As a kid, Halloween always made me nervous. In the typical, fundamentalist Christian home, there’s an (often unspoken) order to the holidays. Christmas and Easter vie for top spot. Should Easter be more important? That’s celebrating Christ’s resurrection, and what could be more important than that? Well, how about Christmas, which celebrates Jesus being born? If he’s not born, then he can’t die. If he doesn’t die, then he can’t resurrect. So there’s no Easter without Christmas. Ok, good, Christmas is the most important then! Just remember, don’t enjoy the presents and the Santa Claus stories too much. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about Jesus. He’s the reason for the season. Hey! Are you listening to me? That’s enough Jingle Bells! Let’s sing Silent Night.
After the two heavyweights, we have Thanksgiving. Although this has nothing to do with Jesus directly, it’s obviously about thankfulness, which Christians practically invented. Not to mention the Thanksgiving Day feast, which commemorates the gratitude of the poor, lost “Indians” to our Christian founders who brought the gospel to them. (Unfortunately, the Satan-worshipping natives rejected it and God struck them dead with Smallpox.) Then we have The 4th of July. This isn’t exactly a Christian holiday, but it is celebrating a Christian country, so let’s go ahead and celebrate it by blowing some shit up! Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are alright because without all of those soldiers who fought to protect our right to have a Christian country, we’d be godless like every other country. Then we have Martin Luther King’s birthday. Yeah, yeah, we’re sure he did something good at some point, but he also liked to look at pictures of naked women, so, you know, let’s try to keep it in perspective.
Lastly, we have Halloween. Halloween isn’t just last on the list of holidays that Christians like, it’s first on the list of holidays that Christians specifically dislike. As a matter of fact, if your local church isn’t having a “Halloween Alternative Night” such as a “Harvest Festival” or something equally ridiculous, you’re better off turning off all your lights and bunkering down for the night than celebrating this occultic free-for-all. No bobbing for apples because that was originally a form of divination. No pumpkins, because jack-o-lanterns represent a man caught between earth and the supernatural world. No costumes because they were originally worn to hide one’s attendance at pagan festivals. Or was it the druidic belief that you could absorb the power of the being your costume represented? Whichever one it is, it can’t be good. Also, make sure to keep your cat inside so that it doesn’t get sacrificed.
All of this makes Halloween a tricky holiday to navigate as a kid. Let’s be honest, with the exception of Christmas, Halloween is where it’s at. Fun costumes. Hanging with friends. Meeting neighbors. Pillow cases full of candy. Yes, please! So, Halloween always made me nervous. I didn’t want to be a cat-sacrificing Satan worshiper, but on the other hand, dressing up with friends and walking around the neighborhood getting free candy sure sounded like it might be worth the risk.
Nowadays, I often wonder why Christians were (are?) so fearful of Halloween. It has as many Christian origins as it does pagan origins. Even the word Halloween is a contraction of “All Hallows Eve” which was simply the eve of “All Hallows Day” which was a Christian holy day celebrating the saints. Everything I was taught caused me to think that even the word Halloween was evil, when it actually refers to a Christian celebration! As a matter of fact, if anyone has a right to be pissed, it’s the Satanists. I wonder if they’re warning all of their members to stay away from Halloween because of its Christian roots. That would make me feel a little bit better about my childhood nerves regarding Halloween. I have a feeling they would think that’s silly though.
As for me, I have my annual Halloween party tomorrow night. We have costumes, pumpkins, candy, and as adults we’re adding alcohol, but as much as I love Halloween as an adult, I doubt we’re ever going to add cat sacrifices. That’s just too much work.