Every few weeks, sometimes more often, we get together for a large family dinner. I love this. It’s something my wife and I had always wished for when we lived away in our earlier years. It may just be dinner but we are celebrating something important; Family.
The truth is that when we do just about anything, we are celebrating. When we give someone a high five, we are celebrating success. When we share a hug, we are celebrating friendship and love. When we open presents on the 25th of December, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.
I’ve never dressed up for Halloween in my life. It has simply been a choice of mine not to participate. While I don’t partake, my wife views it another way. Right, wrong or indifferent, it has always been our preference, not conviction.
I was surprised this year when my oldest son, Evan, told me he didn’t want to dress up for Halloween this year. When I asked Evan why he didn’t want to go out this year he told me “I don’t want to celebrate it.” That word, ‘celebrate,’ was a very appropriate word to use. In the past, I haven’t communicated it in that way.
See, while it may be true that we are just “putting on costumes and passing out candy,” as many have told me, we are actually celebrating something. All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, has a very clear history and was seen has a transition of the seasons and a “Bridge to the dead,” (History, 2009).
We are, in fact, celebrating the dead.
American culture has taken this even further with haunted houses in which you can watch people be killed and tortured and we have convinced ourselves it is just for fun. Somehow we are appalled about mass shootings but have dismissed the horrors of death, destruction and chaos so long as they are in an entertainment setting; as if the two had no impact on outcomes of young minds.
Yes, we are indeed celebrating something or someone perhaps. For me, I have chosen to celebrate the One who brings love and life to anyone who wants to accept his grace. It’s something to consider.
This is not a judgment on anyone who chooses to spend the night out and about on October 31. Oddly enough you will see me at the end of the driveway with a bowl of candy. It further proves my historic conflict of beliefs vs. accommodations of other’s beliefs.
I know I will battle this again next year but as for this year, I am really looking forward to setting out one more chair next to me.
History Channel Staff. (2009). History of Halloween. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween
DesignBolts.com. (n.d.). Halloween Background [Digital image]. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.designbolts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Halloween-2013-Scary-Background1.jpg