pecaspers: a Blog in transition

October 31, 2011

Halloween and Christmas

Filed under: Culture,My Life in General — pecaspers @ 9:16 PM
Tags: , , , ,

I was in Wal-mart when they started putting out the Halloween costumes a month or so ago. Then I rounded a corner and found myself faced with Christmas decorations. I’ve become accustomed to the Christmas stuff coming out before Thanksgiving, but to see Christmas lights, ornaments, and garland already gracing the shelves before the leaves had started to turn was a little bit of a shock. Yet that’s not the point of this post.

I love Halloween. I’ve always loved it. It’s mostly because I love to dress up in costumes. (What? That’s not weird. It’s not like I go to conventions or anything…but maybe that’s because I lack the free time and disposable income…I digress.) Halloween is also the holiday I’ve had the most success with over the years; I can’t think of any major heart-aches or social breakdowns associated with my Halloween history. And then, of course, there is all the candy. That’s why it bugs me when Christians get so down on Halloween and people who celebrate it.

My Halloween philosophy: I celebrate Halloween like everyone else celebrates Christmas.

By “everyone else,” I mean anyone who isn’t a devoted follower of the Christ whose birth Christmas commemorates. For most people, they completely neglect the fact that there is a specifically Christ-focused meaning behind Christmas. (Don’t give me that whole, “Christmas is only a pagan holiday!” crap. Read up on some real church history before you echo the oft-repeated errors you’ve heard.) I realize that Halloween came about because of a intermingling of European
pagan spiritism and pre-Reformation Catholic Christianity. It can’t be avoided that present-day Wiccans and other neo-Paganists have adopted Halloween as their holiday. I don’t care much about that just like I don’t get all frenzied up about ousting Santa Claus from Christmas. I like costumes, candy, and parties.

You see, most people don’t care that Christmas is about the actual birth of God as a human child so that He could live a sinless life so that He could die as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all humanity so we could repent and believe the good news. Most people just like getting dressed up, getting/giving gifts, and going to parties. Did you see the Christmas episode of Glee last year. The Jewish characters, the atheistic characters, the characters with no discernible religious beliefs, everybody celebrated Christmas. Have you seen the movies that come out in November and December–[Insert Character here] Saves Christmas, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, etc. Contrary to all the “Happy Holidays” hullabaloo that surfaces every year, most everybody loves Christmas. Why can they all enjoy a Christian holiday without serving Christ, but I’m supposed to shun a holiday with no basis in reality?

What do I mean by no basis in reality. Well, lost souls don’t really wander aimlessly on All Hallows Eve. The demons aren’t really on the prowl looking for goodies and causing trouble the night before All Saints Day. Satan has no greater power this night than any other. Hell is no nearer to Earth on October 31. I get to enjoy Halloween because at its foundation there is only folk-lore and superstition, and those things aren’t even what the holiday is about anymore. Ask any six year-old, Halloween is about costumes and candy. I don’t have to believe in those other things to enjoy putting on a costume and eating candy. If everyone else gets to swap presents and go to Christmas parties without believing in–or even considering–the TRUTH of Christ, then I see no reason I can’t enjoy Halloween.

The vast majority of people in my culture don’t think of Halloween as having any religious significance. No non-Christian is going to look at my enjoyment of Halloween and say, “I can’t believe you like costumes and candy, you hypocrite. I hate your Jesus because of you.” What’s sad is that the conflict about Halloween always seems to come from Christians. Isn’t it a bit…well, hypocritical to demand that schools have fall parties and harvest festivals because “we” disapprove of Halloween and then cry “foul” when other people demand that schools have winter festivals and holiday parties because they disapprove of Christmas?

Maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

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