We had been living in our new house for one month, childless at the time. As we stepped out of our doorway, dressed to go to a good friend’s wedding, costumed children descended upon us seeking treats. Not even aware we had stumbled into trick or treating territory, we apologized to the little darlings and proceeded to our car. “That’s not the way to start out in this neighborhood,” our new neighbor greeted icily from the street. Mind you, my husband was in a suit and I was donned in an ankle length velvet gown, clearly overdressed for Halloween. Needless to say, the experience left a bad taste in my mouth that no amount of York peppermint patties could erase.
Growing up, I happily trick or treated. Back when we all us kiddies had to do was set out at night by ourselves and the scariest thing we had to worry about was whether a razor blade had been inserted into our apples by some sick freak. It was good, clean fun and the neighbors were excited to see us. I don’t regret my days of Halloweening.
My husband is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who grew up studying the less than Godly history of Halloween. He knew things I had certainly never known. Things I never would have thought to look up. As our kids came along, we had to make a decision. We chose not to celebrate. A decision made between us and God. A decision that is different for each Christian. We certainly have a number of Christian friends who partake in the sugar laden festivities. One is an ordained minister who actually used to stage a haunted house in his own home each year as an outreach to the community.
But I certainly don’t want my kids to sit home and listen to laughing children run past our house, their bags stuffed gleefully with sugar, corn syrup, and artificial colors. So, we leave long before our nosy neighbor is out and about and have family fun time with the kids. This year we hit the local farm market for a hay ride and pumpkin picking. And instead of making jack-o-lanterns, we’re going to roast up and puree those pumpkins to make pumpkin muffins. Then we’ll toast up the seeds for a healthy snack. And yeah, we even picked up some candy, just nothing me or my husband liked (smart thinking from the fat chick).
So to those of you who celebrated, I hope you all had a blast. To those of you who didn’t, have no fear. You are not alone.-Suzi Ryan