Halloween is just around the corner. I know, I’ve already possibly stepped into a mess, in that there are some folks with pretty strong opinions about the night. And I would be the first to admit that there are others who take this holiday and make it into something that does not bring civic pride to their community.
But if you will indulge me just a bit. My religious tradition is the one that gave Halloween it’s name. While there are other branches of various religious groups that take time in the Fall to honor and remember the recently departed (All Souls Day), or the guides for the way who have preceeded us (All Saints Day), there is yet another aspect to this tradition that I would like to see if we can resurrect.
Growing up, Halloween was merely the night that kids went from door to door, asking for treats, or having parties that features bobbing for apples, and other features of the fall season. The costumes were most often pretty tame by today’s standards. The tricks were likewise.
And while I can certainly understand the deep and serious concerns about Halloween, and I would be among the very first to want to call attention to its deep and serious religious message; I wonder if this might be a place where we can rejoice in the culture’s taking over of a religious holiday.
I long for the simple days of rejoicing in the fall. Of a kind of innocence that children possess, when using their imaginations to be a superhero or a movie character. I delight in the sweet, good things of life, and in moderation, that certainly includes candy, sweets, and other tokens of “treat.”
And maybe, just maybe, that recognition that Halloween is, or should be, a time to celebrate fun, imagination, treats, and the turning of the season, is what may save the holiday. For if, Halloween is to have a spiritual import, shouldn’t it be about the fact that all of God’s children are holy ones? That life is to be enjoyed and that healthy play should be encouraged? That a community can come together to watch out over our children, and that the darkness is not quite so scary as when we go out into it, and overcome our fears? That evil can be overcome by having fun?