My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Appropriate Halloween Costumes

Our 10 year old son loves Halloween. What American kid does not? I can remember going trick-or-treating with him dressed as a fireman one year and as a lion another. That was so cute. But nowadays, he wants to be scary for Halloween and I have very mixed feelings about it.

Some Christians believe we should have nothing whatsoever to do with Halloween. Or if we do, it should be altered into a fall festival or Reformation celebration. I support those parents wholeheartedly. At the same time, I do not see the harm in allowing our children to dress in costumes and go door to door in the neighborhood for candy. Properly supervised, of course.

Our son knows that anything overtly satanic or occult is off the table for discussion entirely. No devil costumes or ghosts or witches. And no chainsaw murderers or bloody vampires. Ain't gonna happen. He agrees and that's not a problem.

But he does still want to be something scary. Which is weird, because he doesn't like scary stuff normally. Our attempts to dissuade him have not been too successful thus far. I said he should just go as himself. No costume. Or we suggested he go as his best friend and his best friend go as him. He could be Adam (go commando). Nah. My wife thinks he should be a bar of soap or a fork or something.

We did see a Napolean Dynamite mask. We almost had him with that one. I'm thinking of buying it for myself.

Over at The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, I read this post about Halloween costumes from one of her guest contributors.

What are your thoughts on the whole Halloween thing?

Sphere: Related Content


Jane said...

We "do" Halloween, but also without devils, witches, etc. In recent years my boys have gone as Calvin & Hobbes, Men in Black, and the ever-popular Pirate.
My daughter has been a gypsy, a flapper and Miss Elizabeth Bennett. There were a couple of years that we were part of the non-celebrating crowd, but we decided that that was an overreaction to the fact that we were upset about the Haunted House at our CHURCH that did have witches, chainsaw murderers, vampires, ghosts, zombies, etc. (yes, an LCMS church.)

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

My twins were Ohio State cheerleaders. Go Bucks! :)

Julie Stiegemeyer said...

The costume that has left me with my mouth hanging open the last two years are the purple boys' pimp outfits. Ya know, the purple hat with the wide brim and the oversized purple fuzzy suit. It's bizarre. The name of the character is Big Daddy or Big Pimp Daddy or something like that. What mother would buy this for her son? It baffles me.

Tim's Ghost said...

I have mixed feeling about Halloween. My wife prefers Fasching in Austria because it is non-ghoulish. When we lived in the city, we also had to check to see who was at the door because some of the costumes would scare our little ones.

On the other hand, many Evangelicals seem to respond with FEAR, much like they do with Harry Potter. That doesn't seem right either. If knowing the truth can make us odd, then in some ways, the truth can also make us normal. Normal in the sense that we can relax and have fun on Halloween without fear.

Our family wants to be a giraffe (age 8), a princess (age 11), and Douglas Adams' Marvin the Robot (age 13). My wife (39) just said that she will be the Grinch that stole Halloween. I (44) am going to dress up as Jim Kelly and pretend like the Bills are as good as they were in 1991.


mice said...

When I was a kid was absolutely forbidden from being anything overtly devilish or involving witches etc. It bothered me as a child as it was just another thing that I wanted to do simply because it was kept from me.

I think the choices we make does affect our kids even if they are to young to understand it now. More than anything I think this holiday refelcts our values and who we are as a people. Hopefully we don't do it blindly.

Darrell said...

Boys go through their "scary" phase... I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I enjoyed and still enjoy horror novels, movies, etc. It's just fantasy, mindless entertainment, and I've always been able to separate it from reality. Christianity, of course, is the foundation of reality for me. Personally, I don't have any problem with kids dressed as monsters, vampires, etc, and I think the pimp costume your wife mentioned is far more troubling. Vampires, monsters, werewolves, etc, are make-believe, not real criminals. Monster costumes are harmless. I think it's all in good fun, and I think discouraging just makes it more appealing and maybe even implies that it is something serious and powerful. That's just my take on it, though, and I'm not trying to say that your take on it is wrong. I think your take is pretty mainstream, not extremist. Every year about this time I end up in arguments with "fundamentalists" I know who go the whole "Halloween is of the DEVIL!" route. I just don't buy it. Part of growing up is figuring out who you are, and part of that is play-acting at who you're not.

Anyway, maybe the best compromise for you and your son is a scary animal? There's nothing evil about bears, for instance, and they sure are scary. Just a thought.

Jonathan Foster said...

I don't understand what is wrong with dressing up as the devil. I think it is a good way to make fun of him.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

As a fan of Martin Luther, I can appreciate the idea of mocking Satan. Luther had a lively view of how to deal with the devil.

However, Luther also lived in a time when people took the devil seriously. And feared him, even too an extreme.

But today it is quite different. Today, people don't believe in a real live devil. No one is being "sober and watchful for your enemy, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour."

People today need to know that the devil is real and he is a devourer. In Luther's day, a mocking red devil costume could've made sense. The devil's chief trait, after all, is vanity. But today, I believe it is very unwise.

solarblogger said...

As a child I was allowed to "do Halloween" and do what I wanted. Probably the most "occultic" thing I ever went as was a ghost. But my understanding of that was cartoonish. I thought of it as a make-believe kind of character. I knew that people who died went to heaven. But I wouldn't have wanted to be some of the other kinds of characters for reasons Pastor Scott listed. But others may have a fairy tale category of witch in their minds even though there are real people involved in witchcraft.

Some of these categories are good or bad depending on how people understand them. I would be slow to say that some of them are automatically bad in all contexts. What may be appropriate at a church party or for general trick-or-treating might be different from what is appropriate at a small party.

mice said...

The post was originally meant to be comical and a farse. I am pleased though that it could inspire some real discussion. I am alos pleased that I have found the site because of it.

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary