I have had a general dislike for Halloween as long as I can remember. I remember the fear I felt as an elementary school aged child in the presence of adults I trusted dressed as creatures and characters that invoked fear. Seeing my authority figures and heroes causing fear gave me a sence of distrust and betrayal. Aren’t we supposed to love all others and treat other people the way we would want to be treated, not causing fear or nightmares that even knowing there was no harm intended could take away. Maybe my parents were being over protective but I have been so thankful my whole life for the safety and refuge they provided me during this time of year by creating other family traditions that were fun and fear free.
As a child we tried several different versions of the harvest party and they were pretty fun, but it still felt like participating in a holiday that served as an antagonistic reminder of the reality of hell that not enough people in the world today live with or take seriously.
I’m not sure when or whom had the brilliant idea to check out of school on Halloween and travel to the nearby town of New Meadows. We would swim all day in their out door hot springs warmed pool with a short break to laugh, tell stories, eat crockpot lasagna, and just be together. Awwwe finally, a halloween alternative that was truly an alternative.
As a non-parent adult I could pretty much just ignore the holiday, but as soon as Caleb came along Chad and I had to figure out what we were going to do about this fall elephant in our lives. Chad had been raised going to the kids country fun fair at his families church. We went when Caleb was a baby, it seemed harmless enough and there was no scary costumes. After a few years the country fun fair had evolved to another Halloween alternative the kind that made me physically ill, so on to plan B. Chad is a movie guy and there are so many good older movies that we wanted to watch as a family. “My Fair Lady,” “the Cat from Outer space,” “Family Band,” and “The Sound of Music.” That combined with fond memory producing homemade carmel popcorn has made for several years now of a fun new tradition. The one thing we do participate in is pumpkin carving. I loved carving over grown zucchinis as a child and the part of me that loves all kinds of art and the fun you have making it still wants to participate in that part of fall activities. We don’t do anything scary, and this year we wanted to do something related to the adventure we are on. After several ideas we decided on a globe.
Chad dug out the seeds and prepped the pumpkin for carving, Hannah, Eve, and I separated and cleaned the seeds so they could be roasted. Then Caleb and I worked on the carving while Eve and Hannah popped out the pieces and collected them for disposal. Chad roasted the seeds and by the time the pumpkin was done and lit, the seeds were toasty and tasty. I love watching the kids enjoy and admire the pumpkin. We may or may not have eaten almost all of the seeds already, only a handful is left and that is because Hannah asked us to save some more for her for the morning.
John 1:1-13 (NIV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.