Halloween is tonight and I am happily anticipating at least two or three trick-or-treaters. My lane is a quarter mile long and not many parents are willing to waste the time riding down it, if they can go to houses closer to the road and get more treats in less time. How do I know that's how lots of parents feel? It's because I was one of those tired parents not too long ago. I had a love hate relationship with Halloween.
Things I loved: I loved how festive my little town looked with pumpkin faces glowing off of every front porch. Pumpkins were pretty much all we had to decorate with back then. I loved Ettie Mae's homemade popcorn balls. We always made sure to get an extra one for Joe. I loved walking up and down the streets with my kids and chatting with all of the other parents who were out scrunching through leaves under the Halloween moon. I loved the creativity of costumes,and handing out candy and oohing and aahing about how clever the kids had been. I loved dinner with my neighbors before trick or treating and getting our rambunctious foursome of children ready for the night. I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of elderly people who were thrilled to welcome little ones to their doors.
Things I dreaded: I had a hard time getting costumes that I felt comfortable with and that the two boys in my household would wear. Felt was my friend. Green felt and hot glue for Robin Hood costumes, brown felt for leather-looking vests with cowboy hats, black felt for bat wings.
In my evangelistic community, Halloween divides a lot of us. Some people make their houses dark and hide behind the curtains so they can avoid the appearance of embracing Halloween. Some people make their houses scary and enjoy the night, but offend some of their neighbors in the process. I am in the middle. I love the camaraderie of a community out under the stars with their children. I love the idea of a night where we can be a little scared and then go home to our safe, warm homes. Juxtapositions often make things more meaningful. But I don't want to celebrate evil, and sometimes I worry that Halloween does a little bit of that...gives evil permission to show its face and look fun.
So, this year, I made angel cookies to hand out. I hope my kind neighbors will bring their little ones to my door. I will give them an angel cookie made from my grandmother's amazing sugar cookie recipe. Angels are messengers of hope and I want the recipients of my cookies to get a sense of that. I want them to know that even when the world looks a little bit frightening, God's angels protect his people, watch over us and guard us. Isn't that a great message for the scariest night of the year?
How do you feel about it Halloween? I would love some feedback.