Monday, November 1, 2010

Why my life is like Halloween - Post Edit

we carved a watermelon on thursday night, so much fun! (while daddy was away! lol)

So you gotta know by now what a mixed up person I am. I mean look at this blog. Is it a craft blog, cooking blog, essays on motherhood blog, what type of blog is it?... It's all a confused mess and so am I  (what DO YOU come here for? Just wondering)

I'm a fence sitting, can't make my mind up about anything, see both sides of most arguments, can argue both sides of most arguments,  can be swayed by a good argument, can rarely choose a side,  in a fuddle gal.

My beliefs on Halloween are like my life:

I am (and was raised) Anti Halloween.

It's not autumn here, It's not harvest. It's not america/england. So its not halloween. (well kinda)

Nearly all meanings behind all halloween activities lie in bad/evil backgrounds.

Growing up I heard of one halloween party and it was at mcdonalds. There's a photo around of my siblings as Zombies. Don't know why I wasn't. Too old and cool for that sort of thing? However Australians love any reason to party and Halloween parties are becoming increasing popular. I had never really been invited to a Halloween Party until the last couple of years. The shops have also just started with having lots of decorations for sale the last couple of years too. We also have LOTS of american and canadian friends. We want to celebrate with them! Do I really have a reason to say NO ? (apart from the darling Mr who will say no, and NOT participate in any halloween activity) Also you can't really trick or treat here, without setting it up with other people. Most people won't have anything to give. Maybe this is why parties are so prevalent.

Where do I stand on this? I ask myself.

A went to her first halloween party last year. A canadian friend from school. The host children were dressed as a butterfly and ballerina. But *every* single australian child came as a witch (with one boy as a werewolf) Before our Harry Potter Craze dressing as a witch was a no no for me.(So it looks like I have changed my stance already! dang that Harry Potter for making witchcraft look so enticing!!) So A dressed as a black cat. This showed to me that peoples thoughts about Halloween in Australia lend to the more darker side (as opposed to americans perhaps) The Mr didn't want her to go to the party ( he is staunch anti halloween) but I said it was just a pinata, search for lollies in the back yard fun type thing.

blogged last year about how I don't think you can be christian and celebrate halloween. I'm still warring with that side of my brain. Seriously people, most Halloween stuff has evil meanings. You can't fight me on that!

However, A BIG HOWEVER, there are just soooo many many crafts to do. . Marshmallow pumpkins to be made,  Spider webs, Skeletons, Themed cupcakes and food, Leaves to stitch. Lollies to be eaten, bats to decorate walls with. Material pumpkins, painted pumpkins. Dressing up.

So I think, why should I feel so passionate about this? It's just halloween. It's just a party. Kids love a little spooky. (I mean surely as LDS we believe in spirits etc) Should I just go with the flow allow them to enjoy etc etc. What will and what won't I allow? Once you let one thing, you end up letting a whole lot of stuff you don't want in. Is there anything wrong with carving a watermelon? Are Spiders and bats are ok because hey they are real animals and kids can learn about/craft  real animals? Where to draw the line? Where, where where?

I'm also stuck cause while our families bought us up with Halloween as  big No no..... why is it fine for all the other LDS in America to celebrate? None of them have guilt complexes over it like I do. It's just a done thing they say. Noone really worries that much about it. It's just about the candy. Its just about the dressing up. Kids plan their outfits half the year. I understand why it would be a favourite holiday. It's all about fun, has little religious significance and a good excuse to party and gives you a reason to dress up.

And I thought my thoughts on Halloween sum up my life perfectly.

Trying to live a good, clean and uplifting life

while wanting a little on the wild side ;)

except I don't think I'll ever convince The Mr.

well Halloween is over for another year, and we didn't participate except for the watermelon. We didn't get any trick or treaters either. I can now work on my arguments for next year now. Which side will win out??? stay tuned.... mwah ha ha ha ha

Post Edit: I'm not judging anyone who celebrates Halloween. I am actually JEALOUS. Jealous that you can celebrate without feeling guilty. I have many guilt complexes and this is just another one of them. Ahhh life and parenting. Always full of tricky choices.


SuiGeNeRiS Speaks said...

I am a little torn about it too...we went to the Manly Halloween Parade, which was really fun for the kids etc....but Ash asked me about what Halloween is for and I had to look it up. Honestly, I am not really into it -A) yes, we are not American and can we stop blindly adopting another countries culture please! and b) it does pretty much go against what we believe. What I do find concerning though is that American lds don't have an issue with Halloween at all - they celebrate it because its the culture of their country with no regard for the dark history behind it. It then also makes me think of the amount of "mormons" who aren't really active but are apart of the huge lds culture over there, just because everyone is doing it....So in that rather jumpy train of thought, I am grateful to live in a country that is not hugely lds, that we are mostly members because we choose to believe and stand out from the crowd. Hmmm...maybe I will blog about it ;)

SuiGeNeRiS Speaks said...

just to clarify - my comment may sound a bit generalising - I am aware that not all Amercian-lds are the same nor do they all live in Utah :)

Felicity said...

don't you mean 'WITCH side will win out????'......hahahahaha

I think for a lot of Australian LDS (rather general I realise) Halloween does have 'bad connotations'. Growing up we didn't 'celebrate' it because of this, but as kids we desperately wanted to go trick or treating.

A few years ago our ward had their first trunk or treat. I thought it was the STRANGEST thing ever to be doing halloween stuff at church. After all, isn't it all about 'evil' stuff :) Anyway now our kids are older we have embraced the 'celebration' of halloween - but it has conditions. We don't get into any of the morbid scary stuff, it's just a fun night where we get dressed up and share treats we have made with our friends while we visit at their car boots :)

Sunday night we had about 7 groups of trick or treaters come to our door - the kids were THRILLED but to be honest they kind of annoyed me (hahahaha it's true). It's a bit strange rocking up to a strangers house and asking for lollies. and half of them didn't even say thank you...thank you i'll take those lollies back...hahaha I should have dressed up as a witch - oh actually I did :)

likeschocolate said...

Given that the church here throws huge parties, I guess the church is not anti Halloween. If you are against it you are against it. We think it is just plain fun to dress up in costumes and get free candy nothing more nothing less. In Mexico, the celebrate the day of the dead which is a celebration of those who have gone before us. I am a little surprised by the other comment left that to implicate one celebrating Halloween might not be a good Mormon. Why celebrate Christmas then because it had orgins in pagen holidays too. Jesus wasn't even born in the winter. However, would I let my child watch R rated spooky movies or let them pull a wee gee board out- a big fat no. Free candy and costumes -yes!

lissyal said...

This has really been on my mind as well Bobbie. We've decided that as a family we're not going to celebrate halloween. For many different reasons. Most of the reasons you've already mentioned. It really upset me to hear of how many people trick or treating on the sabbath day. Enough said on that one. My only other reasoning is this... we have enough celebrations. Enough money is spent on christmas, birthdays etc. I don't like decorating my house with pumpkins and bats. Generally our celebrating of halloween is pretty harmless. However I do think it is the start of lulling us into a state of passivity. With all the distractions this world has to offer, I'm choosing not to let this one distract. Thanks for a great post

This Girl loves to Talk said...

yes about the christmas thing too...many christmas traditions are based in pagan, however they ARE about Celebrating Christ now. I dont think much of halloween celebrates anything 'christlike' we should celebrate on April 6th.. ha hahahha boycott christmas.. sounds awesome...... ;)

Anonymous said...

My personal opinion is that I think it's less about whether halloween is 'right' or 'wrong' and more about 'the traditions of our fathers' so to speak. Australians don't celebrate halloween, because traditionally, their parents didn't and taught them certain things about it. North Americans do celebrate for the same reason. Does that make one wrong one right? I think it just makes them different.
I certainly don't think Australians need to adopt Halloween. If anything, I think it's retailers and merchandisers that are pushing it through here. Let's not forget, Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending in North America. That is certainly not something Australian retailers are going to ignore!!
I do just have to defend Halloween a teeny tiny bit, though, being north american and growing up with it and all. It's roots are not great, no doubt about it. But that is totally not what it is today. Costumes, candy, fun. That's about it. And many a 'wholesome recreational activity' has arisen from crafts, events, and fun things to do with Halloween. When the Halloween party is at the church and the bishop dresses up, I just don't think you can call it all bad. At least I don't think it's our place to judge the traditions of other cultures. Judge for ourselves and do what we want for our own families, for sure. Judge others, not so much.
And Christmas may be about Christ to LDS and other faiths, but it's mostly about Santa and presents to a lot of the world. Show most 2 year olds a picture of Santa or a picture of Jesus and I bet they can identify Santa over Jesus.

BindiM said...

Like anything else, the choice of what you want is all yours. You can make Halloween what you want, so for us it is loads of fun and just another excuse to have a good time.

We do not trick or treat but get right into the crafts and dressing up. I have organised several Halloween activities at the chapel.

For those who are against it for LDS reasons (which seems to be an Aussie thing) my excuse is that it is in 'The Friend' so I don't have a problem with it!

For me there is no harm in taking fun traditions from many cultures and enjoying them. When we return home from Austria we will bring St Nikolaus Day with us (Dec. 6th).

Anonymous said...

Hi Bobbie,
I guess I'm not anti-halloween for spooky or religious reasons, just for the anti adopting another American, materialistic cultural event!
I am anti trick or treating. How can it be good to teach our children to go to strangers (or friends) and ask for lollies? and threaten to trick them? not good at all! i do feel a bit like Scrooge, being anti a party, bah humbug! On a Harry Potter note - I read this article
about the Christian themes in the book. I had honestly never noticed, and I guess its not all that apparent until you read the last book. It has sure got me thinking (and now I have to wrestle the kids for the books so I can re-read them!)

Luke said...

I don't think looking at the history of a holiday is ever a good way to go about judging it. Were people to do that then no Christians (or i assume LDS) would celebrate Christmas being that it was positioned in the calendar to replace a sun god fertility festival originating in ancient Egypt, borrows heavily from many non christian cultures and has been hijacked by a fat red man created by an American corporation to represent a little known European folk hero.

Or what about the fact that one of our national holidays (Anzac day) commemorated lives lost in the most bloody conflicts of our species murdering our own in history. (I am not saying the moral imperative wasn't on our side but it is still pretty awful that humans have such a capacity for hate and violence.)

Halloween over the years has changed many times, from a religious festival, to a pagan festival, to a commercial party.
In the end, nothing in this world can portray any meaning we do not assign it. So the question becomes, is it better to boycott a festival on the grounds of morality but do nothing to change it, or take it back, inject fun and a caring spirit into it and push it far from any roots that may be unpleasant.

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