Friday, November 1, 2013


Being American does not automatically make me fond of Halloween. However, in my family it was something that we enjoyed. My first memory of Halloween is dressing up as a nurse. One of my foster brothers was a mummy. I don't remember what anyone else was wearing, but I remember one of my cousins had a pumpkin candy holder that I was most jealous of.

Off we went walking along, warm in our sensibly layered outfits, gazing adoringly ever so often at the adults who took precious time to bring us around for this rite of passage.

We crossed a street.

All went silent.

I noticed my mother gently coaxing my foster sister to keep moving. I had not her gift for sensing danger.

In young and eager trust we went along, and we crossed the bush-shielded walkway of a house when:


This man jumps out in a gorilla suit and all is a blur. We take off running and screaming our little heads off, and I distinctly remember the sound of my mother's laughter. I remember looking back and my cousin with the pumpkin candy holder had stopped to pick up the pieces of candy we had all dropped running away. Opportunist, that one.

Considering this start to Halloween I should not be so upset that it is no great tradition here, and that all of my Christian friends dissuade me from doing anything to celebrate. I understand their hesitancy in joining me for any festivities. Looking at the origins of the traditions makes it clear that there is nothing Christ-centered about the holiday. All the same, I find myself hesitant to give it up. I find myself wondering what I will do with my children. Will it matter to them? It did to me. I loved the fun of wandering around in the dark, picking up free candy, and meeting new people.

So while I personally love seeing little kids dressed like pumpkins and snow peas, I can avoid the holiday for the sake of being a kind sister in Christ, instead of being a stumbling block.

In what should be no surprise, I am noticing that the closer I get to God, the further away I get from the world.

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