Sewing Halloween

Each year I sew Halloween costumes for my children under 13.   A mouse, a turtle, an elephant, pirates, princesses, a grim reaper, Joan of Arc, a version of my husband’s WoW character and even a Swiss Guard have appeared from under my thread and needle.  The children start thinking about their costumes in mid-summer and they play “dress-up” in them all year long.  It is one of our most loved traditions.

The children dress up and happily knock on the doors of the neighbors to score some candy, then we pack up and go to my parent’s house and then come home for some warm cider and too much sugar.  All in all a great night.  Rachel loves Halloween more than any other holiday – the social interaction is predictable and all the neighbors are happy to give her candy.

It kind of saddens me to see how controversial Halloween can be sometimes.  What was good, clean fun when I was a child has been morphed in some minds to either a celebration of the occult or a highly dangerous activity.

4 thoughts on “Sewing Halloween

  1. I’m a bit ambivalent about Halloween. I think what you describe is perfectly innocent and fun. I don’t think that is all that is happening at Halloween, however. It also troubles me, a little, that a child in any Christian home would prefer Halloween (I would say the same if it were Thanksgiving) to Easter or Christmas (or for those of us in Liturgical traditions, Pentecost, Epiphany, All Saints, etc). I do not mean any condemnation by that, but I would feel like we hadn’t passed on something to our children if that was how our children thought. The church year is so full of symbolism, food, celebration, fun activities and color, that I cannot imagine preferring secular holidays to it. I do love me some Thanksgiving, though. It is my favorite non-Church holiday.

  2. Rachel being severely autistic — is a little bit of a different case. She doesn’t have the ability to understand the deeper meanings in most of the liturgical holidays the way a normal child would. For her, being able to communicate with people, say “tick or teet” and get a candy for her efforts plus a smile, some praise, is something that is going to beat the more abstract meaning of Pentecost or Epiphany every single time. If I could wave the magic wand and have her normal I would. I am sure at 15 Halloween would be getting a bit long in the tooth and the delights of the liturgical year would over-shadow them, but she is what she is.

    But I do see your point, Ranee, which is one reason we have always played down the Santa thing at Christmas. But at the same time I think there is definitely room for happy childhood memories to be packed into non-religious holidays too. I really enjoy getting a love note on Valentine’s day, fireworks on the 4th of July, going camping on Labor day and Halloween costumes. That doesn’t take away from the importance of the liturgical calendar, but a little frivolity now and then isn’t a bad thing.

    What makes me sad is two-fold. I am sure there are plenty of people out there who do some serious debauchery on Halloween and more than one poor misguided soul who fancies it a high holiday of evil…. or something like that and I am certainly not naive enough to think that no adult would hurt a child if they had the chance, but my kids get their cool customs on, go out an delight the neighbors and eat too much sugar — that’s it (and it is fun).

    If I were in a mind to justify it on moral grounds I would say that I am inoculating them against ever believing it a “day of evil” by wrapping it in tulle and drowning it in candy-corn…. yummmm candy corn.

  3. Got it. I missed somehow that Rachel was autistic.

    Like I said, I have no problem with costumes, too much candy (on occasion), or trick or treating. It is the darkness that pervades our culture which spills over into Halloween a bit more easily than in other holidays (though Valentine’s is close, with love turning to lust).

    But, I have explained the saint Valentine to our children and explained that it is a holiday for expressing Christian encouragement to friends and celebrating marital love. We focus on Sts. Methodius and Cyril for the children that day. Brotherly love and all. 🙂

  4. “Score some candy” … that phrase alone made me smile. But I know what you mean about the “good ol days”. I wish everyone could just enjoy it.

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