Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dressing the Part

Disclaimer:  These are only my opinions!  Do not feel you must adhere to them in any way.

Now, that the Halloween season has passed, we've dressed our children as characters and our stomachs are way too full of candy and chili, I want to give my honest opinion on the matter.  As a new parent a couple of years ago, I struggled with holidays in general.  I did not know how we would handle a dark night and another in which a man "comes down" our chimney (which, in fact, we do not have).  I wanted, mostly, to be among the secular mind frame and play the part.

Until my husband stated his opinions on the matter...

I was crushed when he first told me he was opposed to Halloween, Santa, the Easter bunny, etc.  In fact, I went against him on Daniel's first Halloween and dressed him up as a lion, took him to our loved ones' homes, and filled his little bucket up with treats.  Silly, right, considering Daniel was only 6 months old?! 

Time has passed since then, and now the parent of two boys, I'm realizing that I want to be less worldly and more Godly.  Yet, I'll admit that I thoroughly enjoy costumes and presents.  I've asked myself (and many friends in the faith) how to be Christian yet partake in these holidays.  I've even felt guilty when I learned that other Christian families have opted out of these traditions altogether because I personally enjoy them. 

How can I be Godly in seasons of ungodliness?! 

Halloween is filled with spooks, scares, and secular activities that I honestly don't want any part in, but since it is also filled with such sweet innocence and fun, I have searched the scriptures to know my stand on the issue.  For instance, Jesus said in John 17, And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they (His words) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil I am to keep myself and my children from the evil that is in the world. 

Is Halloween evil?  Not necessarily, but if you spent any time out last night, you were certain to see children younger than ten with blood-covered faces and demon-draped costumes.  That, to me, is evil: pure and unnecessary evil.  What were those faces saying to my boys?  That this world is evil.  That even young children are being exposed to things they should never see.  That I have a huge responsibility to teach my children be an example, a light, to those around them. 

Christmas in no way is evil unless you consider lying evil, and I do.  I know we all have to "lie" to our children at times, but blatant untruths that we can avoid should be avoided.  This, to me, means that Santa shouldn't be played up as the most important part of Christmas.  Why is his face all over the place from November 1st to December 25th?!  If I'm not mistaken, the reason "Christmas" was originally celebrated was to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.  Whether He was born in December or not, that time of year was set aside to honor and celebrate His miraculous birth.  Isn't HE the miracle of Christmas?!  Isn't HIS FACE the one we should be looking to during this time of year?!  With that in mind, my heart aches for children (and adults) who look forward to Santa's arrival but have no clue about the arrival of the One who came to offer them the gift of salvation. 

So, what did we do on Halloween?!  Our children dressed up as the cutest Thomas the Tank Engine and Sir Topham Hatt we'd ever seen!  We didn't mention trick or treating, and we didn't take them to see anything haunted, though we couldn't avoid the scary things we encountered just going to Mimi's house.  We visited our friends and families' homes, and the boys got to hug the necks of those they love.  Those they love spoiled them with some of their favorite treats and took pictures of their adorable faces.  We were in this world, but definitely not of it.

And, what will we do for Christmas?!  Our children will be surrounded by those they love the most.  They'll enjoy meals and hugs and hear stories from holidays past.  They'll be given things they want and definitely do not need.  :)  They'll each receive three gifts from Mommy and Daddy as Jesus Himself was presented with three items surrounding the time of His birth.  Finally, they'll come home and hear the true story of Christmas under our "Scripture" tree which will be decorated with ornaments that individually represent the life of Jesus. 

I know it's hard to be different when this world wants us to "fit in," but I'm striving to be a parent that is different because Jesus Christ calls me to be peculiar and set apart.  While I realize some choose to distance themselves from these holidays and events, we've taken the stand for Christ and decided to be Christians amidst (and despite) the things of this world. 

Samuel was Sir Topham Hatt this year.

Running to show Mrs. Becky from MDO
his Thomas bucket at Temple's Trunk or Treats.

Getting a treat from Mrs. Becky.  :)

Excited to see his treats!

Visiting Pop on Halloween

The only picture of both boys dressed up.

Eating treats with his friend, James Luke,
at the Carver's house.

1 comment:

James Keen said...

Love it! Amen to so many of your comments Jenna. I'm thankful you wrote this.