Don’t tell Pope Francis, but my favorite holiday is Halloween.
Except for the horrible, indisputable fact that I only get to see my family at Christmastime, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Why? I’m going to give you 5 reasons and 2 more neat things.
I like chocolate. I don’t like the sugary fake fruit flavored stuff. And I don’t like all chocolate either. I really don’t like crunch bars.
It’s a good thing really that the majority of the chocolate my two-year-old has gotten so far this year has been crunch bars because 1) I don’t get the opportunity to eat even worse than I already have been and 2) he gets to keep his chocolate.
By the way, I think it’s hereditary. James is already a chocolate addict, although unlike his mom he likes the fake chocolate flavor of tootsie rolls (yuck).
— 2 —
Dressing up! I love dressing up and pretending I’m someone or something else for the night.
Past highlights for me include: dressing as Stephen King and the year I went out as the night sky. My Stephen King costume was almost entirely homemade except for the wig. That year I was responsible for maning the door at my parent’s house. Some of the parents who came to our door with their little ones recognized who I was going for and that was fun.
The year I went as the night sky I was a sophomore in college. I took my dark blue bedsheet and bought glow in the dark star stickers to put all over it. Of course, I then wore it to the party at the Catholic Newman Center. Everyone thought I was going for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Oh well.
This year, the initial intention was to go as grey-scale, like I just walked out of a black and white movie, but my makeup skills are not that great so it’ll probably come across as some sort of ghost.
Speaking of which, Ghost Stories! My husband and I are fans of the show Ghost Hunters on SyFy. I think we’ve both seen every episode.My dad was once obsessed with this stuff so I’ve seen an episode or two of all of the copycats, but none are as good as the original.
Of course, in my pre-Christian life, I tried to contact the dead. I was a witch for crying out loud, except without the nose wort.
Now, as a Catholic, I have struggled to reconcile my interest in ghosts and my faith. One of the conclusions I’ve come to is that of place memories. That’s the idea that when a really traumatic event occurs or a lot of suffering, it kind of imprints itself on a place. Think about it, most hauntings are at locations that have seen a lot of suffering or seem to be connected to one horrible event like a murder or suicide. However, this theory doesn’t account for so-called “intelligent” hauntings. Maybe some events are imprinted deep enough to seem “intelligent”?
I believe the Catholic stance on this is much like the Catholic stance on aliens. You can believe in it all you want as long as it doesn’t turn into an idol. And don’t try to communicate with the dead. And definitely be aware that the devil and his minions exist and can mimic hauntings.
I guess that takes us somewhat smoothly into our next one. Death!
I think the world would be a better place if we all thought about it more often. Maybe we’d be kinder to each other, keeping in mind that we will someday be judged. Maybe we would waste less time in trivial things, remembering that our time is short. We will all spend a lot more time dead than alive. We have been proceeded in death by billions of others.
I’m not as comfortable with it as I once was. It’s been years since I’ve seen someone die, although in the course of my 29 years, I’ve seen more than most Americans my age. I guess I’ve been out of the game too long and, as the parent of a young child, I have a lot more to worry about than just me.
As a parent, I now get to Revisit Childhood in all of the holidays, including Halloween. I remember when my son finally understood what was going on last year. His eyes got really big and he started to walk quicker, knowing all he had to do was be cute and hold up his bucket and he’d get candy. This year we’re working on the “trick or treat” and the “thank you.” Any advice on that front would be appreciated.
As I was brainstorming other cool things about Halloween, I uncovered this really (mostly) neat list of 40 creepy two-sentence stories. Some highlights:
I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I though it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.
There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone.
The funeral attendees never came out of the catacombs. Something locked the crypt door from the inside.
Important fact about Halloween: You know it means All Hallows Eve, right? It has deep Catholic roots and has historically been a target of anti-Catholic bigotry. So, stick it to the anti-Catholics, get dressed up, and get some candy! To learn more, check out this informative article from Word on Fire.
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