10.25.2010

Redeeming October

Dasun and I came from 2 very different backgrounds. My family celebrated Halloween every year...dressing up, carving pumpkins, even helping with the elementary haunted house at my school. I don't even remember anyone not celebrating Halloween back then. Now, I know a ton of people that don't celebrate Halloween. That's actually one thing in our world that has gotten a little more conservative over the years...well only in that aspect.
Dasun's family didn't celebrate any part of it.
Because of our different traditions along with my desire to respect him, we have set about trying to figure out our own Fall traditions.

Some conclusions we came to would seem obvious, but when you are trying to make sure that you are honoring the Lord and not going with the world, we just wanted to be wise.

We knew, of course, that costumes and pumpkins are not inherently evil, God created pumpkins for goodness sake.

We also knew that we didn't want our children to be fearful of some "evil holiday" or be judgmental of others that did celebrate it. We know a ton of amazing Christian families that do.

We just wanted to take the good and leave the bad.

We decided not to do "Halloween" per say, but to redeem October instead.

We still dress up as long as it's not in celebration of Halloween.

We still carve pumpkins, but we use this AWESOME book (pictured above). It talks about the Farmer picking his pumpkins at just the right time, washing them off, cutting them open and cleaning out their nastiness and replacing it with a light that shines brightly. A beautiful picture of Jesus as the farmer. Each page even has corresponding scripture!!! I LOVE it! It's actually made me enjoy that tradition even more. Then when we carve our pumpkin, we made a sign to stick next to it.
Another tradition is "Tent Movie Night" on Halloween.
We make a big tent, get lots of fun candy and snacks (the best part of Halloween anyway), and watch a movie that the girls pick out (or Kennedy for now until Adelynn gets older).

Dasun and Kennedy at our first "tent movie night"...not our greatest tent, but it worked :)

We also go to the occasional fall festival or hang out with friends.

We just try to enjoy each other, have fun, and try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
We love our new traditions and we love that they point our girls to Jesus. : )

I also found this little Pumpkin Prayer that you can use while carving pumpkins that goes along with the Pumpkin Patch Parable.

"Pumpkin Prayer"

{cut off top of pumpkin}
Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards}
Remove the things in my life that don't please you.
Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes}
Open my eyes to see the beauty you've made in the world around me.

{cut out nose}
I'm sorry for the times I've turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth}
Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle}
Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do. Amen

By: Liz Curtis Higgs

6 comments:

Ava said...

What great ideas, Ashley! I am going to look for the book now. Your girls are beautiful, by the way!

Eleshia said...

That is a great way to put it, redeeming October. Our family was the same way. I grew up celebrating and Michael not so much. So we really struggled when Noah was baby finding the right balance. We now participate in Fellowships Harvest festival (Saturday nigth services put it on) so the kids can dress up, and this year was the firt year we carved a pumpkin, thanks to the pumpkin parable you read to Noah. We tell Noah and Lorelei we don't celebrate Halloween, but we do participate in harvest functions. However, in the future i might borrow your term, redeeming October! - Eleshia

Laurel said...

Thanks for the good ideas. We're similar - I grew up celebrating, my Malaysian husband not at all. I just ordered that book on Amazon - so I guess I'll have to wait to use it for next year but will read that poem when we carve pumpkins later this week.

Our halloween night tradition has also been to go out to eat. 1) it's fun and not very common for us to do and 2) we avoid having the scary costumes come to our house for candy (we live in a neighborhood w/ quite a few kids) b/c our kids have been/are pretty sensitive to scary stuff.

Ruth said...

Beautiful.

Laurel said...

just wanted to let you know that we read your poem while carving our pumpkins this afternoon - Benji reminded me when we got to the eyes to remember to read, so I guess he liked it!

The Rainers said...

Great ides....didn't know about the book. We love having y'all at the Fall festival, the tent might become a regular idea at our house now!!!