Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hijacked Halloween

I like Halloween. I like the idea of being creative, embracing an alter ego and giving out candy. In my house we have a strict rule about Halloween candy. My kids are allowed to eat it till they get sick. The same rule applies for Christmas and Easter.

This year we decided to be one of the cool houses. Not only did we give out regular sized Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, but we also gave glowing bracelets and necklaces. The ooo's and wow's we got out of that were totally worth it.

In the morning, as my kids were treating their sugar hangovers with more candy, they came across what looked like a novelty fake $1,000,000 bill. Upon further inspection though, we found that this was in fact a religious tract. Normally I don't have a problem with this. A church on a street I use to Trick or Treat on as a kid gave out miniature versions of the book of John. I always felt that to be more of a gesture than the iniquitous swag that found it's way to my kid's bag of treats. What my kid got was far more nefarious. One doesn't expect a treat to include the words, "[G]od sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That's not God's will." As my husband read this out loud, in his best scary political ad voice, my boys collapsed in giggles.

On the one hand, Trick or Treating by it's nature is a gamble. You're always gonna end up with at least one granola bar or worse, raisins. But I'm almost sure that if I threw in literature about my heathenish ways, or even just something about the Guiding Principles of Burning Man, I would no doubt be the object of much disdain.

I suppose in some ways, since Halloween is All Souls Eve, in theory, saving souls is part of the celebration. But, stern warnings about adultery are not quite what I had in mind. In our house moral guidance is more along the lines of do unto others, leave no trace and don't be evil. I wasn't aware that Halloween had become the repent or go to Hell holiday. Maybe I need to keep up. Then again, maybe not.

I believe, for this instance my family acts as good Americans. We consider Halloween to be a chance for kids of all ages to be silly, imagine themselves in another way, play tricks, watch tacky and gory B flicks and get free candy. We'll pick another day to worry about the kid's souls.

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