Friday, October 29, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

I've read at least 4 blog posts lately about Halloween. Mostly in favor of joining in and being with neighbors, be that by handing out hot chocolate, or having a neighborhood party, or just trick or treating with the neighborhood.

As I commented on a blog, I began thinking of my own experience growing up with this holiday. It seems when I was younger it was a whole lot scarier; with a risk of razor blades in apples and tampered candy. The church I attended did a good job of scaring us about this "evil" holiday and provided us a safe alternative: A Harvest Festival. Personally, I loved it. I enjoyed being with my friends and playing games, winning prizes and eating all the ice cream I wanted.

But I attended without my family. They were out trick-or-treating. Without me.

Halloween was always my Granny's favorite holiday. She'd even crochet special surprises for the kids.... little "men" made out of a pack of life savers and yarn, a crocheted necklace with a silver dollar hidden inside. Her house was decorated and I wonder if there were rumors of it being a scary house! Nevertheless, kids climbed up the stairs, knocked on the door, and was greeted by my Grandma, usually dressed as a witch. She was a very convincing witch, long silver-gray hair, glasses, old and with a tube going to her nose to provide her oxygen. All this was normal for me; she'd been on oxygen since I was born, but looking back I wonder if people were normally scared of her.

But not on Halloween. On Halloween, it was acceptable to be a little scary.

I always questioned why and how Halloween could be her favorite holiday but I wonder now that I'm older if she was lonely. Being on oxygen pretty much confined her to the house, and on October 31st hundreds of people came to her house, and it made her happy. Such a small interaction and yet it was something she looked forward to all year.


My family enjoys trick or treating. There's been a lot of talk about how it is "missional" to engage with neighbors and community in this night instead of hiding away at a Church's halloween function. I really do hope that interacting with my neighbors will lead to a deeper community and a way to share my faith with them, but I'm also content in knowing that my kids dressed up in costume put a smile on my neighbors' faces.

We never fully know how much a smile or a knock on the door means to another person. Yeah, it's just asking for candy..... but maybe for them it is something more, like it was for my Granny.

Lately I've been looking at my life and see the importance of connection and community. I want it, I crave it. Perhaps we are all yearning that connection and a community. As a Christian I know it is found in Christ, but sometimes It takes His people for me to really feel it and experience it.

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