It’s Halloween, a time of year that tends to divide opinion. There are those who view it as harmless family fun, a time for costumes, candy and colourful chaos. Carving pumpkins, trick or treating, it’s the official start of the holiday season leading to Christmas via Thanksgiving. Throw in the odd spooky movie and it’s the perfect weekend. Nobody gets hurt and it’s not as if any of it is real, right? Ghosts, ghouls and goblins are all the stuff of make believe.
Other people feel very differently about All Hallows Eve. For they believe there are darker forces at work and an ancient battle rages between good and evil for possession of our souls. Dependent on what side they are on, they either love or loathe this time of year. Christians view Halloween as an attack on their faith and futures, all under the deliberate guise that it’s just a bit of fun and nobody is going to get hurt. They genuinely fear the harm that can be done to those who acquire a taste for the dark side.
I’m somewhere in between. I don’t regard myself as Christian, it’s a man made phrase that I struggle to align myself with. I don’t attend church and I tend to avoid the Christian community due to the many negative, hurtful experiences I’ve had with it. But I do believe in God, have an interest in the life and times of Jesus and occasionally read my Bible. I pray, when I remember, and read on faith related matters. I try to lead as good a life as I can. I often fail, but I try.
That said, I’ve no problem with trick or treaters and we have pumpkins sitting at our front door this year, skilfully carved out by our daughters. I’m partial to the occasional zombie movie or seven and don’t think our kids are going to become card carrying Satanists because of that. It’s how we behave the other 364 days of the year that matter, not making a song and dance about a pagan festival that is forgotten by 01 November when all eyes turn towards Christmas. A season that matters much more with regards its meaning and significance.
Happy Halloween…or not. Whatever your beliefs.