Erm…I don’t really know where to begin with Halloween.
Growing up, my family never celebrated Halloween. I think I may have gone Trick or Treating once in my life…and by the time I went, I was old enough to feel uncool in a costume. It wasn’t that my family was hardcore against Halloween….we just lived in a different country with a very different culture.
You see, where I grew up in West Africa…witchcraft is real. Not just something that you read in a book, but something that you deal with on a regular basis. A couple houses down the street lived a witchdoctor, and he was very powerful. A lot of people mock witchcraft and sorcery and claim that it is all hype and made up…but I do not feel that way about it at all. It is alive, it is active…it is being used right now and it is very scary, hurtful and powerful. I know people who have had curses put on them..and those curses were NOT “all in their heads”. I know people who have been under the power of a witch doctor. I also know people who have trusted their whole lives (and the lives of their children) into the hands of witch doctors…sometimes with favorable results, and sometimes with extremely un-favorable results. All that to say…I absolutely HATE the glorification and the ‘celebration’ of witchcraft, sorcery, death and the demon-world. It’s not funny. It’s not decorative. It’s not a joke. It’s not a holiday. It’s not cute snacks at daycare, and it’s not something that should be celebrated…at all, but especially as Christians.
That side of Halloween, I am completely against.
But then there is the side of Halloween that is dressing up and trick or treating and having a reason to host a party. There is the side that brings delight to children, whether they are ringing your doorbell, or if they are your own kids choosing what they want to dress up like (can I get an Elsa? Ha!). That side of Halloween I actually am finding that I really love. I wish we could separate the two. Pick a day of the year and do costumes and door to door trick or treating, but maybe not mix it with all this gory, Satanic, mumbo-jumbo. Wouldn’t that be nice?
After leaving Africa and moving to America, Halloween was kind of whatever. Ok, I’m not really against Halloween in the form of dressing up and trick or treating, but as a 20 year old college student I didn’t even think about it…it just didn’t happen. Theo and I were too embarrassed to dress up and go knocking at people’s doors, anyways.
Then this year arrived. Our precious Tera Evelynne is 3 months old, and we absolutely love taking her out and letting people admire her. And what better way to let people admire her than to dress her up in a costume? It’s like all the creativity we would have wanted to put into our own costumes, but didn’t (because we were too embarrassed), we can now put into her (and she doesn’t have a say yet! haha!).
PLUS…free candy! Everyone thinks it’s so cute that Tera is dressed up…but guess who reaps the benefits? US! You betcha Theo and I split the candy! Haha.
So when we found out that there was an event at my school/church workplace, we decided we wanted to go…and that we would dress Tera up. I scoured Pinterest for some ideas, and we narrowed it down to three different ones…a gumball machine, an inmate or a cat. The gumball machine required purchasing something (ok, the little colored cotton ball things would have been like $1, but we really didn’t feel like going to the store), the cat didn’t seem very creative, so the inmate it was!
This outfit happened to cost…..$0!
We took a white onesie, and Theo colored some black stripes on it with sharpie. Her serial number is…..her birth date (bonus points if you noticed!). Poor Tera was probably inhaling Sharpie smells all night long… whoopsie. I had the orange pants in her clothing collection already, and then we put a black hat on her. She looked fairly boy-ish, so we put a flower bow on over the hat. To complete the outfit, we made a sign that said, “I just did 9 months on the inside.”
Everyone that saw it loved it. One woman even said, “Oh, honey….I did much longer than 9 months on the inside! But that is an adorable outfit!” I was a little embarrassed and I hoped the woman wasn’t offended. Our intention was NOT to make light of jail time…but to convey that Tera had just been on the inside of Mommy!
I was also surprised at some of the people who just didn’t get it. I got lots of, “She’s 9 weeks old???” or “She’s 9 months old??” or even “she’s just dressed up like a newborn baby!” (said a parent to her daughter as she quickly shuffled her daughter away from us).
We took Tera out to two different Halloween ‘events’, but decided to skip the door to door trick or treating because it was cold and rainy and who wants to deal with a carseat or a stroller? Not us. Both events were at churches, and can I just say that I attend neither church…and I learned diddly-squat about the churches that hosted the events. If it was intended to be an outreach, it was not successful. But if it was intended to be a fun family event with free candy and hay-rides and no demonic powers…then I suppose it was successful.
And now…for an over-spam of pictures from our Halloween festivities!
On our first hay ride…
One of the events even had free caricatures! So we got our family portrait done…
So that was Halloween this year!
What about you? How do you celebrate Halloween? Do you celebrate at all? Why or why not? What did you do this year? So many questions…!