“I know kids, let’s celebrate evil! Let’s dress up like rated-R horror movies! We will pretend to be ax wielding murders, who torture innocent people before hacking them to bits. Or we can dress up like Satan-worshiping, spell-casting witches!
No, wait, even better, let’s get some fake teeth and blood, and pretend to be people who have sold our souls to the devil, in exchange for an eternal life of orgy sex and jugular-ripping, blood sucking!
If that’s too PG, we could cake our faces in makeup to resemble living dead people, with rotting flesh falling from our bodies, and a ravenous cannibalistic appetite for living flesh! It will be great! Then we will decorate our lawn with skeletons, blood and dismembered body parts!”
No, I never actually said any of that. And it was a princess dress my little Audrey wore to her first halloween party; but perhaps the pretty dress gave her the wrong idea about what we intended to celebrate. Her petite legs swung happily beneath her lacy dress, as she daydreamed about the “party.” Likely, she was picturing a cake and ice cream, bright colors, happy games – something like a birthday.
It was nearly dark when we arrived, but not dark enough. Immediately, she began to notice, what I could no longer see; halloween was dark and ugly. She’d point disgustingly to other children, with pretend knives sticking out of their heads and blood running down their faces, and ask, “Why? Why are they dressed like that daddy?”
“It’s fun,” I tried to explain.
She did eventually settle in and enjoyed some kid games, but even then I’d see her stare wide-eyed and slightly disgusted at gory costumes. Thankfully I kept her out of the haunted house.
I left her with mom and joined my buddy and his son. He was a few years older, so we thought surely he’d have fun. But he didn’t. It took all of 10 seconds of wicked laughs, terrifying screams, darkness, sudden flashes of light illuminating murderous demons and dead bodies, and my buddy’s kid was screaming in horror and begging to get out. His daddy kept asking, “What is wrong with you? This is supposed to be fun.”
I paid for my foolish mistake over the course of several weeks, buying night lights, cracking doors, leaving hall lights on, and waking to my daughter’s bad dreams. It was the last time our family celebrated halloween.
I am sure that if we could have stuck it out, Audrey would have learned to love halloween like other kids. She too, could become desensitized to the images of horror and the faces of evil. But I preferred her initial reaction.
Evil is repugnant. We should not be thrilled by terror, nor delight in the images of murder and torture, and death. I don’t want her to become confused and think that evil is harmless, or even worse, fun.
I’m not saying that families shouldn’t celebrate halloween; I’m just wondering why they would want to. I mean, if I am going to take all that time to find costumes, plan parties and set decorations, wouldn’t I want it to be for a holiday with at least one redeeming quality. Wouldn’t I want it to teach something positive?
Ask yourself, is this a holiday you would have planned on your own? Does it exemplify the values and beliefs you want to teach your children? And as a Christian I have to ask, “Is it okay to celebrate evil, even in the name of fun?”
You’ve heard my thoughts, what are yours? Is halloween good clean fun? Or is it really a celebration of evil?