Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thoughts on Trick or Treating and My Care Bears

The slightly crazy mom in me wanted the girls to be co-ordinated Trick or Treaters.

I also didn't want to pay lots of money for their costumes.

Then I saw this and my problem was solved.

Care Bears for the win!

I didn't totally follow the tutorial, but I think the costumes were super cute!  The main differences were...

  • I couldn't find white hooded sweatshirts, so I used crew neck.  
  • I put the bear ears (which were cut from marker colored index cards) on headbands, because there wasn't a hood.
  • I decorated the white felt tummy circle with just puffy paint (I didn't use any other felt).
  • I didn't want to make pompom tails, so I literally colored a white felt circle with markers and called it good.

My favorite part is the heart on the back!

That, and using washable markers to draw on my daughters' faces. 

That was oddly really fun!

So, as you peruse these adorable pictures, I'm going to share with you our decision making in having our girls go Trick or Treating.  I had a friend ask me to blog about it, so here we go!

To be honest, I don't think Aaron and I gave trick or treating much thought at all when Leah was little.  We both went trick or treating when we were little, so it was natural for us to take Leah trick or treating.

Because, when it comes down to it, isn't trick or treating just dressing up for fun and getting free candy?

Now, I realize that I've never done any research into the genesis of Halloween.  But, I know that some people say that it's occult-ish at its roots, and others (like mi madre) said that it was from All Hallow's Eve which is the evening before All Saints Day.  I feel like she learned this in Catholic grade school.

Like lots of things we do now, there's probably bits and pieces from various traditions that comprise the way observe a celebration.

Aaron and I look at it a little differently now than we did when Leah was little, though.

We look at Trick or Treating as an opportunity.

We don't know our neighbors very well at all.  The exception being our wonderful next door neighbors.  We let their dog out for them sometimes and then Betty brings us delicious shrimp and avocado salsa that Gracie and I eat for lunch.  I give them a cup of sugar and Betty brings us beer cheese dip!  I feel like I'm coming out ahead in this relationship :)  We visit when we are outside...friendly things like that!  And there's sweet John and Margaret from our church who love our girls and let them pick their beautiful flowers and have them over to bake cookies!  But, aside from those 2 houses, we don't know many other neighbors.

BUT, when it's Trick or Treat time, we go right up to our neighbors' houses and can talk to them if they are there.  I don't know about you, but there isn't a lot of random walking up to people's houses and talking to them...aside from Trick or Treating (and the shady people trying to get me to buy vacuums or about tricks!).  It isn't much, but starting simple conversations with someone is how relationships start!

When we mosey around Trick or Treating, we run into Leah's friends from school and get a chance to talk to them and meet their parents.  If you've read this post, you know that's something I really care about!

I feel like it would be different if the average everyday person associated Trick or Treating with evil things.  Our approach would probably be different if that was the case.  

But, as it is now, people don't see us Trick or Treating with the girls and say to themselves, "Hmm, I never knew that Aaron and Becky supported the occult and witchcraft until now."

No!  Because that would be ridiculous! 

They probably think, "Look at those cute little girls dressed like Care Bears!  I remember Care Bears!  What was with Grumpy Bear anyway?  He really needed to chillax.  Wait, are those tails just white felt colored with markers?  I wish I had a reason to draw on my child's face with markers.  That would be fun!"

Or something like that!  

As Christians, we want to be actively getting to know people in our community!  We want to demonstrate the love of Jesus to others.  It's hard to do that if you don't know anybody.  Trick or Treating can be an avenue to that.

A couple of random thoughts:

  • If you are a Christian, please, please, please don't only hand out tracks/religious papers.  If that's something you're into doing (that's not our thing), give out A LOT of really good candy with it.  
  • We don't get into the scary end of stuff.  Our girls have really sensitive hearts towards scary things (even non-scary things like barn cats), and we see no need to toughen them the scary things, that is.  We would like them to not be afraid of kittens.

If you cannot, in good conscience, allow your children to go Trick or Treating, we can still be friends!  I'm not sitting here judging you, so please don't be sitting there judging me!  Trick or Treating is certainly a gray area issue, and I think God gives us a lot of grace for this kind of thing.

I love that God can redeem something as silly as a cultural celebration and use it to further the work He is doing.  

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