For the past nine years my daughter, Selah and I have lived a peaceful life abiding by our Halloween treaty until now. This year we both find ourselves at an impasse, and neither party wants to concede or compromise. But I’m the Queen Bee of Kingdom Stewart, so by default what I say goes. Yet, as a parent I find myself mulling over the situation. I want Selah to understand why Halloween—rather the unHalloweening-- matter to the Kingdom and to her. I want us both to win, so I sit here today the crossroads of rewriting a new treaty and with good reason.
I was brought up not to celebrate anything related to Darkness except my tin Kiss lunch box I had in third grade. So Halloween was not spoken of in our house until a few days before and usually came down more as a Don’t even Think about Trick or Treating Edict from my mother, grandmothers, and the church motherboard.
In fact, one of the mothers often said, “Trick-or-treating ain’t nothing but the devil. People dressing their children like witches. If they really knew what a witch looked like, they’d be hard pressed to celebrate it.”
Therefore, our childhood Halloween was spent watching It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (which we loved by the way) and passing out candy to our neighborhood pals whose parents needed Jesus and to our “straddling the fence” cousins. But we never got the chance to dress up and panhandle for candy from door to door. We didn’t get the chance to be like the other kids in the neighborhood. We were too busy searching for the witches the Motherboard peaked out interests about.
The motherboard’s quote and the mysterious things I had seen and heard at my family church as a child was the catalyst for my short story “Sugar Rum Halloween.” And it is my current haunt.
Once Selah was born, however, I wanted to stop thinking about those scary things. I wanted to make her a cute costume out of the Martha Stewart Living Magazine and parade her around like everyone else did with their child. Yet, I needed permission. So I took Christian parenting classes and organized play dates with other moms like me, who wanted to take the good fun of Halloween and wash that Darkness out. By the time Selah and the kids were toddlers we created and participate in cute alternatives for Halloween: Harvest Night, Fairies Night, Harvest Festival, Trunk or Treat, Hallelujah Night, and then as they grew older Halloween with a Christian Worldview parties. Genius...until this year.
See. wants to be a glampire, a glamorous vampire. Think Twilight.
This year Halloween is cooler , tweenchic, family friendlier, and momtactistic. Did I mention Twilight Twitter Moms? We even have Vampires Diaries the television series filming about a half hour from our home. Glampires are within view, and werewolves look like the Adonis adorning my Team Jacob Tee Shirt. Scary isn’t just safe now; It’s fabulosity.
And it’s very easy to forget the Darkness when there’s so much blingage sparkling up the joint or my bedazzled tees.
So why am I putting on my armor and sword? Perhaps because I’m not just defending what’s sacred in my families’ faith, but I’m defending what I read, how I am affected by what I read, why I write what I do, and the effect what I write has on the immediate people in my life and others.
My novelized version of Sugar Rum Halloween is too adult for Selah to read. The dark world that exists there is a real, bone chilling, afraid to sleep kind that she could not be ready for at nine-years-old. Shoot. It’s hard for me to write at night. I don’t want that for her.
Yet, I fear the camouflaging of demon worship will taint what I’ve been working hard at this year with Selah. I’m teaching her how to have her own personal relationship with Christ, how to pray, how to praise, how to hear His voice. But how can she hear Him if I’m the one confusing her. Thus, the need for the treaty.
I blame myself for giving her the ammunition to fight me with. It’s my job now to revise the treaty and set the record straight. So we’ll start a new tradition this year. Maybe not as peaceful, after all I am dealing with a tween, but it will be something we both can live with without compromising our souls, Big Fun and our love for each other.
Dee Stewart is a Christian, woman, mother, writer, editor, owner of a Christian Entertainment pr boutique, and kind of sweet most of the time. This week she is accepting Christmas short story submissions for her column at Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Visit her at Christian Fiction http://www.christianfiction.blogspot.com or on twitter at @deegospel