I am so stuck! Rebellion… what a word. I guess it has negative connotations. Is there a way that rebellion can have positive connotations?
I guess in a way we sort of rebelled last week. For years, when Halloween has come round, we’ve come in from work or whatever we’ve been out to do. Shut the front door and sort of battened down the hatches. When people have knocked at the door we’ve ignored it or turned them away empty handed.
The theme for this term at Community Group has been “Taboo” or “questions you’ve always wanted to ask but never had the forum to do it” or something along that route.
So a few weeks ago, ahead of it being Halloween, we got talking about celebrating or observing Halloween.
We started with a discussion about what Halloween was like for our families growing up. Mine involved sticking a sign on the door and then ignoring the door. Sometimes it would involve decamping to the dining room so that the living room light was off too. One of the other ladies in the group said how it would be majorly embarrassing because her parents would hand out “Jesus Loves You” stickers or something along those lines. There was then the opposite to those, another member of the group said how her Mum would host a party and invite the kids in the street, almost the idea being that they got to join in but had somewhere safe to do it rather than knocking on strangers doors.
We then watched a video from Mark Driscoll titled “Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?“. He kind of breaks it down to three opinions. Receive, Redeem and Reject. So I was definitely brought up in the reject camp. Have nothing to do with it, ignore it and hope it will go away almost. Having watched the video and discussed as a group, I sort of went away still feeling in that camp. We’d previously discussed that we were going to hand out Bag of Hope goodie bags from UCB and Scripture Union. There is an activity sheet and a story booklet and you can add sweeties or other bits. I had only expected to be handing them out to a small group of kids that we knew would be coming on Halloween then probably turn everyone else away.
Following the chat at Community Group, Chris and I hadn’t discussed it more, with all the usual crazy plus him getting ready to go away, it hadn’t got much further than what had been discussed at the group. On Halloween itself, I’d got home with Jaxon and we’d taken up residence in the living room as we do after school and it just happened that the hall light and the kitchen lights were off too, so the house looked really dark. The pumpkin that we’d carved after watching Patch The Pumpkin was still in the kitchen and the battery operated tea light that had been in the pumpkin was still switched off. Other than packing the Bags of Hope earlier in the day, I really hadn’t thought about it.
Chris then got in from work and commented about it being so dark and like we weren’t joining in. I put the pumpkin outside on top of one of the flowerpots we have near out front door, then got some washi tape and taped my blue star fairy lights around either side of the door. I wasn’t going to decorate with skeletons like next door but I could at least add some decoration. I grabbed one of my big granny mixing bowls from the kitchen and emptied the spare packets of sweets that I had and we were ready. Chris and I ended up having to take a call about adulting stuff in the middle of all the crazy. So between Chris and I on the call, we were tag teaming answering the door and trying to get there before Jaxon because he was having such a good time! His main Love Language is defintiely thoughtful gifts, so to be able to stand on our door step and give out sweeties this spoke right to his lovely and caring heart. At one point we were running low of sweeties in the bowl – first year doing it “properly” so I had no clue how much we needed! Chris commented that we might have to raid Jaxon’s treat box but could restock it the next day if needed. Well in the time it took Chris to finish the sentence, Jaxon had gone past me, past Chris, got his treat box from the cupboard and presented it to Chris like “here it is, let’s share it”. So they took it to the bowl and emptied what was going to be shared and then Jaxon put the box back.
Jaxon went to bed about normal time and we brought in the decorations/switched off the lights. In a quiet moment, while I did bedtime, it dawned on me that I felt happy. I didn’t feel sort of scared and fearful like I might have felt on previous years. Now I’m not going to be dressing up or going all out as I have seen on FB and Instagram. But if we can make a difference to our neighbours by showing them love and redeeming Halloween in a way to show love to our neighbours then that’s a good thing right? Maybe we’re being positively rebellious right?