They say there’s a time and a place for everything. I agree. So when I got my latest Oriental Trading Company catalog, I scratched my head in confusion when I saw the cover with some Fun & Faith Halloween decorations. What the..??!!

I understand that some religious people have a problem with the whole Christmas thing and people focusing more on presents than the word of the Lord, but I must have missed Sunday school the day they talked about God’s place on October 31st. I am truly stumped. What does Jesus have to do with trick-or-treating and candy?

I looked it up and I guess there is some reference to it:

Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of its original title “All HallowsEven“),[5] also known as All Hallows’ Eve,[6] is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. According to some scholars, All Hallows’ Eve initially incorporated traditions from pagan harvest festivals and festivals honoring the dead, particularly the Celtic Samhain;[6][7][8] other scholars maintain that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain.[9]

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as “guising“), attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films, as well as the religious observances of praying, fasting and attending vigils or church services.[

The Halloween holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots, even though the etymology of the word is Christian.[11] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning “summer’s end”.[11] Samhain was the first and the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish and Scottish[12] calendar[13][14] and, falling on the last day of autumn, it was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead.[11] There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen.[13][14] To ward off these spirits, the Gaels built huge, symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.[

Christian influences

Halloween is also thought to have been heavily influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints’ Day (also known as Hallowmas, All Hallows, and Hallowtide) and All Souls’ Day.[16] Falling on November 1 and 2 respectively, collectively they were a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach heaven. By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory and “souling“, the custom of baking bread or soul cakes for “all crysten christened souls”.[17] It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving onto the next world.[18] To avoid being recognised by a soul, Christians would wear masks and costumes to disguise themselves, following the lighted candles set by others to guide their travel for worship the next day.[18] Today, this practice has been perpetuated through children guising (trick or treating).[18]

I bet that’s more than you ever knew (or cared to know) about Halloween huh? I liked the honoring the dead part. That’s nice. But, in my opinion, in these modern times, the crafts that Oriental Trading is selling are a bit of a stretch. Do we need to have a pumpkin cross while we trick-or treat? Will a bag with “Shine with the Light of Jesus” get us more candy? Who knows. I have a feeling that maybe this is a way for people to reel in some of the naughtiness. Some of the costumes for kids have become downright slutty, making your kid look more ready for a porn video than innocently begging for candy.

French maid costume for a kid?! Are you f-ing kidding?!

The grown-up ones are even worse – remember Miranda’s exasperation trying to find a costume and only finding “Slutty Nurse,” Slutty witch” or “slutty pirate?” I went to one Halloween party where people were being so bad..well, it was bad. And some of the horror amusements have gone extreme. Besides the usual classic movies like “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th,” many venues turn into a complete gorefest. You won’t catch me at Knottscary Farm – no way! I am a huge scaredy cat and proud of it.

We’ll see if any of these Jesus Halloween items show up on my street. It would be a first. I don’t mind it. I just think they don’t really correlate to the holiday. It’s like the Sesame Street game “One of these things is not like the other.” I for one, am happy that they did not push Halloween much at my church. I was able to go forth, dress up, get as much candy as possible, trade it with my friends, and get cavities and stomachaches without having to feel guilty about serving the Lord or honoring someone. It was pure, clean fun, and I loved it. Today, I love seeing the kids’ costumes and faces when I present my big bowl of, what I believe, is the best candy selection EVER!

Happy Halloween Everyone!