Posted by: littlebitofparadise | October 31, 2013

The Only House Without Degradations

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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.

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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.

Bah humbug.

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.”

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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.

;o)

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Responses

  1. If only he knew how right he was! We have followed the same approach, which was different from my parents. I took my kids trick or treating (at a city event), and it was my first time also! It has been such a fun family thing, and we only dress up in happy costumes, and only put out fall decorations. Love it!

    • Chrissy I’m so grateful to hear your perspective. I think we were probably at some of the same “alternative” parties as little kids. Personally I think our parents missed out on some hilarious fun by avoiding the happy “little kid” fun side of Halloween.

      • Yes, and my dad went with us that year. We ALL had a great time, and it did my heart good. 🙂

  2. Too cute Steph! I love your approach too!

  3. PS – Have you heard the story about the pumpkin? I’m sure that you can google it, or just fill in the blanks yourself. As you carve the pumpkin, you tell the story of the boy who was filled with sin – until Jesus came in, cleaned all the junk out of his heart, and now the light of Jesus shines through him!

    • This is awesome! I had no idea – thanks for sharing and I’ll have to remember this for next year.

  4. Too cute! My little ones saw me reading this blog, saw the jack-o-lantern pics, and have been begging me for a pumpkin. (Which I honestly forgot to buy earlier…it was going to be the one and only “degradation” for Halloween at our place!) They are not convinced it is Halloween without a pumpkin!! Must ask hubby to bring one home tonight!

    • It’s amazing how much kids notice isn’t it? I’m glad my kids love to feast and celebrate…and the pumpkin carving was super fun!!

  5. I love your approach to Halloween! It is the same one we are taking for now. This year there are no decorations, but we do not stick out because no one else in the neighborhood has anything. Usually I would do a pumpkin, some mums and a wreath, more fall-like decor than the one day event of Halloween. And we give out candy to any trick-or-treaters that ring the doorbell. And I will dress the boys up as fun things, just like your little ones, but it will never be a scary day or raunchy like too many people do. It should just be a fun day for children to dress up as fun things and use their imaginations in a positive way.

  6. I just wanted to share that our little visitors were a lot of fun last night. Almost all the costumes were homemade, only a couple were “scary,” and everyone was sweet and polite. My personal favorite costume was the refrigerator. Yes, a boy was wearing a very large white box with his head sticking out, and the “door” swung open in front of him as he smiled proudly. With all the bad in the world, it was refreshing to watch how much fun a kid can have singing merrily in the street while dressed as a refrigerator.

    • Ahh I just love hearing this! Thanks for sharing Kathryn!!

  7. […] porch, all ready for carving this afternoon. Last year I wrote how in our neighborhood we’re the only house without “degradations”…so we’re working on that […]


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