Thursday, October 31, 2013

what we did instead

I'm not a person with massively strong convictions.
You could probably win me over to your side in an argument in 5 minutes flat, most times.
In any massive debate, I tend to sit on the fence and nod and "mmmhmm" to points from both parties. I can see things from the point of view of many.
And sometimes I can't make up my mind who to agree with.

Halloween was one such topic, until today. October 31st.
As my kids get older I become increasingly aware of what they are/aren't putting into their little spirits. Not just how much time they're watching ABC iView, but what they're watching.
Who their friends are, where they're getting their values from.
And all of a sudden Halloween is upon us and I have to decide where I sit, because now it affects them. Because what I believe, they'll also believe for now. 
Maybe they'll question it later. I hope they do, they will need to decide for themselves one day.
But for now, we don't do Halloween.

As usual, I considered both sides of the argument. 
I considered the fact that it's hardly celebrated here in Australia, that it's not really a big deal anyway, that really it's just a bit of fun and some lollies. I did.
I also considered how it would come across to others. 
That we don't want to be stuck-in-the-mud "Christians" who never have any fun, and never let their kids do anything. And get labeled, and misunderstood.

But I couldn't do it.
Something in me just didn't want to budge on this one.
Yes it's pretty harmless, and it's mostly about lollies.
Which is mostly what Eden was devastated about when I told her we'd not be attending a class Halloween party, or doing any trick-or-treating. There were tears.
So this afternoon I sat with the kids and had a pretty simple conversation.
I asked them about things they think are pure and lovely.
Peppa Pig, obviously. Flowers. Our family. Butterflies. Being outside. Being kind to each other. 
I asked them if scary witches that give us nightmares are lovely.
What about werewolves and monsters and zombies and vampires?
And what sorts of things should we be celebrating?
Birthdays. Holidays. Things that are lovely.
Is Halloween lovely?

I think they got it. 
I think the lollipops I gave them afterwards helped.


* I took this photo at the circus we went to in the school holidays. I think it's my favourite one of Joel yet.


  1. Wow, I REALLY love your reasoning for not participating in Halloween--simply that Halloween is not lovely. Not that it's origins are pagan (we've all heard it before) but that it is less than lovely. It's so simple and straightforward and you've given me a lot to think about it.

    Thank you for sharing and for taking a stand. x

  2. Good job for holding out. Halloween is something that won't be celebrated in our house either - but I still can't believe the pervasiveness with which the trend towards it has been growing in Australia. My smalls are to young to be interested yet, but I think I will use your ideas when we have to have the discussion.

  3. I completely understand your point of view.. I never liked Halloween simply because it seems all about the lollies and I wished that it was something else being handed out (that doesn't send kids hyper and rot their teeth!) and I never thought I would celebrate it with my kids (I didn't even think people really did in Australia) but last night we went out trick or treating with a big bunch of kids from Sophie's school and I was struck by much it brought our community together.
    We live in a suburb that is full of young families.. and last night the streets were alive!! It was like some kind of awesome street festival. I think every kid in the neighbourhood was out, there were parties on every corner and I had such a lovely time knocking on doors and meeting new neighbours.
    It was a lovely, warm evening and I think we bumped into every single person we knew while walking around.
    I had been so hesitant in celebrating but last night I really felt like it brought the community together and it totally changed my view on halloween.
    And most importantly I now get to eat all Sophie's lollies while she is at school! ;)

  4. Thanks em. We had decided no but am also sitting on the fence. We bought Freddos incase terrifying monsters visited. Which they did not. Phew. So the kids now get to eat te Freddos themselves.

  5. love this post. we dont do trick-or-treating or join in Halloween celebrations because of our faith too. I can handle Bunnies at Easter, Santa at Christmas - I dont mind my children believing in them at their young age even though we put the main focus on our Christian belief during those times. But I cant do Halloween. Just as you stated, when they are older they will make their own choices, but for now that is my role. last week, we just filled out the kinder forms for next year and that is the one celebration we stated we wont part-take in. So thank you for your post. xx

  6. Love this so much! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Love this so much! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I agree so much with what you've said. I feel Halloween has never really been that important here in Australia although that is not my main reason against it because if something like Thanksgiving were introduced here, I'd be happy to adopt that tradition. I'm not that clued up about the origins/meaning/significance of Halloween, but like you, I just don't feel it's a celebration I want my children to 'celebrate' and yes, I'm sure down the track I won't be the popular one for sticking with my beliefs, but I think you need to do what you feel is right in your heart...


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