This made me chuckle on the BBC news page- apparently the most popular costume that people will be wearing to Halloween parties in the US is a Sarah Palin suit and mask.
Check it out here
This kind of begs the question- what is Halloween about? What is it for?
I know you can get all historical and talk about all Hallows eve, which all sorts of Christian traditions had fun with. But then, the point was the relationship to All Saints day. (There is some stuff on Wikipedia digging into the different Christian responses here.)
It is this ridiculous Americanised commercialism that makes me grind my teeth. A celebration of plastic Hollywood ghouls and cuddly devils with strap on horns. What purpose does it serve? What is it about? I know Christmas has become a commercial de-Christianised affair, but at the heart of the secular version (X-mass) you can see some kind of value base- family, good will to all men, the giving of gifts and the stocking of soup kitchens. But Halloween???
And we Brits have bought into this big time. There is a DIY shop in out little town that has cleared half the shop just to make space for all the Haloween tat. Statues and lights and signs.
I am afraid that we have taken a decision to veto Halloween as a festival entirely. We discussed this with the kids, and tried to have a discussion about how as Christians we do not appreciate the focus on demons and darkness, but as ever, the social pressure to conform and join in the endless round of parties and trick-or-treating is great. The kids end up feeling as though they are missing out, which does not feel good either. They are going to a party tomorrow that tries to celebrate light, but this will not fully compensate.
I think making sacrifices because of decisions made on the basis of ones faith is a good thing, when done with conviction and moderation. But I still wonder whether I am over reacting? Is it really only a bit of fun, a kind of release valve to allow us to take a sideways glance at our fears?
I don’t buy it though. Not even if it comes with free plastic demon horns…