Friday, October 29, 2010

Is Halloween Still A Pagan Holiday

I'm not sure how I feel about Halloween as a kids' holiday. As a little girl, my minister always scared the bejesus out of us with stories of devil worship and child sacrifice. Doubtful that really still happens, but super effective. After getting married and migrating to the Bible Belt, I was super shocked to learn that Halloween is celebrated as a kids' holiday here under the psuedonym Fall Festival.

Before havings kids, I really didn't give it that much thought, but once the munchkins came along, everything became a behavioral analysis. Ultimately, I think there are good points to these Christian Fall Festivals:
  1. It's a fantastic opportunity to bring families together in a relaxed atmosphere and just let kids be kids. As I type this, I'm seeing my husband sliding down the humungous bouncy after our two kids, all three grinning from ear to ear.
  2. The holiday is spent on church grounds with adequate supervision, instead of getting into pranks with friends around the neighborhood. Has your house been TP'd lately?
  3. The church is moving past the horrors of Halloween past and creating a new family-friendly holiday.
I understand the criticisms of the latter, specifically the desensitization of pagan worship theoritically enforcing its future acceptance, but perhaps this is a bit extreme. Right now, all my kids understand about Fall Festival is that they get to play games and bring home a ton of candy. As they get older, I think it is important to explain the holiday's origin so that they can understand the church's current position.

Not everyone will agree with my MO and that's fine. We all raise our kids based on our personal beliefs and hope we're doing the best job we can. And if at some point in the future, I think there's something askew, I can always choose not to let my kids participate.

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