Christian Halloween Thoughts

I came across a bunch of my newsletters from when I was in Japan. Considering Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it timely to repost this – my thoughts on Halloween as a Christian. This was originally dated 10/29/08. Take it as you will.

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Some of you might not agree with what I am going to say in the following paragraphs, but I hope that you will at least read it with an open mind.  This Friday is Halloween.  People everywhere will be celebrating it, and Japan is as well (although they embrace it because it’s something American, and they don’t really do the trick-or-treating but they do have a lot of parties).  On Sunday, I helped out with a Halloween workshop for some kids near Yamaguchi City.  It was a lot of fun!  I really enjoyed helping them carve the pumpkins and playing the games.  We always celebrated Halloween when I was a kid, and I would even dress up when I was up to high school.  There’s just a fun atmosphere around the holiday.

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Now, I know a lot of people do not like to celebrate it because of its origins.  I completely understand, and if that was what Halloween was in these days as well, then I would not want anything to do with it.  But the truth is that it has changed.  For the majority of people who enjoy it, it is not about worshipping spirits and divination or kidnapping little children and boiling them in stew (although that makes a really good scary story).  It’s the one night of the year that people all over are willing to put down their guard a bit and actually meet their neighbors with their children.

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Some might say, “Well, it’s just not an important holiday for a Christian.  We have Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving…Those days are so much more important for us to celebrate, we can forget about Halloween and no one will hold to our discredit.”  But I want to ask you…do you know your neighbors?  You might know their last names from their mailbox, you know how many cars and kids they have, how late they keep their dog out at night, but do you know how their parents’ health is doing?  Are they struggling to keep their marriage together?  Did they just move here and have no connections with anyone except at their workplace?

I think God has given us a great opportunity.  Most people who are not Christians think that Christians are stodgy and cannot have any fun.  They see a Christian’s closed and darkened house on Halloween and think that they have no interest in the community.  I am sad that I can’t be home this year to hand out candy, to show my neighbors my face so that they can know that I am not some religious freak incapable of real human interaction.  Yes, we know that we are very social creatures, within the safety and protection of our church community, but are you willing to step outside of that and invite some less than savory (or so you think) people into your life…people who are not already following Christ?  There is a special blessing for someone who leads another to Christ.

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Oh, and by the way…I looooove how some churches do the “Trunk or Treat”.  It provides a nice, safe, environment for kids to get candy and play games.  Last year, Mom’s church did that, but we still sat at our home and handed out candy.  As the kids came by, we let them know that they should go over to the church to get a lot of candy.  It was a great way to get people over to the church and see Christians actually enjoying life and in a non-threatening setting.  Just throwing some ideas out there for you…and again, if you don’t agree with this, please don’t hate me.  We have different ideas of evangelism and different people are gifted for different things.  Some of you, I know, do not celebrate Halloween, but you also make it a point to know your neighbors and be involved in your community.  If that’s the case, then good for you!  But if you are a regular “church hermit” and don’t know anything about the people down the street from you, I would just suggest that you should find a way of doing so.  It is a command that Christ gave us – to love your neighbor as yourself.  Can you say you do that?  I know I sure don’t…but it’s something I am working on.

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The Huz and I will be passing out candy this year at The House. I’m super pumped for it! He said that we don’t get many kids down this street, but I am looking forward to it. We never had many kids at my mom’s, but it was worth seeing the kids and neighbors for a little bit. We are all so isolated in America! Ugh, it drives me nuts and yet I perpetuate it all the time.

Halloween costumes last year...Goldilocks and a bear.

Halloween costumes last year…Goldilocks and a bear.

What are you doing for the holiday? Handing out candy? Taking kids around? Doing something with your church for the community? I’d love to hear how you use the holiday to reach out to others.

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Getting Married: 31 Weeks – Halloween

We found out that Danny and Allison, Matt’s cousins, were having a Halloween party and people were dressing up. I can’t remember the last dress-up party I’ve been to, so I started looking up costume ideas. I’ve also only ever dressed to match a couple girlfriends at most in the past, so finding a couples costume for Matt and me was so much fun!

One such costume…I am still scratching my head about this one…but her expression is crazy freakish!

There are so many couples costume ideas! I found a website that had to have listed 1,000 different ideas, at least. Some were super intensive and others were super easy. I wanted something creative, that Matt would enjoy too, but would be pretty easy to put together. Skimming down the page, I saw Goldilocks and a bear. I ran the idea by Matt and he was totally on board.

I was looking online at different Goldilocks costumes to get an idea of what I would need. Um…I knew that there were some pretty trashy costumes out there for women, but these were ridiculous! And they don’t just come right out and say “sexy nurse costume” anymore. Instead they say, “Sassy.” I’m sorry…you can be sassy without being sexy, but way to get people to have to look at scantily clad ladies and feed the lust drive of our culture.

Anyway, my costume was pretty easy, I just had to girlify myself. I found some leggings and put on a full apron and then a big ribbon bow in my hair. I like complementary colors, and though a lot of sites were saying that I should dress and decorate all in yellow, I decided to use purple a bit more. They also recommended to carry a teddy bear or wooden spoon, but I didn’t have a teddy bear, so I took along the stuffed elephant that Matt got me for Valentine’s day.

I had to endure comments about Goldilocks being Republican… *smh*

Matt’s costume was a bit more complicated. I thought there might be a bear head, or muzzle, at least, but he couldn’t find anything at all. We ended up having to get a big stuffed bear and dissecting it.

We cut off the head and left some of the chest fur attached so that we could tuck it into his shirt. There was a problem with the angle of the head on the stuffed bear not matching the angle of Matt’s head (go figure), so we had to make some adjustments – cut up part of the back to fit over his noggin, and then we attached it to an old backwards ball cap. This made it easier to take on and off and to keep on. We forewent the eye holes because the fabric was still pretty flimsy – this made moving around a little difficult. He often didn’t put the face down unless he was standing still for a picture or something.

We cut off the arms and the tail as well. The arms tucked up into his shirt and with the sleeves buttoned up, it worked great! I was relieved that the fabric was soft on the inside. It was so furry and every time we cut into it, little brown fragments of fur went all over the place. I think I’m still finding some and we didn’t even make it here at my apartment!

We sewed the tail to his jeans – it came off fairly easily afterwards. I was so relieved that I carry around a sewing kit in my purse. It was a gift from a student I had in Japan. I only had to stop at Michaels for my hair bow and then some brown stitching floss. I was very impressed with our resourcefulness. We didn’t have a ton of time to get a costume together, but we did pretty well. And had a lot of fun in the process.

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

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