Exit Halloween, Enter Christmas

November 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment












Our family’s jack-0-lanterns and fall decorations


It used to be that when Halloween got packed away, Christmas decorations were out the next day. Not so anymore. Yesterday, when I went looking for inspiration for a last-minute costume, there was Christmas stacked right next to it. Spread out would be a better way of saying it, for Christmas decorations took up more than three times the space of Halloween costumes and the candy display next to it.


In our Christian church year, there’s still space between Halloween and Advent—nearly a whole month—with All Saint’s Sunday coming up, right after the costumes are put away.


Mary Reed Newland, a writer for the Catholic Education Resource Centre, declares in her blog piece, All Hallow’s Eve, that “One of the nicest surprises of living around the year with the Church is to find that Halloween is part of it.” She continues, “Some tell me they understand that Halloween pranks were a post-Reformation contribution to plague Catholics who kept the vigil of All Saints.”


Wikipedia names Halloween as the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or all Saints). Whoever wrote that entry says that many scholars proclaim that Halloween was originally influenced by European harvest festivals, and that the celebration may also have pagan roots. Still others say it is independent of Samhain and has Christian roots. Further on in the article, it reads that All Soul’s Day, on November 2, is a “time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach Heaven.”


Speaking of honouring saints, reminds me of a fellow writer’s post on October 31st when he said on twitter that he might go as Martin Luther. I answered, “Go for it.”


I mean, why not? While some go as hockey stars, dancers,  ghouls  or even Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, why not mix in Luther as well? And any of the church leaders or fathers. If people don’t recognize the Luther costume, all they have to do is ask. If there’s a spiritual element to the day, then why not?


I know of people who don’t celebrate Halloween because of their religious beliefs. According to Luisa D’Amato, of the Waterloo Region Record, in her October 31st column, many have never celebrated the occasion, and children who grew up in countries where there have been wars may be terrified by some of these costumes.  (It’s okay; there are some I don’t appreciate either).

It doesn’t change the fact that many children, and indeed adults, in Canada, have celebrated the day, and for most, it’s just an opportunity to dress up in a costume—perhaps representing a dream of theirs, or just dressing up and going out for a good time—and well as collecting candy. D’Amato wrote, “Halloween is a celebration that’s deliciously rich with layers of meaning.”


Halloween is over, with All Soul’s Sunday next, and beyond that is the Advent. While the stores beam their Christmas music, by all means get ready for Christmas, but remember the reason for the celebration.


By the way, I took my inspiration for a costume from the Christmas decorations so lavishly laid out there, but you’ll have to go to my previous post to see my post:  Halloween—for children or adults.








Entry filed under: seasons, writing. Tags: , , , , , .

Halloween–for children or adults, or both? Temple of Sharon

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