October 25 – One More Good Reason to Not Like Halloween

petsThis one could get me into trouble. LPC people are a forgiving lot. I could write an impassioned defense of five-point Calvinism or amillennial eschatology – both of which I would be happy to defend passionately – and I know those among you who hold to a different perspective would respect my passion while not agreeing with my position. But this one, well, I’m probably in trouble.

I don’t like Halloween. I’m an unapologetic Halloween Scrooge. Bah! Humbug!

The dentists and nutritionists who don’t like what the $4 billion of Halloween candy we eat each year does to our teeth and stomachs have important points to make.

The parents who don’t like the celebration of gore make good sense to me, as well.

Not only do I dislike the Hell Houses that some churches use for community outreach and evangelism, I am completely – personally, theologically, culturally, spiritually, pastorally – offended by them. Did I say I don’t like them?

Oh, and I don’t like 15-year olds who come to the door with no other costume than a huge pillowcase for their share of the $4 billion of Halloween candy.

And here’s another reason why I don’t like Halloween: Halloween is just one more thing we adults have stolen from our kids. I mean, not only are we bankrupting our kids’ futures for the sake of our retirements and vacation homes, Grinch-like we’ve stolen their holiday from them.

It may have been last year or maybe this will be the year it happens for the first time, but in 2013 we adults will spend more or our own Halloween costumes than our kids’ costumes. $1.2 billion for us, $1 billion for the kids and $300 million for our pets (yes, 1 million Guatemalan kids could go to school for the same amount we spend on our pets’ Halloween costumes!). We’ll consume more alcohol on Halloween than any other night except New Year’s Eve. Burlesque shows, wet T-shirt contests, fetish parties and costume balls hosted by porn stars have replaced apple-bobbing and candy corns at too many adult-only parties. More on all this at Five Reasons Halloween Isn’t For Kids Anymore at thestreet.com.

I’m all for kids dressing up as a fairy princess or Spiderman. No problem with a friendly ghost or a happy witch. And, frankly, I’d rather have a bag of candy corns than a box of raisins. But why do we adults insist that our generation must selfishly be forever young? Maybe it’s time for us to be the adults and let our kids be kids.

Sunday’s sermon takes us to that familiar passage on mutual submission where children are told to obey their parents and parents are admonished not to provoke their children to anger. The kids whose parents stole their holiday have a right to be angry.

I’ll have a sign-up sheet out on Sunday for those of you who want to come and complain about my dislike of Halloween. But how about if we make a deal. I’ll quit being a Halloween Scrooge if you quit being a Halloween Grinch.