I love holidays. But Halloween is one of those days I just don't know how I feel about. And those feelings aren't getting any more settled now that I have a kid who is old enough to understand it. My gut feeling is that I really, REALLY don't like the day. Besides the fact that it is a day with serious Satanic implications, it is also simply a day where evil and death and all things yucky are celebrated. Little kids with "blood" smeared on their faces and carrying all sort of ghastly weapons knock on my door asking for candy while their parents watch smiling at how "cute" they are. I'm sorry, but that is NOT cute. And neither are all the "cute" little witches prancing around. I don't care how darling their dresses are, witches and witchcraft are expressly condemned in the Bible. Even ghosts are "cute" on this holiday. But in reality, are ghosts anything other than demons? Not something I'd like to mess with. Oh yeah, and then you have the house down the street from us who greeted kids with his "dead" wife in a box and a real chainsaw! Apart from the gruesome costumes, then there are those horrible "sexy" renditions of otherwise cute things like Red Riding Hood or a nurse or whatever. It's bad enough when grown women wear them, but the preteens walking through the neighborhood wearing them make me so sad! And then there's all the decorations. It used to be that Christmas was the holiday when homes got all decked out in lights and other decor, but now Halloween seems right on par, at least in our neighborhood. And where I have spent the past 2 years convincing Jadon that spiders are not to be touched, now every other house sports huge ones just beckoning to him. The "moving spider" down the street and the little spiders next door and every other arachnid in the neighborhood have been his favorite topic of conversation this month. Urg!
But beyond that whole rant, there are some redeemable things about the day. Some of the adorable costumes provide tons of dress-up opportunities throughout the rest of the year (thank you Costco!). It's a fun day for kids to get candy that they don't get the rest of the year (wait, is that a positive or a negative?). And I think the best thing is it's a rare day to get out and meet the people in your neighborhood.
Years ago, our church started trying to reclaim the day by doing "Halloween Next Door" where you bake cookies for all your neighbors and then go around and talk to them/invite them to church/ask them how you can pray for them/simply include a "Random Acts of Kindness" card that includes our church info. That has been a big highlight for us each year, and now some of our neighbors anticipate the visit...and even reciprocate with their own baked goods.
So, in spite of my misgivings, we very much participated in Halloween this year. Jadon was the cutest astronaut ever (so he could "drive to the moon"):
We made our cookies and delivered them (fortunately 2 houses weren't home, so we got to eat those. Yes!):
We hung out with neighbors:
Jadon went trick or treating. We just went to the 10 houses on our culdesac, which gave Jadon MORE than enough candy! But it only took him about 2 houses to figure out how awesome this gig was, and when we went to turn around, he kept pointing down the street and saying "that way! that way!"
So after hanging out at our house for awhile passing out candy to the kids that came by (who almost all squealed, "oh! how cute!" when they saw Jadon giving them candy :)), Jadon decided he'd rather join them, and kept running out the house after them trying to go for more! I think he trick-or-treated at two of our neighbors' houses at least 3 or 4 times!