Our new neighborhood in the Carolinas goes all out for Halloween. Like totally freakishly all out. As in our neighbors two houses down have set up a full haunted house on their property that they’ve been working on since Labor Day.
I have to rush my children past a nine foot tall Grim Reaper in order to take a morning walk around our neighborhood. For a Christian mother with three small impressionable children, I’m sure you can imagine my delight.
I must admit, I wish I could have waited a few years before delving into conversations about the more ghoulish side of Halloween with my little ones. But our neighbors have prevented me from waiting too much longer.
The ghosts and goblins and witches and grim reapers on our block have sparked very interesting chats with my two toddlers. We’ve talked about what it means to be scared. We’ve talked about “bone men” (skeletons) and “the weird snowmen jumping out of pumpkins” (ghosts).
And then earlier this week, something happened I was not expecting. One morning while we were out on our walk, the most mournful, broken-hearted lament erupted from my eldest.
“Oh no Mommy! Oh no it’s so very very sad!”
“What’s wrong Mark?”
“Mommy, Mommy! We have the only house without any degradations! We missed Halloween! We forgot to put out any degradations Mommy!”
Yes it’s true, I “forgot” to put out any “degradations” for Halloween.
The opinions of how to handle Halloween as a Christian family are as varietal as the candy I’ll be handing out night. I must admit I’m too new of a parent to jump head first into the debate. I’m still learning and thinking this one through.
For now, the Hubs and I have chosen to take a very casual approach. We love kids, we love being playful, we love sugar, and at our house, we’ll be snapping about a million pics of Tigger, The Fireman, and The Pumpkin, and enjoying their peels of “Happy Halloween” as they march up and down our street and make our elderly neighbors smile.
I have not felt any compulsion to turn Halloween into an All Saints Day Party, or teach my kids it’s the “Devil’s Holiday.” Instead I just want to share a laugh and a giggle with them, to relish their delight over adorable costumes and yummy sugar, and let that be the end of it.
I am sensitive, however, to my toddlers feeling left out. And seeing as my lack of Halloween decor within a four block radius was a little more glaring than I realized, here’s what we did.
I told my son that I’d be happy to put up some
degradations decorations for Halloween, but that our family’s policy is we only decorate with happy things, not scary things.
He seemed to think that was a fantastic idea, so I bought the largest carving pumpkin I could find, and the boys and I created this happy fellow, whom the Bear Cubs have fondly named “Mack.”
My boys are THRILLED with their Jack-O-Lantern, thrilled that today they get to dress up for the neighbors, and especially thrilled they get to eat a bit of candy.
Happy Halloween, friends! If any of y’all are in the neighborhood, please do stop by for some candy.
…And to see our beautiful degradations.