With Halloween fast approaching, my mind is scrambling to come up with a plan.
I guess I am somewhat of a "stick-in-the-mud" when it comes to Halloween. It is really not a holiday I enjoy. It would be okay with me if it were wiped off the calendar, but I see no chance of that ever happening. I have never been much into ghosts and hauntings, witches and spells, or blood and guts. I realize there are those who thrive on this sort of thing, and I respect there right to do so.
However, in my opinion, life holds enough bone-chilling situations. I do not feel the need to bring more horrifying scenes into my mind. I have had the unfortunate experience of being way too close to some people who find joy in watching the innocent mutilation of someone on the big screen and all too often this joy for the twisted and unnecessary suffering of others has spilled over into their everyday lives.
I guess for this reason, I have grown a distaste for Halloween. Because Halloween is celebrated in the schools and by most of my children's friends, I do not feel it fair to tell them they cannot dress up for the occasion and go door to door in search of treats. Although I can control the types of costumes my children wear and place restrictions on their activities which help to make the holiday safe as well as fun, I cannot control the minds of those who think it is humorous to hand out tricks instead of treats.
There have been many times while walking my children from house to house, we have stumbled upon a residence that was frightening to them. When this happens we, of course, skip that house and move on to the next, but the damage has already been done. My children have already been exposed to a scene of mutilation with blood and guts scattered all over the ground. These are the types of sights I work so hard to shelter them from. That is one reason I only allow them to watch certain types of movies. I do not want them exposed to scene's which will cause them to have nightmares. There is a great amount of research which concludes some kids who are exposed to violence are prone to commit violence. I am sure this is not the case for every child who happens upon a haunted yard or watches one or two horror flicks, but why take the chance.
For unexplainable reasons, Halloween is bothering me more this year than in the past. Lately I have found myself pondering my options for this upcoming Halloween. I know there are many families who share my views about the holiday. Many churches even offer an alternate event for area children. I am thinking this might be a good year to begin a new family tradition in my home which allows us to have a good time without being exposed to unnecessary fear.
My problem lies not in making the decision to do something different, but in what that something different should be. Several options exist. We could make it a pizza and movie night at our house complete with candy. We could play some special games in which the kids could earn candy for participating. It might even be fun to make several fall-related crafts or carve jack-o-lanterns. I am sure there are many creative ideas we could come up with. I will probably ask my children to casts their votes for a new tradition. Whatever we do, I know we will have fun because we will be together.