Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallow's Eve

Well, All Hallow's Eve has come upon us again. Thankfully, All Saints' Day (Nov. 1) is one feast day that the Novus Ordo calendar didn' t mess with.

This time of year always presents a difficulty for my family and I. Seeing how ghoulish, demonic and dark the secular day of Halloween is, we always opt out of any kind of trick or treating or anything like that; we don't even hand out candy to others who come down our street. We just have our lights off like a family of trolls.

Perhaps I am being too puritanical, but I really don't think so. The costumes these days are not sheets with two holes poked in them, but are grotesque creations right out of horror movies that are disturbing even for me to see. Furthermore, in the past several years the amount of witchcraft paraphernalia out in the culture has increased dramatically. My wife and I have seen many little girls dressed up like witches this year so far and it is always confusing for my daughters because we have taught them (and rightfully so) that witchcraft is a terrible sin and that witches are evil. But then we have situations like the following: my eldest daughter's best friend is her cousin (non-Catholic family). That cousin is being a witch for Halloween. "So daddy, if witches are evil, why is my cousin being a witch for Halloween?" It is terribly confusing for her and very difficult for me to explain.

Though we homeschool and my kids are not exposed to the perfidious influences of the public school system, they inevitably get asked questions by family and friends like, "Where are you going trick or treating this year?" My kids just look at them in confusion. They have never trick or treated, not because I think there is anything wrong with going door to door asking for candy, but because I don't want my daughters to see all of the other hideous costumes out there. I don't even want them coming to my door because she could still see them. Why should I tell my daughters to be on guard against the devil and the demons 364 days out of the year and then invite them to my door and give them candy one day out of the year? If we are Catholics and realize who the devil is, why would we celebrate anything to do with the kingdom of darkness?

Thankfully, for the past 12 years we have gone to a Harvest Party at a nearby Catholic parish. All the kids dress up as saints or bible characters, go to Mass, bob for apples, go on hay-rides, hit pinatas and do fun stuff like that. But the witchy aspect of the secular holiday is getting more difficult to ignore. Across the street from my house, my neighbor set up this giant flashing skeleton and this odd creature (I can only describe it as a banshee or something) hanging from their roof so that it blows in the wind. It is visible right from my daughter's bedroom window and at night, the flashing skeleton lights up her room with its glow unless we close the blinds. Why does my daughter have to see skeletons and banshees out her bedroom window?

We went into Kroger's supermarket the other day to get some groceries and my daughter screamed as soon as we went in the door because there was this bigger than life-size rubber zombie looking thing at the door that was hidden so that when you walked into the door it growled at you and lit up its eyes. Is that really fun for anybody? I had to hold my daughter for the rest of the time we were in the store. Why should we be subjected to that in the grocery store?

The secular holiday serves one purpose: to show kids that dark, witchy-ghoulish things are not deviant and demonic, but are fun and interesting. Isn't Halloween always the kids' favorite holiday? Of course, there is a lot of money involved. In 2006, Halloween candy, costumes and decorations (who ever heard of Halloween decorations?) were a $5 billion industry.

Tonight, we will go to Mass, go to the Harvest Party, do some bobbing for apples, get my daughter some candy, donuts, cider, and then she will come home and go to bed, exhausted and blissfully ignorant of the celebration of death and evil going on all around her in the world. Tomorrow we will celebrate the solemnity of All Saints and the day after we will go to the local parish cemetery to pray for the Holy Souls. It's really a tragedy: All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are two of the most beautiful feasts of the Church when we get down to what they really are. All Saints Day is a beautiful holiday with a very ancient pedigree in the Church that has nothing to do with darkness, paganism, or ghoulishness. The secular corruption of Halloween, however, is pagan and demonic in almost every aspect.

My daughter's All Saint's Day costumes:

2003- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
2004- St. Catherine of Siena
2005- King David
2006- St. Joan of Arc
2007- St. Lucy (we even have a chalice with rubber eyeballs)

This is also the first All Saint's Day for my younger daughter; she is being the Blessed Virgin.

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