Saturday, October 30, 2010

all saints' day

i have never been a big fan of halloween.  when our children were little, we 
bought lots of treats and had a movie night.  i know, it probably sounds like 
cruel and unusual punishment to not let them go trick or treating, but i just
couldn't feel great about sending them out on  a night dedicated to ghouls 
and goblins.  especially, when i believed in them.

brazilian hibiscus
it never bothered me that other people wanted to celebrate this holiday, since 
that wasn't my business, but it sure upset everybody else that i didn't want to 
participate.  sheesh, you would have thought i was abusing my kids!

it seemed better to celebrate something positive on the following day, all
saints' day.  not as thrilling, of course, to the average 10 year old but still
inspiring.  we talked about those who laid down their lives for the sake of
the cross or their loved ones.  we read stories about paul and silas in prison
or stephen, peter, and john.

corrie ten boom and john wesley were heroes and saints worthy of our
remembrance and remember them we did!  

we also had a dress up trunk that the kids repeatedly dipped into for dress
up at all other times of the year.  you might say they tricked and treated
for a different reason most days of the year.

love,
lea

"the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life,
and have it abundantly."  john 10:10


57 comments:

Ca88andra said...

I bet your kids didn't think you were abusing them!

Mildred said...

I like your alternative to Trick or Treat. I've always enjoyed decorating for Autumn with the cute stuff, pumpkins, mums, and friendly scarecrows. This year, my husband and I bought some pumpkin doughnuts to celebrate Halloween/Autumn!
Hope that you will have a blessed weekend. Today in GA is our coolest morning yet - 38*.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Halloween is not really celebrated in Australia but with our growing love for all things American it is beginning to make a presence among the young ... though I have never had someone knock on my door. I am delighted to read about your approach.

Susy said...

Well said and I agree. Thank you for sharing this perspective in such a sweet way. Blessings, Susy

My name is PJ. said...

I wish more people did something like this. I have a thing about ghosts and goblns and the devil.



And today, the whole trick or treating thing is far less safe. Parties or gatherings in a controlled environment would be safer.

Sandy said...

I agree. I don't care for the
whole Halloween thing either.
We just keep our porch lights
off and our blinds closed and
no one comes to our door.

Vee said...

We didn't allow our children to participate either and we discovered that people thought we were unkind, too. In fact, I just listened to the criticism all over again less than a week ago. My grands do participate. It doesn't thrill me, but I keep my mouth firmly shut and make it a matter of prayer. Like you, we found other fun things to do, which usually involved lots of other families with children. My own children remember this fondly. My dil wasn't there so sticks with what she knows. I will be writing about Halloween tomorrow, though, in some fashion or way. I think. Maybe.

Dianne said...

I agree, Lea. Thanks for the courage to post this.

I'm so glad that many churches have festivals and celebrations to take the place of Halloween. Most of my grandchildren participate in those.

Dawn said...

Non-Halloweeners here, too. Not only have our kids survived it, they have also embraced it.

koralee said...

Yes....Halloween is not our favourite time either...I am sooo glad when it is over. We do give out treats but it is very very low key...we usually shut down very early and head off to a family dinner.
Hugs and blessings for a great weekend my friend. xoxox

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

We have never participated either. We do study Martin Luther and I do give my kids candy during reading time through out October. We just go do something different on that evening and we all enjoy it! So for 27 years we haven't done trick or treat and even my four year old we will not this year.
Yes everyone thought I was strange...and yes I was given lectures from other Christian friends on how horrible I was...oh well...I have no regrets.
Happy Reformation Day!

Anita said...

We do not celebrate it at all, but my girls' dad does take them out...costumes and all, which has always bothered me that he does not respect my wishes. It amazes me that even at my church, we have a fall festival (tonight) and there will be kids from our church dressed up either really suggestively or scary. I just don't get it. I remember CeCe Winans saying that their parents did not do Santa Claus either because they wanted them to know the true meaning of Christmas and not grow up believing a lie. My kids are old enough to know he is not real. I think we get too into our culture and that over rides our Christian beliefs. I have always admired Corrie Ten Boom. We went to see "The Hiding Place" when I was a girl and it opened my eyes. Thanks Lea!!

High Heeled Life said...

Growing up my parents were not fans of letting us go out either. I love to see little ones dressed up a princesses and fairies - but would much rather see them in someone's home party - then out on the streets in the dark.. then there are always the horrific stories you hear about some person doing something to the candy.

I wonder how many people "know" about all saints day , and take the time to reflect? boy I long for the simpler days ... Hugs, HHL

Lisa said...

Amen, Lea!

{Jodie} said...

I'm totally with you here. From start to finish, although we haven't focused much (at all) on all saint's day, but after reading this, it reminds me that we should. My kids are still small (7 and under) so I'm never quite sure how much to share about those stories bc they have very vivid imaginations and are easily overcome with fear... do you know of any good children's books that tell these saints' stories in a way that won't terrify them? :) Because I would certainly like to share them with them.

Rachel said...

I'm so glad that it's not a big deal to Itty Bit - but it sure seems to be to others!

I don't mind participating in a church harvest party, but don't let the dress-up get inappropriate.

And Heaven help me... my kid does NOT need 1527 pieces of candy, hee hee! :)

So glad you focus on the good things (it made me smile to see you mention Corrie Ten Boom!)

Farm Girl said...

You know what, I was the same way, it wasn't until I caved in under pressure from extended family that I finally let them dress up but not of evil stuff. I love making costumes so we had a box of them too that they wore all year long.

You make me laugh, but yes, I think all of those scary things are real too. Not something to be even fooled with in fun.
I did use it all as teaching time too. They all know the traditions behind it.
I am so glad you shared this today Lea.

myletterstoemily said...

jodie: this is a book for young children
about the saints, many of them catholic
saints.

but a saint is a saint!

http://www.amazon.com/Loyola-Kids-Book-Saints-Welborn/dp/0829415343

Anita said...

Funny Lea, but Wednesday night I had just finished reading what I had written in our church newsletter about helping others, specifically I had used the scripture from Matthew 25: 34-40 about feeding and clothing, etc., and as I walked out of the office, two men I had never seen before were standing there who were hungry. Is that amazing?? God does speak:-)

Me! said...

It is an unpopular and misunderstood walk to walk. Thank you for mentioning this. I feel even more kindred with you!
All our kids married into families that celebrate Halloween. Blessedly, because of the strength of their convictions they have managed to stay their courses. {With a certain amount of early resistance in each case.} {It is difficult to rectify one's self to the idea that, in their childhood, they had participated in something that isn't respectful of God and His nature.}
Not all of us have the conviction yet . . . sigh . . . but, oh for that Beautiful Day!
~Debbi

Rita said...

Dear Lea,
in italy we have only recently started to celebrate Halloween which I personally find ouf of place here as it doesn't belong to our culture and traditions.
I'm 100% with you in your approach and I'm sure your kids didn't feel a bit abused.
I always feel inspired by your posts. What a blessing is it for me having found you along my path of life.
blessings
rita
thanks for visiting

Emily said...

The flower is pretty!!

Whidbey Woman said...

I think its perfectly okay to have alternative activities for Halloween. I was raised in a church that looked at it as making fun of the devil, and they said it was okay. Over the years, my prespective has changed a little.
I don't like dressing up as a witch, ghoul,goblin or the like. For work yesterday, I wore vintage clothing... a 1940s church dress with a lovely old hat, purse and gloves. The seniors i work with loved it. To me, tomorrow has more importance as Reformation Sunday, which I posted about on one of my blogs.

Sonja said...

I love what you have given your kids as alternatives when what 'all the rest' did, didn't sit well with you.

And I don't know if you look for ways to do this, but you must, cuz you always make me smile!! :)

FrenchGardenHouse said...

I love All Saints Day. You set a great example for your children, and made memories they will cherish.

His Song To Sing said...

Emily is so blessed to have you as a mentor especially with ideas like this. My boys turned out just fine but I wish I had had this kind of guidance along the way.

Thanks for your kind comments as always!

Champagne Macarons said...

Bonjour Lea,
I'm certain your children didn't feel you were abusing them ;) As for people judging you, pay no mind. I believe that we're all doing what feel is best for our families and I have no judgement toward other parents. If anything, we should support each other.
Christmas is our favourite time of the year,.. and yes, we say Merry Christmas even if it's not politically correct at school!

xoxo, B

Susan B said...

What a sweet post Lea. I haven't liked Halloween for many years. I like what you did with your kids. It is very inspiring. I wish we had did something like that when our girls were young. Though when we went to a larger church, they did have a Harvest Festival, we took them to it every year. Blessings to you... :)

Annesphamily said...

Sounds like your kids had a blast and enjoyed quality family time in the process. Anne

Patrina's Pencil said...

Good for you. I'm certain it didn't stunt your children's growth or minds. I had to become a wiser adult before I understood the evil behind Halloween. Now, one kid chooses not to celebrate with her children and the other does.

I love the hibiscus. I have 9 hibiscus that I being inside and take back out in the spring. They provide winter blooms all winter - but this one shown here is such much fluffier :)

Blessings
patrina <")>><
warrior bride in boots

Virginia said...

Wonderful substitute.
Much Blessings,
Virginia

Southern Lady said...

I am not at all fond of the celebration of Halloween. Our children have always participated in a fall festival at our church instead of trick or treating or Halloween parties. They don't seem to mind since food and fun are always a part to the celebration. I like your idea for celebrating All Saints Day. I'm sure that your children were happy with that. Carla

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Sounds like your children had fun with the alternative you provided.
Mine is grown but we always did a fall festival at the church and the grandbabies are doing the same.

Ruth said...

Hi Lea, i'm with Mildred.. i think the alternative to Trick and Treat is awesome!!

Blessings,
Ruth

June said...

Lea, I just think it was amazing for you to stand up for what you believed. I don't know why it's so hard to do it sometimes. I think your children were very lucky to have a mom like you, who would make it a treat to stay in with family.

Thank you for coming by and blessing me tonight with your sweet words.
hugs to you

Shawna said...

Lea, I love the fact that you mention Corrie Ten Boom. I had the opportunity to "meet" her when I was very, very young. I don't remember it, as it was maybe a year before she passed away and I was maybe 5 years old and she was quite ill - but my copy of The Hiding Place that my aunt (who lived near her) got autographed and gave to me is so very special!!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Lea,

My parents never let me go out ONCE during my childhood to participate because I lived in a rough part of Los Angeles. However, staying home with my mom making popcorn balls was better than all of that; I was inside where it was warm, loving and secure. My post this week was actually in response to a dear loved one stressing out over life's challenges, but as I look at my post again, it could be a "halloween post" due to the trees with the night in the background....but the end is a positive one. I too believe rather, in celebrating the light and on this day, I say thank you, your kindness is much appreciated and your faith and goodness felt across the waves...you are always so sweet to visit and may you have a spectacular day with your dears....Anita

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Warm welcome home, sweet Lea. Hope Brazil was fantastic, pretty sure it was! You really do not have to post about the bracelet, I'm happy it had a good travel and arrived at your doorstep!

Michelle said...

I have never like halloween. I either go somewhere during trick or treat hours, or I hide in our downstairs family room and listen to the doorbell for two hours.(The goblins are not supposed to go to houses where the porch light is NOT on, but that does not stop them from ringing the bell or pounding on the door). Tonight, I think I shall run away!

Sandra said...

AMEN! We're living in a time when allowing, nay encouraging, people to dress as demons, tricksters, witches, etc. has become the norm. If a person thinks otherwise, that person is viewed as strange or crazy.
I just heard Pat Robinson made national news because he decried the celebration of halloween as a national holiday. People think he's crazy but he's the only smart one in the media lately. The only man willing to be crazy for the sake of Jesus; would we all had such courage!
I'll celebrate harvest but never a non-holiday -non holy day- as halloweenie.
Lea, as you know from my Thistle Cove Farm Saturday post -
Happy Reformation Day!

Fruitful Harvest said...

Amen!
Its been 3 yrs since we went trick or treating.

As a momma of 6 kiddos
(age 16-3yr)...we decided it was just better to say home enjoy movies,eat candy{all my favorites..I just buy them!} and make homemade pizzas on Halloween.

We do NOT carve pumpkins or decorate with cat and bats ect...
Just fall things from nature!
We do not go to the church Halloween festival.


I know others think we are mean too....but we see it differntly.

Have a joyful day~

Peace and LOve,
Georgiann

Charlotte said...

I have had totally different feelings about Halloween through the years. When I was a child I loved it and I loved Trick or Treating. When my kids got old enough to Trick or Treat, I thought it was a good thing. I remember some people thinking it was a bad thing to celebrate Halloween. As I have gotten older each year I feel a little stronger than the year before that Halloween is not something I want to be a part of. I like the way you celebrate All Saints Day instead. I am always glad when Halloween is over and people start thinking about Thanksgiving. I'll be glad when tomorrow comes.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Donnie said...

This was a lovely post. Your words were so inspiring. Have a blessed day.

Jenners said...

I'm sure your kids survived just fine. And I'm fine with people not wanting to do Halloween .. just turn out your lights and don't answer the door. But tonight when taking my little one around the neighborhood, I was surprised to people handing out ... religious pamphlets. Hmmmm...not sure you'll quite reach the target audience that way.

Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

LOL - We did church Harvest Hallelujah programs and never trick or treated - that didn't start til the grandkids came along. But we ran into a lot of the same reactions from some neighbors :) So funny! But I've always loved to hand out the treats, along with encouraging Bible verses - very fun and, Lord willing, some of those seeds will prove to have taken root! :)

Loved your idea of celebrating All Saints Day with your kids. I have grown more familiar with it over the years, and also wrote about it today, but didn't think to do that. I'll have to put my thinking cap on for it next year.

And I'm so with you on heroes - especially Corrie Ten Boom who is a very favorite in our household as well!

Thanks for a delightful visit and have a blessed week! :)

sarah said...

thank you for posting this. My kids and I talked about how we don`t believe in what Halloween is all about. Never knew about all saints day. Raised Jewish never heard about that. Great post. Great things to think about.

myletterstoemily said...

jenners:

oh dear, i should have written that, even
though we don't participate in halloween
personally, we ALWAYS have candy for
those who do!

sorry.

patricia said...

when our 26 yr old was around one we were also convicted about celebrating a holiday that did not honor our Lord. so we decided to never celebrate it with our children, instead did much the same as your family. later, i was so excited when in 2nd grade his teacher at a public school never had one halloween project. when i thanked her she simply said, we don't have time for such with all the great American history. my son made indian costumes, learned dances, tasted early American foods, re-inacted early American life, etc/etc. aug-until thanksgiving was such a wonderful time at his school--in shreveport, la.

myletterstoemily said...

patricia:

i love that we felt the same with this!
kindred mommy spirits!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

I do so agree with you! That is a great idea! Here in my subdivision and all around, they decorate with the ugliest spirits imaginable. In the Philippines, we have these folk stories about a spirit which leaves half her body and flies around to devour the babies in sleeping pregnant women- and that is what is decorating our subdivision gate! Can you imagine the horror! Have to write as we are new residents! Patsy from
HeARTworks

myletterstoemily said...

oh! that is horrifying.

Auntie Cake said...

Isn't it funny that everyone else seems to know what we should or should not do? I totally have my entire little town freaked out as I don't spend every weekend night at the local bars. (I really don't care if others choose to spend their time there, so why do they care that I am not there? I really would much rather be at home with my family or a good book...)

And your pics from the trip! Wow! They really make me want to head south. I am sure it was so wonderful to see your daughter. I hope she shared everything that she has been up to, and involved with . My 17 year old spent a summer on a missions trip in Europe. She got back after two and a half months, and I asked, "How was the trip?" and she replied, "Great!" and was off... Someday she will understand, until then I am just thankful to be facebook friends with her friends. They share all the pics and news!

Have a wonderful week!
Kate
PS- and I really was astounded when my youngest daughter said she wanted to join the boys football team! I was a tiny bit worried that she was the only girl with 80 boys. But guess what? She LOVED it! LOVED it, and all the boys were so kind and encouraging to her. It was such a wonderful experience for her, she is already looking forward to next year!

Ronda said...

Lea, we never did Halloween either, but Grace Church had a "Hallelujah" party. The kids dressed up as someone from the Bible and it was a huge carnival with games and prizes and a parade right in the church! One year I made an "ark" out of cardboard and painted it, Hayley was "Noah's Ark" and wore a little tugboat type of hat with a dove and a branch in its mouth. It was an effort putting it on her in the parking lot and keeping her from bumping people but what fun. Those years went too fast. I miss them!!!

Anita said...

Lea, I used a quote from you here in a post I did over at my other blog. Hope that is ok!! Check it out...

Deborah Ann said...

I do so know the angst of 'punishing the children.' Keeping them home on Halloween. The other day at dinner my oldest son said to his kids "I never got to walk in the Halloween parade at school, or participate in any of the activities, because Grandma wouldn't let me." Oh, what a horrible person I am! I'm guessing your kids were so much more gracious than mine...

Deborah Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Ann said...

Oops! Accidentally posted twice...