October 31, 2009

Spreading Neighborhood Cheer

As a Born Again Christian I'm not too happy about Halloween. Looking up where the 'rituals' came from, the pumpkins, the costumes, and why we do it in the first place did not put my mind at ease. In fact, I wish this 'celebration' did not exist for MANY reasons that I am not going to go into on my blog.

But it does exists and because I live in Canada it is in my face and all over the place. I may be a little bolder in the future and refuse to be a part of it, but for now we have decided to allow our children the 'fun' of dressing up and collecting candy from the neighbors. Besides...when they are older I will explain to them the truth behind this 'holiday', pray for them and allow them to be aware of the dangers and make up their own minds about it.

Also, even though the meaning of pumpkin carving is not so great, it was a fun day. The kids loved that I let them wear costumes all day, carve fun faces into pumpkins, eat candy, and see the stars and moon!!!!

To be completely honest, it was a nice break from the ordinary around here.

My friend and neighbor Cheryl and I decided to do something a little different this year. We decided to turn Halloween into a social event the entire road could enjoy. In the suburbs I remember how on this ONE night, all the adults in the neighborhood would emerge from the safety of their homes and ACTUALLY talk to each other while the kids ran around on sugar highs.

In the country the homes are sparse, there are not many children, and most of the adults stay in their cars while the kids run to the door.

So....This year we sent flyers, hitched up a wagon and gathered up the kids. We gave all the neighbors a heads up that we were coming and at what time and off we went!!!

Here are some pics from our night. The decorating, wagon and tractor driver courtesy of Cheryl. Oh and the flyers too. Did I do anything?? Oh that is right. I guided her into a mail box with her car while delivering the flyers. I also took pictures and handed out candy.

Here we are at our house waiting for all the kids to arrive. In total I think there were about 20 kids and 10 adults?? Next year ALL adults MUST wear a costume. Tractor driver included ;)
It was GREAT. Such a good way for the neighborhood to COME ALIVE!! I think all the old folks that have been around here forever and remember when the kids could actually bike up and down the road were just tickled pink.

What a great way for all the kids to meet and greet and for the neighbors to say hello.

What fun.

What fellowship.

What a great excuse to get together.

Watching them sort through their candy and allowing them to eat as much as their hearts desired for one night of the year was funny. You would have thought they won the lottery. It was a fun end to a great day with the kids and each other.

The night went so well that Cheryl and I are already thinking Neighborhood BBQ and fireworks for Canada Day. For now I'm off to eat more chocolate.


Anonymous said...

That looks like soo soo much fun. I am sure the kiddies loved it.. good solution for country living for sure. We were thinking of you all last night. It was only when Seamus went out trick or treating with Lara that we could actually get him to go..

We have been on auto pilot about Halloween, however this year we did decide to take a bit of a stand in terms of decorations and costumes. I have such great memories of Halloween as a child, but it would seem that now the scary, darker the better.. and that is a little concerning. We explained to Seamus what we believe God feels about all the "darkness" and while it is okay to have fun with friends and eat candies, it is not God's will for us to be too scary or to be dressed in something "evil" (yes, we use the word evil. Even for children, it is okay for them to know there is good and evil!)BY firming up my thoughts on this and really thinking about it, I was amazed at how almost disgusted I was at the Halloween excess and the spook factor.. Just a sign of the times I guess

Carey said...

How fun! What a great idea!

Cathy said...

Super great idea for the neighbourhood! Looks like a wonderful time!

Nancy said...

Awesome! I love it! You and Cheryl have added sparkle and fun to the neighbourhood. This warms my heart.

The Kerr Family said...

The hay ride is such an awesome idea! I still have great memories of hay and sleigh rides as a kid. It's easier to not do Halloween stuff on Oct. 31 when you have a group of friends committed not to do it as well. Friends in Edmonton used to rent the pool on Halloween night and have a pool party for everyone. I, like Suzin, just tend to stick to the lighter side of Halloween - no graves stones or spooky sounds at our house :)

B said...

Did you know that Halloween is actually a Christian (Catholic) created holiday to honour the dead?

It might have developed into scary monsters and such - but it all comes from the theme of death.

Alyson said...

B, your actualy wrong about that. It is/was a CELTIC tradition and involved the celtic God....
The catholics got involved during the roman empire. When they were trying to convert all the pagans to catholosism, they tried to make it a fun thing and brought it into the church. unfortunately they just brought pagan traditions and evil into it.

B said...

If you go that far back, you'll see it's not about Pagans (that's a modern catholic word for those that don't believe what the Pope tells them).

It's about marking the end of harvest and making sure that ghosts of the dead don't dammage crops and cause other havoc. This predates the modern religion of Christianity. Over time it has evolved to include and imply devils and zombies and such. There's nothing anti-religious or anti-God about it.

Now it's a time for kids to dress up and get candy. And for every female on the planet over the age of 13 to dress like a hooker...