October means several things to me, and one of those is: HALLOWEEN MONTH! Yes, I said MONTH.
I have ALWAYS loved Halloween. I ALWAYS will. The excitement of costume decisions, the fun of candy, and the festive parties.
And did I mention the month of Halloween music? Oh yes. That’s right. MONTH. My iPod is cram packed with Halloween tunes. I have my own playlist. If you live near me, I’m the crazy red van with the woman belting out Adams Family, When You’re Evil, RE: Your Brains, Zombie Stomp, and a plethora of other fun tracks while cruising town.
And at last, Halloween is nearly here.
On Wednesday I wore a costume to an event for our home school group. Tomorrow is our congregation’s Trunk or Treat. And Sunday is finally Halloween! Normally, I’ll dress up for the whole day, but I am wondering what I could get away with in Church. A lot of my costumes are very heavy so I don’t think I’d want to wear most of them. Would it be wrong for me to wear my poodle skirt though? Yes, I am seriously thinking about doing this. (Actually my new one is purple and sports a plaid Scotty dog.)
“Any excuse to dress up and wear one of the many costumes in my closet!”
Apparently there is some controversy over Halloween this year due to it falling on “the Sabbath”. (Wow was there a fall out when CNN covered it yesterday!)
Before I go any further, I do need to say that yes, Sunday is my Sabbath. I also feel the need to say that I believe in honoring the Sabbath. To me, this means attending Church, spending time as a family, and not spending any money. I do feel it acceptable to cook and do other family related work.
In our home, the celebration of Halloween is a family event. While we rarely match as a family, we decide on costumes together. If trick or treating, we walk together. Most of all, we have fun together.
There are those who feel the need to complain due to the “pagan” roots. To them I say simply that every Christian holiday stems from some “pagan” holiday. So when you are blowing out candles for the baby Jesus’s birthday cake, just remember that the only reason we celebrate the birth of our Savior in December is because of incorporating a pagan holiday into Christianity.
Furthermore, Halloween entered the Christian world around 600 AD. That is fully 2/3rds of Christian history! November 1st is All Saints Day, a time to remember Christian Saints and martyrs. (So in my Church, that would include Joseph Smith.) November 2nd is All Souls Day, and a day to remember our loved ones now gone The term “Halloween” comes from the Middle English term “Alholowmesse”.
What really bothers me, though, are the people who are so virulently against Halloween on Sunday. It is not my right to dictate what another family chooses for activities on any day of the week. Furthermore, there is no true way for a community to “move” Halloween this year because the Sabbath means different things to people.
For my Jewish friends, Shabbat begins in just a few short hours. They celebrate their Sabbath from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. I also have several friends that are in faiths that deem Saturday to be their Sabbath.
I suppose it all comes down to when do you start YOUR calendar for the week. Growing up my calendars ran Sunday-Saturday, but I see a lot now that run Monday-Sunday. For one, day seven was Saturday while the other shows day seven as Sunday. Does it really matter so long as you choose one day out of seven? And do I have a right to claim my Sabbath is any more important than yours?
Now I did live in Ohio where changing Halloween is a norm each year. In one town, “Begger’s Night” is always the Thursday before Halloween, even if Halloween is on a Thursday. That was a little weird to get used to, I must say. I definitely do not see the point. Seems if you are going to move it, moving it to a non-school night would be a better plan. One that makes a lot of sense really.
I have no shame in trick-or-treating on Sunday. Then again, I went trick-or-treating throughout high school and college. The benefits of a youthful face!
What will we do this year? Honestly, I will leave that up to my sons. At 12 and 14, they only need to go if they want to go trick or treating. If they choose not to go, that’s their own business. If they want to go, well I have plenty enough costumes to put on and walk with them.
If a family chooses not to go out on Halloween night, that is their prerogative. However if a family chooses to go out, that is also their choice. I believe both are the “right” choice. Just, if you are not going out, remember to turn off your porch light so we don’t “trick” you! Never fear, if we do, you might like our version of “TP-ing.”