Tuesday, October 31, 2006

what to make of halloween

halloween guest
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
One of my students asked me today: "What are you going to dress up as tonight?" "A grumpy old man passing out candy." was my reply. Esther was out for the night listening to author Gregg Olsen speak at the public library, and Calvin was helping at the church carnival. That left me to handle the 'treating' of guests. I have such mixed feelings about this holiday. On the one hand, it is a celebration of 'demonic' beings such as witches, goblins and vampires, to which, as a christian, I am repulsed. On the other hand, it is one of the most neighborly and community oriented practices that we have in our society. Parents assist their children with intricate costumes. Families get out of the house and mingle together on streets, bringing their children to share in the generosity of their neighbors. They teach their children to be polite and say 'thank you" and "Happy Halloween." Homeowners spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to invite young adventurers to their yards and share candy with them. Somehow it is hard to dismiss all this goodwill, creativity and family festivity as a 'worthless pagan holiday.'

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