So, to begin, I am still alive. Yes, I realise that this is probably something of a surprise to you. I am teaching a split grade this year which means that I have to teach Grades 2 and 3 at the same time. As you can imagine, this presents some challenges and given that I haven't taught Grade 3 before, it's a lot of work. I am enjoying it but I feel like my head is spinning a lot of the time.
I have really missed blogging. I want to try to get back here more often. November is such a yucky, depressing month, I want to try to do it differently here and use your ideas. That's another post, though.
So, as you know, if you have been around here a while, you know that I have some mixed feelings about Halloween. I grew up celebrating Halloween and always really enjoyed it as a family holiday. We never went with anything especially especially ghastly but we did have fun with it. I never saw anything wrong with it.
In the last few years, I have come in contact with a bunch of Christians who are VERY anti-Halloween. At first, I totally dismissed them as being over the top (a bit like the ones who are afraid of Muppets out of the fear that they are demons - seriously, I did know some like that). Gradually, though, as I gave it a bit more thought and I did some research, I did come to realise that there are some issues around Halloween that I hadn't really pondered before. While there is nothing in the Bible against dressing up and getting candy, the Bible is very clear that we are not to have anything to do with the occult.
Dh and I talked a lot about it and we decided that we think that it is o.k. to do Halloween but that we will do it our way. We have friends who are Christians who have largely withdrawn from the world and really, they seem like their kids aren't having much fun. I am not in any way saying that we should let our kids do everything their friends are doing but at the same time, I think that constantly saying no to our kids out of fear will make Christianity seem pretty bleak and oppressive. We had a discussion with our minister and his wife (who is also our minister) and he said that she had said something about we, as Christians, needing to be light in the world - isn't Halloween a great time to do that, when we can give generously, forge relationships with neighbours and show a different way of doing things? We do not do witches, demons, satan, etc. but I don't see anything wrong with pumpkins, princesses and animals. When the kids get older, it may be tougher to keep it clean but for now, anyway, we can really enjoy ourselves without feeling like we are compromising what we believe.
The build up was fun and Halloween itself was great. We made treats for a dinner with friends, treats for Pk and LB's daycare friends, gave out candy, carved pumpkins (based on "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" by Liz Curtis Hicks) and went trick-or-treating with good friends. It was so much fun!
We made these treats based on a great recipe I stumbled across via Pinterest.We worked together to carve pumpkins. LB wanted to get in on the fun, which really frustrated Pk.
Once we got him his own pumpkin, everyone was much happier.
The look in the photo above was the result of taking his first taste of raw pumpkin. Yuck!
We made these cute jars from another Pinterest find. I wanted something to give to Pk's teacher, the sitter and our trick-or-treating friends. It was fun, easy and Pk did most of the work!
The actual trick-or-treating outing was so much fun. I have to say, I find it quite moving. There were families everywhere and most houses had people either already out on the porch or quick to answer the door. Everyone was so kind to the kids and people were so generous. When else do we all get outside and talk to people we don't know, give things away and trust our neighbours with our children? What a nice community event. I have been thinking that it's really sad that we don't do more this way with other holidays.
I hope you had a wonderful Halloween, too!