Thursday, November 1, 2007

To Halloween or Not . . .

Actually, I'm not going to enter this debate. It's been done to death and both sides have legitimate points.

By the way, you think this argument is bad, here in South Louisiana, we have the "To Mardi Gras or Not" debate. The comparisons are uncanny. My opinion fits both situations. The kids have the answer. The kid's parades, which run during the day, feature cartoon characters and tailgating. The adult parades feature fights, rampant underage drinking, and lewd conduct.

As a child, I enjoyed Mardi Gras. After age 13, I hated it. Still do.

Same for Halloween. For a few years, after our accident, (age 4-8) my family lived with my uncle on basically a small farm. Every Halloween, my uncle would make a huge bonfire and rig up the tractor for hay rides. We roasted marshmallows and hot dogs, bobbed for apples (which I now realize is disgusting. It's bad enough that everyone is sticking their head in the same washtub with their mouths open. Talk about worse than double dipping. But, who knows what that tub was used for the rest of the year. We had animals.). It was a lot of fun. So much so in fact, that I usually skipped trick or treating. I wanted to stay where the action was. Besides, the fire was warm, there was plenty of candy, and I hated wearing costumes.

I guess my point is: I would like to do the same for my future kids. Of course, I don't have to wait till Halloween to do it.

If you're looking for a way to 'Christian up' Halloween next year, check out what novelist Eric Wilson's family did:

The best Halloween we ever had as a family, we set up our lawn as a graveyard. Each tombstone had one of the seven deadly sins named on it. Trick-or-treater's came up the path, through "The Graveyard of Sin," then entered the open garage where we'd made a happy, cheery place for gathering goodies. We had the VeggieTales' "God is Bigger than the Boogie-Man" playing in there. We never said anything beyond that. And the neighborhood flocked to our house the next year to see what else we might come up with.--Eric Wilson (Nashville, TN)


Mark Harbeson said...

The kids have the answer. I like that a lot.

Every year, we get teens trick-or-treating who have no costume whatsoever. They're just walking around with a trash bag collecting free candy. We just want to say, "Grow up!" Which is pretty much what you're saying, too.

Janet Rubin said...

On another note, do people do big time decorating for Halloween in your neck of the woods? I can't believe how people buy all sorts of stuff-- even lights and big blow up things for their yards. It's like we just find more and more things to waste money on in America while people are starving and dying of aids and not hearing the gospel all around the world.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Yeah, Mark. The only way I could feel 'cool' trick or treatin' after 12 was if I was escorting some young relative.

Janet, Considering my anti-social behavior in recent years, I'm probably not qualified to give a good answer. Mostly, the locals just make a fire and get drunk. But, I have seen a couple of extravagant set-ups. I've made a similiar point about football. But that's another post.

Btw, I meant to touch on the point you made on the last post: "but Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus". That's gonna be my Christmas pet peeve.