Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Joys of Halloween

Mark Shea made a great statement on this:
I have to say that my feelings toward Halloween have mellowed with the years. As an Evangelical, I used to dislike it intensely as a night given over to the devil. But as time has gone on, I find I enjoy the rare opportunity for the whole neighborhood to turn out and all visit each other. I love the brisk night air. I love the little kids in their goofy costumes getting to run around after dark. I love the gasps of wonder from the various people at the various doors, admiring the goofy costumes. I love giving out candy to cute little kids who are trying to remember to be polite and say "thank you" with mommy and daddy's prompting. On the whole, Halloween is an occasion for conviviality, and I have a hard time believing the devil can do much in the face of that other than feel like Wile E. Coyote or Scrat, whose best laid plans always seem to blow up in their faces.
My thoughts exactly. I loved all this same stuff last night. We all had a marvelous time (my wife Judy's mother also came along, then we visited my parents). My kids had "horrible, wicked" and pagan costumes like Dorothy (complete with red sparkly shoes) and the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, Indiana Jones, and a knight in shining armor. Pretty frightening, scandalous stuff there.

My only slight difference with Mark (and that only concerning his former views) is that I never disliked this night intensely as an evangelical (I had a great costume as Moses - complete with the two tablets - at one church Halloween party: you get the idea). I had some qualms about it but didn't get legalistic like so many Protestants do. But now as a parent seeing this innocent fun (I converted just before I became a parent, as it turned out), I think that would have gone out the window even if I had never become a Catholic. Rod Bennett offers another similar take on Halloween from a Catholic perspective.

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