Monster Mash. Instead she wants to dress up and eat candy. I’ve always felt conflicted about Halloween and am in the process of finding what works for our family; not based on what our parents say but what we say and what we feel in our hearts. My upbringing has a lot to do with it I’m sure. Yup. I’m sure. So this weekend I decided to make peace with pumpkins after all we love going to the pumpkin patch and while we can do without the tricks we are all about treats – especially chocolate ones. After church my daughter came to me and told me all about the festival and how she wanted to go. This mama’s happy knowing there’s something she can participate in that will make her happy. Something I feel good about allowing her to be a part of. She would be able to be around other children who share, or are being raised with, the same beliefs as she and her family. Every family has to what’s right for them.
As for my daughter come Monday she will dress up and march around in the school parade with her friends, she will eat cupcakes with orange colored icing and bring home spider rings and erasers she will probably even put those orange teeth back in her mouth she was given at a recent birthday party – the ones with the pointy teeth. I know. Borderline scary huh? Monday night she will spend the evening with me and her daddy enjoying some of the candy she received the day before at the Harvest Festival. I’ve decided to make peace with pumpkins. For some they represent a night of fright and darkness but for us they represent a time of harvest, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin ice cream. Yup– definitely making peace because those are some tasties that we do not want to give up. Now if you’d excuse me there’s a box of Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix and its got our names on it. Happy Harvest!
I just had to get this out. It sort of hangs over me like a black and orange cloud. Everyone has something to say but in the end my responsibility lies to my family and who I believe it is that we answer to and just because I don’t like scary stuff doesn’t mean I don’t like fun costumes, fun sized Twix and cupcakes with orange and black sprinkles. Just saying.
I’m linking up with Heather today for JustWrite.Tweet