Thursday, October 16, 2014

To Halloween or not...that used to be the question.

Once upon a time, I was that parent who struggled with the whole Halloween debacle. Do we let our child trick or treat? Carve pumpkins? Bob for apples? As Christians, are we slapping our faith in the face if we choose to allow our child to participate in something that was once a part of our innocent youth? Obviously, we had to figure out what was right for us and our family, and in no way am I implying that we are right, or what works for us is right for anyone else. It didn't take me long to realize that we weren't dropping our beliefs at the door in exchange for a pagan holiday that exalted evil.

I decided early on the Sunshine Girl would not be permitted to dress up as anything "evil." There would be no devils, witches, or anything that remotely could be mistaken for the one name monsters from the cheesy horror flicks of my youth. One, two...Freddie's... if my sister is reading this she will probably smack me the next time I see her. Jason, Freddie and Michael Meyers are out!

Charli has been a butterfly...twice, a clown, and a farmer back when she was going though her Charlotte's Web phase complete with a pig obsession. I think my favorite costume was the year she was Mother Goose. My grandmother made her little dress, and apron...which I still have and treasure more now than ever. With my sister's help, we put nursery rhymes on iron on transfer paper then put them on Charli's little apron. We even hot glued a spider to the apron...after all Little Miss Muffet probably found something more appetizing than curds and whey thanks to that spider. I remember one Halloween, just a few years ago when a few of Charli's friends who we were going trick or treating with, happen to be dressing up as Monster High Dolls but Charli wanted to be an Egyptian Queen. Even when I told her I would buy her a costume so she could "be like the other girls", her response shocked me a little. She said "Mom, I am happy doing my own thing, I don't have to be like everyone else." I thought to myself, from her lips to God's ears and may she keep that mindset as a teenager. Last year, Charli was a Flapper girl and this year she wants to be Marylin Munroe. Sure my life would be "easier" if I didn't have to stretch my creative mind to achieve her far fetched costume ideas but it simply isn't who she is...and I am okay with it.

I also quickly got over my aversion to carving pumpkins. I never carved a pumpkin as a kid, I'm pretty sure I never went to a pumpkin patch either. I thought pumpkins came in a tin can from some woman named Libby. I once read a story about teaching a child about salvation by carving a pumpkin. Now before I go any further, I have many friends from many walks of life. We have different beliefs and it has never been an issue. I embrace them and they embrace me, not because of, or in spite of our differences. We are who we are, and we are accepted and loved. I am a Christian so, this little story helped me to teach my three year old daughter at the time about Jesus. When you cut open a pumpkin and see all the icky stuff inside, it represents a life without God. When you clean out the pumpkin, that is what happens we repent and ask God to forgive us of our sins. When we carve the smile into the face of the pumpkin and put our candle inside it symbolizes what happens when we ask Jesus into our heart to be our savior. His light shines within us. It is a wonderful visual and helped her young mind begin to grasp what were trying to teach her. We retell the story every year when we carve a pumpkin, and I am sure God doesn't hold last years pumpkin against us. The number one and the letter "D" happened to get carved into it instead of our traditional smiley face.

As for the bobbing for apples...that would be a resounding NO. I not only happen to be a bit of a scaredy cat, but I am unapologetically a germaphobe. Happy October and no matter how you celebrate fall, I hope you make wonderful memories with your family and friends.

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