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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

No trick or treat for me

Posted Monday, October 13, 2008, at 11:05 AM

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.


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I've never understood why some groups get so shaken up over Halloween. I grew up in one of the oldest of the old school churches in town, and they celebrate Halloween to this day. No namby pamby "Fall Festival" or "Fall Fiesta", the real deal. Yes, Halloween has it's origins in pagan mysticism - but so do the easter bunny and easter eggs, and nobody's called for a ban on them (yet).

http://altreligion.about.com/library/bl_...

We co-opted Christmas trees, Christmas hams, and yule logs from the pagans as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_t...

-- Posted by Nick Graham on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 4:09 PM

I am a Christian! This is why I do not go to any of the organized religious churches. I will not partake in these pagan rituals that the churches traditionally accept into their beliefs and celebrate. I do not believe because a church group accepts these practices makes it OK. On the contrary, the Holy Bible teaches against the traditions of man. The pagan rituals have been around long before the organized church. Everyone has the right to believe what they want. I believe the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to these false traditions people call Christian and feel I am very blessed. May our Heavenly Father lift the veil from your eyes so you can see what the word of God has to say about this issue…

"Whatever we do, I know we will have fun because we will be together."

Thats what it is all about anyway... Blessings

-- Posted by My_2_Cents on Tue, Oct 14, 2008, at 12:50 AM

Interesting blog. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs...that is what makes this country great. However, the only thing that scares me more than "a scene of mutilation with blood and guts scattered all over the ground" are those parents who opt to try and place their children in a bubble. This is a scary and quite honestly, dangerous thing to do. Sure we want to protect our children. Sure we would love to keep them innocent for as long as possible. That is not the problem. The problem is, when you do not expose or allow your children to experience the world for what it is and instead pretend it is something else, you are not only fooling yourself and your child(ren) but you are harming them as well.

I could not imagine if I grew up with parents who had opted not to let me experience Halloween, scary movies, trick or treating or any of the goodies that are associated with the holiday. These children that are being held back from these experiences do not grow to be adults that have better sets of values and morals than those who dress up as scary creatures and watch Friday the 13th while eating their candy on October 31. It only makes them a little more closed minded and uncertain of things that occur in this world as they grow into adulthood.

I am scared more of opinions such as this one than I am of allowing my children to walk through a haunted house. Halloween is neither christian or non-christian event. It is the one time of the year where both children and adults can be whomever they want to be. Why take that away? Being exposed to "unnecessary fear" occurs everywhere and at any given moment. Not just on Halloween. If a child is not allowed to have these faux experiences from a ghoul or an orchestrated crime scene on a lawn, then how are they going to be prepared to deal with REAL fear as they grow into adults?

As far as spending time with your family goes, I applaud you for this. There are many families who do not wish to spend time together. My husband and I eagerly take our children out each and every year to go trick or treating and I believe that we do have wonderful memories of our family "spending time together" on that night.

A nightmare is our country going to war, famine, widespread diseases or even an economic disaster such as a great depression. Not a holiday aimed at pretend and play. Sure there might some fake blood involved. Heck there may even be guts strewn on the lawn. If I had a choice on whether to expose my child to Freddy Krueger or losing our home due to the economy, believe me....Freddy could sit in our living room. I would rather have his "Nightmares" on my television for an hour or so instead of trying to explain to my children why we are experiencing harsh times while sleeping in our car or on the streets sharing a can of beans. Now that is scary!

This thought of "protecting" children is scary. Let them do what they do best, be kids. Enjoy, experience and live. I have been exposed to way more terrifying experiences than those a cast and crew can show me. But I refuse to hide my kids from the world just because of my personal fears that life can hold. That train of thought is more terrifying than allowing my kid to get scared for a few moments as he or she gathers candy or watches a scary movie.

-- Posted by farmspice on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 10:35 AM

I think that having a safe, family centered alternative to Halloween is wonderful. I also give you KUDOS for taking the initiative to recognize your child's fear and for preventing it in the future. Their kids! It's our job to protect them. If they are scared by some of the things on halloween it's fine to keep them from it. Our children should not have to be exposed to the same fears we are, trust me I am not about to tell my kids that they need to live in fear because of our economy, Im going to do my job as a parent to provide for them. I do not believe that they have to be exposed to blood and guts just because it's "realistic." I agree that our children do need to know that bad things happen, but I do not think we should show them things that scare them at young ages to do it. If they are scared then they aren't enjoying themselves and that is the point of a celebration! You can educate your children without scaring them, you can protect them without fooling them.

You don't have to expose your children to the truth by making them participate in something that scares them.

The holiday doesn't have to be about blood and guts just to be "Halloween". There's so much more to the holiday, like candy, pumpkins, hay rack rides and more. Just spending time with your children will make it memorable.

I am taking my children trick or treating, but to houses we know. Then our local restaurant is having a costume contest and everyone who dresses up gets free hotdogs and drinks. I plan on doing that and then going home and making carmel apples and spending time together!

-- Posted by Katie Oharah, FS Tribune Editorial Assistant on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 7:23 PM

Everyone has the right to their own opinion and mine is like yours. I do not care for Halloween. I think it should be banned from going door to door and just have parties like churches do. In the town I came from the city had a big party and had games and prizes. Halloween just causes trouble and gives older kids a reason to pull pranks..

-- Posted by ksgirl1957 on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 7:43 AM

greengrass, Freddy Krueger can sit in your living room. I will be very happy in my Freddy Kruegerless car. There is a bubble you are placing your kids in, the bubble of insensitivity. One should never be able to see horrid things and accept them as normal.

-- Posted by My_2_Cents on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 8:22 PM

Halloween isn't what it used to be in the sixties, that's for sure.

I'm not against Halloween activities, but here are some of the problems I have with the modern day celebration of it;

(desensitivation)

1)Horror movies that now skirt the line of obsenity and parents permissive attitudes towards what is acceptable for a child to see.

(innocence lost)

2) Children out trick or treating dressed like hookers for example, instead of common trick or treat costumes, in the attempt to use any means of one upping,shocking or standing out among the other kids.

(materialistic competition/wasteful spending)

3) The lavish amounts of money and time being spent nowadays to decorate your house for this at one time simple event.

(corporate greed)

4)Retail stores mass marketing for this event and others like it in order to capitalize an exploit it for their maximum profitability.

-- Posted by like2b_onree on Sat, Oct 18, 2008, at 1:24 PM


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