Let me tell you, friends, I had a long and hard debate over Halloween and what I felt like the right thing to do was. After prayer and reading some helpful advice from various Christian sources, it occurred to me that whether we go to a church carnival, trunk or treat or trick or treating, we are ultimately acknowledging that the day has SOME kind of meaning to our kids. I personally cannot be the kind of person who just shuts all the doors and windows and pretends like the world isn't going on outside the walls of our house. Nor would I be the person who condemns and judges all the other parents for whatever decision they make regarding their kids on this particular day. I would rather face the fact head-on that there is a huge event happening on this day and take control of the way my daughters see/understand it and how they view "scary" things. I read a quote by one of my favorite authors, James.Dobson, that was along the lines of how this is the ONE TIME all year when all the neighbors kids will be ringing your doorbell. Why not embrace and channel the kind, neighborly Christian spirit and welcome them with GOOD candy? There may be other people whose intentions on this day are evil, mean or bad, but ours aren't.
We LOVE our church and a visit to the carnival last year was awesome... but also OVERWHELMING. Our fall carnival is the biggest community outreach we do every year. I believe there were 15,000 in attendance last year. Which is superb and the goal of any church, to reach the lost and show them love and open arms! But Little L was totally overloaded from the whole experience and with a 3 month old baby in addition to a toddler, there was just no way we could manage that this year. We are so excited to go back in a few years but until then, my husband and I agreed that we would be ok with trick or treating. SO LONG AS we are visiting friendly houses in the neighborhood we know and making sure to shield little eyes and minds from scary images and ideas.
We had never done this before, obviously, and I was so pleased to see SO MANY families from our neighborhood out in the action. We've lived here for almost 7 years and haven't really gotten to know many people until recently and I realize that I really live in one cool place with many wonderful neighbors. I need to get out there and be a mom everyone knows! Our kids will all go to school together someday (all too soon--sob!) and the more people we know, the less difficult that transition is going to be when the time comes.
Little L did GREAT. We only hit maybe 10 houses, but she caught on quickly and was soooooo precious. And, she even got a little bit of candy before bed! I am SO GLAD we went and I feel so thankful to have resolution over this particular topic.
Christmas is just around the corner. I already ordered Little L's big gift. I honestly don't know who is more excited over the whole holiday affair at this point, she or I.
Hope you all have a blessed week!