Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Scrooge!

I am a "Halloween Scrooge!"

I know, some of you might think I'm CRAZY after you read this post, but it's my blog and I can write what I want, right? My purpose is not to judge any of you who enjoy Halloween. This is simply my opinion.

Even as a young girl I disliked Halloween. We never made a big deal of it in our house growing up because my Mom didn't like it either! I think we participated in trick or treating a few times and then my Mom started the Fall Festival at our church, which we attended a few times. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED all of the candy - I was a total sugar addict as a kid. But, I was extremely shy so the idea of knocking on doors and asking for candy made me totally anxious. I also worried a lot about what people thought of me and I wasn't very creative so I hated trying to figure out what to wear for a costume! And to top it all off, Halloween scared me! So, unlike most children, Halloween was a day that I dreaded.

As an adult, I still dislike it. For as long as I can remember, I have turned off all the lights and layed in bed watching tv to ignore the knocks on my door from trick or treaters. Jimmy does not share the same feelings as me so if he is in town he will buy a couple of bags of candy to hand out while I lounge in bed.

My dislike for Halloween was heightened a few years ago when I was pregnant with the boys. I was in my first trimester and was extremely sick throwing up up to 10 times a day. I really thought I was going to die! I would just camp out at home in front of the tv so I could stay close to the bathroom. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina was taking place during this time and the news coverage was flooding television stations. All I could do was lay on the couch and cry as I watched people losing their homes, their jobs, their pets, living in shelters, and watching as families dealt with the deaths of over 1,800 loved ones. I felt so helpless. We helped out by giving money, but we could only do so much. My mind was racing trying to think of ways to do more.

Then I heard this shocking study. Americans spend approximately 5 BILLION dollars annually on Halloween - about $64 per household.!!! I felt disgusted. My thought was... if everyone would just take the money that they normally would spend on Halloween and give it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina what a huge difference we could have made on our fellow citizens! This year, according to The National Retail Federation, total Halloween spending for 2008 is estimated to reach 5.77 billion!

Now that I'm a parent I've thought even more about it. What is Halloween anyway? Is it a holiday? What is it's purpose? I found this interesting article online about the traditions and origins of Halloween. It is my responsibility to teach my children about our country's holidays. I can teach them about Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July but how will I teach them about Halloween?

This is the boys' 3rd Halloween and thankfully they don't know anything about it! Sometimes I think it would be fun to dress them up in a costume while they are still little, after all, there are so many cute ideas for twin costumes... Ernie and Bert, Batman and Robin, Two Peas in a Pod, Twinkies, 2 of a kind cards, Ketchup & Mustard, Buzz & Woody. etc! But, I'm too cheap and practical to buy them something they will probably only wear once! They will begin to ask about Halloween soon enough. We'll cross that bridge when the time comes. Thankfully, most churches have Fall Festivals that provide safe and fun outlets for kids.

Tonight, I will probably hang out on my bed watching Mickey Mouse with the boys while Jimmy hands out candy to trick or treaters!

For those of you that don't feel the same way as I do, it's ok! Whatever you do, please be careful tonight!

I'll finish with a cute idea I read on another blog...

Pumpkin Carving Prayer

Dear God,
As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer....
Open my mind so I can learn about you. (Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all my sins and forgive me for the wrong things I do. (Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see. (Cut the eyes out in the shape of a cross)
Open my ears so Your Word I will hear. (Cut the ears shaped like the Bible-rectangles)
Open my mouth so I can tell others You are near. (Cut the mouth)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do! (Place a candle inside and light it)

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Emma and Luke said...

I love dressing my kids up but only because right now their costumes are easy(and they love trick or treating) but I've never been into Halloween either. I always hated trying to figure out what costume I would wear and even now, Jeff and I don't dress up at our neighbor's Halloween party just because we hate trying to figure out what to wear. I don't like the "scary/creepy" side of it, just the cute side.:) Emma wears her costumes year round, that girl LOVES dressing up so I don't feel so bad spending $15 on something she'll play with a lot. Hope you got some good TV watching in. :)

Leilanni said...

Totally understandable . . .I fight with myself about it every year. I, too, love the cute side and LOVE dressing Ellie up! (She also wears those costumes year round) The past two years we just hit the grandparents' houses for candy and photo ops :-) This was the first year we actually did Trick or Treating and I was really on the fence about it. I knew we would see scary costumes but I also knew it would be great to get out and meet neighbors. We only ended up going to a few houses and Ellie really enjoyed it.

However it remains one of those "in the world but not of it" debates in my mind. Sigh . . .And don't even get me started on some of the costumes they have for little girls - totally inappropriate! And I know this is only the very beginning of THAT battle.

Good thing there's so many wonderful things about parenting to help balance out the tough stuff!!

Katherine said...

My boys still don't have a clue about Halloween.