I Like Halloween!

A friend of a friend on Facebook recently pointed out that my posts have been fairly negative, lately.  It's a fair criticism, and a needed one, since I often complain that Evangelicals define their faith more by what they're against than by what they're for.  I have a feeling that while positive energy is more powerful, affecting, and more lasting, negative energy is easier, more viral, and thus more likely to take root in folks (like me) who are lazy, scared, selfish, ignorant or angry.  It takes a massive effort to introduce something substantive and good into the world.  It takes relatively little effort at all to whine and complain and demonize.

While I'll continue to try to decry the dysfunctional accoutrements of contemporary Christianity and Western society (generally because I find myself and my own interests so enmeshed with them), I'm going to try to do a better job of writing about the things I'm excited about; things that are good; places I see God powerfully at work; places I see humanity responding to God; things to be hopeful about; things to be joyful over!

Today is Halloween, and while I grew up trick-or-treating (except for a few years in the 80s, during a razor blade scare) the churches we attended generally disapproved.  It's funny how much society influences the perception of a thing.  Though not the same holiday, Mexico's Day of the Dead seems such a meaningful spiritual and familial event.  In America we try to deny and hide from death (understandably) but in so many other cultures death is nothing less than a beautiful, necessary point on the continuum of life.  Painful: of course.  I'm not naive and I don't want to exoticize el Día de los Muertos because death is painful and mournful for everyone.  But there seems to be a refusal to hide from death in this Latin holiday - bravery to celebrate the people who have passed, and to engage in celebration with them.  
I guess our American Halloween has more in common with the Celtic/European celebration All Hallows Eve, when people believed evil spirits were more likely to cross into the land of the living.  To avoid these evil spirits, they disguised themselves as spirits themselves.


Yes, all three holidays carry pagan roots, but so do most Christian holidays (including Christmas and Easter).


So: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Try to have some fun!  Watch a scary movie, throw candy at small children (ha!), or take time to remember loved ones that have passed.  There are things this holiday can teach us... the only complaint I have about this holiday is when it's used as an excuse to wear slutty pseudo-costumes that sexualize even pre-teen girls.  Seriously, the local halloween store has "tween" costumes that are horrifying.  Let's all just agree to dress as the Super Mario Brothers...

6 comments:

Al said...

Saw a couple staff at the library today dressed up (sort of) as Chilean miners.
And then there was the guy who was dressed normally, but wearing a sign that said: "Nudist on strike".

Anonymous said...

What a blasphemy to like Haloweens !

elly said...

Nice! I like Halloween too and it's not celebrated very much here in Taiwan, so I miss it. I also detest the slutty costumes (I was listening to a podcast--Stuff Mom Never Told You--and they were talking about the "Sexy Amelia Earheart" costume--yikes!) but I love the idea of a day to express creativity through costumes.

And SUPER love the pic of li'l Asian tykes in Mario gear!

Scott said...

I never went trick or treating, except at that strip mall that used to have the Emporium, then the Recreation Station. Halloween was bad. And I also don't get the whole excuse to skank it up, but think it is a day when lots of friends and families have a lot of fun together. What can be bad about that? Unless it causes you to convert to Wicca....

Peter J Walker said...

The Recreation Station. Ha! I remember you skanking it up, so don't play innocent now.

Eruesso said...

Let's all just agree to dress as the Super Mario Brothers...

My 4 year old went in his homemade Link costume from the Legend of Zelda. My 3 year old went as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I went as Finn the Human from Adventure Time. Best Halloween Ever!

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