I grew up in a very religious family. They weren’t always religious, but right around the time I was born, my parents became members of a church, and really dove in deep. Growing up, there were certain things that we did and others that we explicitly did not do, because of our faith. One of the things we did not do, was celebrate Halloween in any shape form or fashion. I remember having to leave music class in elementary school (my favorite class) the entire month of October simply because we sang Halloween songs. My parents weren’t kidding. We did. not. celebrate. Halloween. Period. The end.
This post is written in response to Why I Do Not Participate in Halloween from Domestically Blissful. I completely respect her opinion, but I have a completely different outlook on Halloween.
Growing up, I looked at the holiday out of fear. My parents explained that people use that day to bring forth evil and do evil things. But my little mind couldn’t differentiate all of the aspects of Halloween. I kind of thought the kids who dressed up as Barbie dolls and Cowboys were just as “guilty” for celebrating as the satanic cult that slit a colt’s throat in my grandpa’s pasture the night before Halloween. We didn’t hand out candy. In fact, I remember turning all of the lights off and hiding on Halloween night so that trick-or-treaters wouldn’t know we were home.
All of this instilled a fear in me. I was afraid that if I participated in any way, shape, or form, that I’d be committing some kind of sin against God. This fear stuck with me longer than I’d care to admit. One day, I just decided to look at the holiday from a different perspective. I was just tired of living in fear of the holiday that surrounds us from mid-September until November 1st. I decided that even though bad things can happen on Halloween, and bad people can exploit the holiday to do bad things, that I WILL NOT be afraid of the “evils” of Halloween.
Bad people can do bad things on any day of the year, just as good people can do good things on any day of the year. There’s no reason a single day should make anyone fearful. Especially because it’s simply a day when sometimes, some bad people choose to do bad things. The day itself is not evil. The holiday itself is not evil. And the people who choose to participate in the holiday are not evil. In fact, most people I know use Halloween to be with family. They use it to be silly, and to dress up, and to give their children a night to live their impossible dreams. Real life isn’t full of princesses and astronauts, y’all.
So this year, when I see the Princesses, the Buzz Lightyears, the Kitty-Cats, and the Ninja Turtles scurrying down the street, I won’t duck inside our apartment to avoid them. I’ll smile, wave, and watch them as they fill their bags with teeth-rotting candies. I won’t hide in fear that someone, somewhere is committing a volatile act fit for True Detective Season 3. I simply won’t be afraid, because I don’t believe Halloween is evil. What I DO believe is that some people can be evil.
I don’t resent my parents for not allowing me to participate in Halloween. In fact, I’m completely at peace with the fact that I “missed out” as a child because I’ve been able to really form my own opinions on it, having seen both sides. I don’t ridicule Giustina for choosing that path, either. But personally, I don’t find the day to bring any more evil than any other day of the year. It’s something I’ve chosen to believe, just like Giustina and my parents have chosen to not to participate in the holiday. I respect their thoughts and feelings, I just feel differently.
I’m still a Christian, FYI. I still have convictions, but my convictions will not make me afraid. My convictions will not cause me to hate a day. My convictions will cause me to hate the evil actions of individuals… Any day of the year.
What are your thoughts on Halloween?
Please be respectful in the comments. I wrote this post not to belittle, but to share a different perspective on the topic.