I didn't get a great picture of the pumpkin-carving masterpieces this year. This is the best I've got.
If you've been following my blog for a while you probably have seen me post pictures of the pumpkins in the past. Some people have likely wondered at us celebrating Halloween at all. I don't have much to say about it, but I thought I'd put a brief statement here this year.
Basically, I have WONDERFUL memories of Halloween from childhood. My mom made this holiday super fun with traditions my sisters and I highly looked forward to. She had a box full of costumes, mostly made by her, that she'd pull out just once a year. I remember working it all out with my sisters every year, who would be the bride, who would be the nurse or the indian girl, etc. SO MUCH FUN. Other fun things were the decorations she put up each year, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins and of course going around the neighborhood to collect candy.
When Peter and I got married, we needed to choose. We didn't have any objection to the activities of putting on costumes and carving faces into pumpkins as evil in and of themselves. Whatever the origins of those traditions, we couldn't see any harm in them. But since people generally DO associate much more than this with the holiday, including lots of gruesome, scary and intentionally evil-mimicking costumes, decorations and activities, we had to make a decision about how we would approach it. I don't think that there's any pressing reason for people to adopt any of the traditional Halloween activities if they don't want to. For me, it was a part of my history and a very positive part that was very natural to continue. So, we kept the fun and good traditions, while ignoring and avoiding the rest. We have tended to treat the fun things as "fall activities" as opposed to Halloween activities. For several years, we attended a church Harvest party on Halloween. We got all the good, fun things without the bad. Here in Morgantown, we chose to let the children Trick or Treat for a couple of years because of the opportunity to interact with our neighbors who are rarely outside otherwise. In our situation, there was no real threat posed by doing this. At the same time, we began to shift our family celebration towards celebrating the Reformation, instead of Halloween, using some of the same fun, fall activities to celebrate it. In a previous post, I linked to a brief, but helpful article by Douglas Wilson about Christians celebrating this holiday. The article can be found here. We don't live in a neighborhood anymore. For the future, we plan to host or attend Reformation parties, even if they're just with our kids.