We are not the kind of people who push our belief systems on other people. We have clear convictions and the people who know us know that we aren't going to make choices that go against those convictions. I tell you this because the subject that I am writing about today is Halloween. You see, we have never allowed our children to go door-to-door to go trick-or-treating. We don't decorate to celebrate the holiday, and when the kids ask about wearing Halloween costumes, we remind them that, while they get to dress up, the costumes are dress-up costumes, not Halloween costumes. We did carve jack-o-lanterns last year, but we are fans of the pumpkin gospel, not the traditional scary-faced ogre-like Jacks that you see on many front porches and in photographs. We down-play the scary and play up the fun while educating them as to why we make that choice. One year we went to the zoo, which was decorated in non-scary fall decor. Last year we went to a church festival. Our kids are not deprived at all, but they have an understanding that this day is not a "holy" day, or holiday, as it is usually esteemed in our society.
With that explanation said, please know that we have many friends and relatives who go all-out on Halloween. That is fine with us. We just save the big celebrating for Christmas, Easter, and birthdays in our family. It's our personal choice. Our kids wear costumes nearly every day, so the only real draw for Halloween is the candy that is rationed to them anyway.
Those of you who know us will hopefully find the rest of this story entertaining since you know how we might explain this concept to our children. Eric took the kids somewhere the other day when Lukas noticed a house totally decked-out with Halloween blow-ups, lights, jack-o-lanterns, and the whole nine yards. From the back seat (which is where so many great things come out of our children's mouths), Eric heard Lukas say in exasperation, "Why do so many people choose to respect the devil's holiday?" The funny part for us is that we have never explained this issue to our children in this way. It was a moment for us in which we realized that they actually get some of the things we say to them and a laughable moment as well because of the way he worded it. What 6 year old speaks that way? Ours does. Of course, nothing tops when he was three and got frustrated with his geotracks. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "My train is not operating correctly!" Operating correctly. We are not people of extensive vocabularies, but Lukas seems to pick up on everything we say. It entertains us, to say the least, and we hope that it entertains you a little as well.