To costume or not to costume…that is my question

Ok, so Halloween is now officially over.  I think now is an ok time to put this out there.

As a kid, we always dressed up and went out Trick-or-Treating.  It was never an issue.  We dressed as we wished, but usually none of us ever chose the really gory type of costume or make up.  Often it was the “Hobo” or cowboy, or something along those lines.

As parents, my husband and I have chosen NOT to allow our kids to go out Trick-or-Treating.  As a Christian family, and being a bit more conservative than my parents or his parents, we want to impart those values on our kids.  The bottom line being that we don’t believe Halloween is a holiday that Jesus would celebrate, or really want us to celebrate.  There is also an element of begging that goes along with the tradition, and I would prefer my kids to be on the giving end of things.

So, when Halloween rolls around, we let the kids put on costumes, he was a soldier, and she was a mish-mosh that ended up looking totally 80’s, and they handed out candy to the kids that came by.  It’s a compromise of sorts.  We don’t have a problem with them dressing up…they can do that anytime they want, and they do.  It’s not about the candy either; we can get that REALLY cheap the day(s) following Halloween.  For me, it’s about the spiritual issues surrounding Halloween and the influences we have over our children.  There are many in my very church who DO celebrate the holiday, and even dress up themselves and party right alongside their children, in costume.

Here’s my question.  There is no doubt that pirates are thieves.  That is not something I would want to glamorize for my kids.  But I have seen pictures recently of parents who dressed a pirates and played along with their kids at a Church friendly event.  Is this sending a mixed message to our kids?  When we want them to have values, when we want them to behave as productive, honest, hard-working adults, is it right to glamorize a thief?  What about dressing as a knight?  Don’t they have a dark history, even within the church?  Is there something valiant about it?  Can one be extracted without the other?  My boy dressed as a soldier, and I even wonder if that was wise.  I want him to honor our brave service men and women but at the same time, if you twist it, soldiers kill and sometimes they do really bad things to innocent people.

What then, is safe?  What then is right?  Is it about the costume or the spirit in which it is worn?  Maybe I’m making more of it than I should, but I have good reason to question all this.  Because the answers lead me to question other things in my past that maybe are not as bad as some would think….

Let me know if you really want to know the rest of what’s on my mind and where this is leading…

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