? for those who do not celebrate

Discussion in 'General' started by twin_trip_mommy, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    I don't feel guilty but I did feel a tinge of sad just a little while ago.

    One of my girls comes up to me and says -- smiling all the while "Mama I'm going to ask you a question AND I know the answer is going to be NO! BUT.... then I'm going to BEG" Then she says "can we go trick or treating?" my answer was "no. we do not celebrate halloween" then her smile went away. That's when I felt sad but not guilty. I explained to her and them because they were all standing there that we do not celebrate halloween. They then asked what we were going to do tonight? That is when I told them that i was going to go out after Daddy got home and get the movie "monsters vs aliens" and I was going to get some candy to eat while we watched it. They ALL got very excited but one was still a bit sad that she was not going trick or treating. Then one of my older girls said let's get dressed up in our dress up costumes and watch the movie that way. She was happier but she is still a bit down.

    I am not going back on my decision to not celebrate I would just appreciate some support and advice about how those of you who do not celebrate certain holidays or any or for those that do not celebrate birthdays (I know some people do not) How do you comfort your children. This is the first year one of my children even asked this way and expressed this sadness. How do you respond/deal with it?
  2. Rose Wright

    Rose Wright Well-Known Member

    The last two years we went to a church "Harvest Festival" where the kids could go around and play different games and win candy. Plus they had those big bouncy house things. My daughter didn't miss not trick-or-treating when we did that. And my boys don't seem to know what they are missing, so far. Unfortunately the church didn't have it this year, but we're letting her pass out the candy to her neighborhood friends that come by, and she's excited about that.

    Plus we homeschool, so they don't have a bunch of kids telling them what they are missing, anyway.
  3. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    Now that I read this I am realizing that my church did not have a Harvest Party this year either. We have not always gone to them but we have gone to them the last 2 years. My Churchs Social hall roof was just repaired, ceiling, walls and floor also worked on but the floor is not done so not events yet.

    I did end up getting Monsters vr Aliens and they loved it. It just ended and we are all now going to bed.
  4. caba

    caba Banned

    What exactly are the reasons for not celebrating, if you don't mind me asking?

    I'm sure it's hard for the kids when they feel like everyone else is doing it. Do you know others that don't celebrate? Maybe in upcoming years you could plan a little non-Halloween party with the other kids that don't, and this way they can all do something fun together! Or if you don't know a lot of other people who don't celebrate, you could just always plan an extra special night for the kids to do something so they don't feel like they are missing out.
  5. qfmom2009

    qfmom2009 Well-Known Member

    Sometimes we'll do something special as a family to take the focus off of the holiday and to keep the kids busy such as making homemade pizza's. "Candy" Holidays like easter and halloween we make them a candy bag.

    The only other thing that we have done is we've been sure to explain in great detail why we do not celebrate the holiday(s) then try to get them to focus on what they do get to do rather than what they're missing.

  6. TennesseeMomma

    TennesseeMomma Well-Known Member

    We are not going to celebrate Halloween in the future...but right now the LOs don't know any different. I know a family of 8 that does not celebrate Halloween, and they always go out to dinner that night, so as to miss all the trick-or-treaters and do something special together.

    We are catholic, and a lot of our friends have Saint parties at this time. So the kids get to dress up as saints and have candy at a fun party!

    I would say just make your own family traditions in place of the celebrations you want to avoid.
  7. Kendra

    Kendra Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Jennifer, I find it interesting that you are Catholic and don't do Halloween. Did you do it growing up? I work at a Catholic school and there was a big to do there on Friday including costume parade in the neighbourhood and a professional magic show.

    Granted, other schools in our school board (there are about 100) did dress up in black and orange and had general parties but more Catholic schools did something.
  8. Callen

    Callen Well-Known Member

    Did I read somewhere Cheryl that you said you Trick or Treated when you were a child?

    Hope your little one is feeling better this morning.
  9. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is kind of a dumb question, but how is doing something else in replacement the same as not celebrating? Like (not to single someone out) making bags of candy, making pizzas, watching movies? Is it simply the fact that you're not physically out trick or treating? To me, it seems that you're making a bigger deal out of it by deliberately not doing what most other people are doing.
    7 people like this.
  10. Heathermomof5

    Heathermomof5 Well-Known Member

    I do not let my kids dress as anything bloody, or evil and off we go to parties OR neighborhoods to trick or treat. I trick or treated as a child and it was so much fun! My kids have a blast too! I have never thought of Halloween as a celebration of anything except my big bucket of candy! However, last night I saw some really trashy costumes that I would have rather my boys or my DH :rolleyes: not to have seen - The first being a nurse slut at the party we went to FOR KIDS :gah: . One of them was at BURGER KING - the drive through girl was dressed as a police lady SLUT. I swear if she sneezed, her boobs would have popped out into our drinks :bad:. Then at the gas station there were two more street walkers, and several children dressed as murderers, I don't get why there should be a child sized costume of Chuckie. While I will always let my bunch dress up and we will go to UAW (because I volunteer for the UAW) parties, I really have gotten discouraged with Halloween. I understand not wanting to participate.

    If you do not want to do the Halloween thing, I think you did a wonderful thing by getting a movie! I know they LOVED it! that was a cute movie! That is what I would have done too!! some other things you could start as a tradition would be

    bake cookies, cakes or whatever you guys want and decorate them - as a family
    eat pizza, chili, or some other food that you like every year
  11. Anne-J

    Anne-J Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's a dumb question at all. Why would anyone want to start their own tradition, because they want to avoid/not celebrate another tradition? It makes no sense.

    Believe me, we don't pretend to slaughter goats and cows in our front yard on one of the Eids each year, just because the majority of the nation does it. And, neither do we introduce our own traditions such as watching "Silence of the Lambs" or grilling bloody steaks, to keep the kids happy and not feeling too left out. :laughing:

    Seriously, if you don't do it, you don't do it.
    6 people like this.
  12. Millie&twins

    Millie&twins Well-Known Member

    Oh Heather, I just commented to my sister that I cross my fingers that this next baby comes out red haired so that I can dress it up as Chucky for Halloween next year. I find it hilarious, the baby wouldn't understand, neither would my kids, and those who do understand would laugh.
    I dressed up yesterday as Edward Scissorhands and no child got it at all (I am going to watch it with the boys this evening as they did not get it either), but several adults came to take pictures with me. Some costumes are more for the fun the adults get out of it (and that also applies to all the tiny babies dressed up, they have no clue why or what they are, it is just mommy and daddy wanting it). I am also kind of looking forward to the time when I can watch scary movies with the kids and then plan really scary costumes... I mean it is part of the tradition (scare the spirits away) and we would have fun.

    Cheryl, I respect that you chose not to celebrate something because of your beliefs and I guess you have to do what you have to do to make it less traumatic for your children (personally I understand how your daughter was feeling, it is kind of like the world is celebrating a really cool birthday and you are not allowed to go). I think you should however explain it to them, I mean you all worship Jesus together and stuff, right? So tell them why exactly you think that this would not make Jesus happy or whichever is your religious reason not to do it. I think making a child understand is always better than just a categorical no, we do not do this. And then when they are older they can make an informed choice.

    To whoever asked if it wasn't the same, I guess it is like those harvest festivals in church, a party so kids are not jealous and feel left out. And while I think it is like a lot of things out there, really phony and silly, I am all for making kids happy and if the parents would not take them to halloween, I'd rather the kids had a harvest festival, a movie evening, or a cookie party than to sit in their rooms watching the other kids have fun through their windows.
    1 person likes this.
  13. ldrane

    ldrane Well-Known Member

    This is us, too! No evil or gory costumes. We look at it as more of a Fall celebration. We do the church things...trunk or treating and fall festivals.

    I thought it was neat this year that our church passed out little goody bags. Inside was a pumpkin prayer. I thought it was nice christian spin on pumpkin carving.
  14. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I guess I would just go somewhere so the kids aren't bothered by seeing the other kids going around trick or treating. I don't know if this explanation will help or not, but here goes. I am Jewish--I know, big surprise. As a result we didn't celebrate Christmas or Easter, so I never had a Christmas tree, sat on Santa's lap, did an easter egg hunt, etc. Yes, there were times I felt sad, or like I was missing out on "cool" things that my friends got to do. Anyway, if we asked why we couldn't do those things, my mom just explained that those weren't things that we celebrated. Instead, we would celebrate Hanukkah, Passover, Purim, etc, so while our friends got to do things we couldn't, it worked the other way as well. We also always found things to counter--Hanukkah is eight days instead of one, etc. To me, that is simply a part of life, not everyone gets to do everything that others do, and that is OK :)
    5 people like this.
  15. Cristina

    Cristina Well-Known Member

    I had no idea! Congratulations!!!
  16. Heathermomof5

    Heathermomof5 Well-Known Member

    Me either Millie! CONGRATULATIONS!
  17. OneBoyOneGirl

    OneBoyOneGirl Well-Known Member

  18. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    excellent points Sharon.

    I first want to share that My answer was not just "no" when my daughter asked. As I shared above I did explain to them why we do not celebrate. I explained it to them at a level they could understand.

    I can't remember who asked what questions or wrote what above but I believe this quote from my churchs website says it so much better than I could.

    Hope your ready to do some reading
    Also as I shared above we have gone to Harvest Parties the last 2 years. Last year children could wear costumes and they did activities related to Autumn and harvest. The year before I planned it (this was our first "harvest event" they went to) and we had a funny cartoon movie from a projection machine onto the wall in the social hall. It was HUGE. We had popcorn, lemonade and I made bags of candy for them to bring home. I do not feel this is a replacement to halloween because you can't replace something you never had. My children will be turning 9 and 11 over the next month and a half and this was the first time any of them ever questioned it. My 10/11 year olds don't really care about it it was just one of my 8/9 year olds that asked.

    Thanks for asking and thanks for reading it through for those who did.
    1 person likes this.
  19. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    DH and I were talking about this last night. We were talking about the Halloweenization of the Mexican Day of the Dead. And really what kid on the planet wouldn't enjoy dressing up and getting candy? I'm another who says, why deny any kid that just because it's not your groups original tradtions. If Mexican kids want to trick or treat, I don't mind if they add that to their celebration. They don't have to understand the deep historic meaning of dressing up as a ghoul, if out on the streets that night, or why you ask for treats. Of course those things have meaning for those of us who do come from that tradition, but you don't have to hold those beliefs to enjoy dressing up--it's fun.

    Another example, someone who might read this asked me for an "authentic" day of the dead bread recipie. I could have said--there isn't one, bread was introduced by the Spanish, and not "authentically" Mexican at all. But it has become an very important part of the celebration. Traditions always change and evolve and intermix. If they didn't they would just die out and we'd have no celebrations at all.
    2 people like this.
  20. OneBoyOneGirl

    OneBoyOneGirl Well-Known Member

    Churches still dont understand what pagan means or how Christianity has *any* of its holidays do they?
    4 people like this.
  21. qfmom2009

    qfmom2009 Well-Known Member

    If you noticed in my post I said Sometimes. Things that you do sometimes hardly constitute as a tradition. Last night on "halloween" we went to Wal*Mart to get a few gallons of milk. No special dinner, no candy.....no nothin'.

    Oh, yeah and for the record no movies here either....we don't even own a T.V.
  22. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Cheryl, I think you did make the holiday special for your kids. Whether you choose to trick-or-treat or not is irrelevant. You had special family time and that's really what matters.

    Me too, Millie. And did you say baby? I had no idea. Congrats!!!!
  23. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    We do celebrate them. But whenever my kids have that kind of a question about something we don't do, I do pretty much what you did. I try to explain why we make certain decisions. Then I try to help them find their own good things about our family choice and maybe an alternative of some kind. We're pretty strict about keeping the Sabbath, so it was hard for my daughter to not participate in a cheerleading competition at the end of the season. But I also try to make sure that they know ahead of time, so I don't just spring it on them. She knew from the beginning that she would get to cheer at all the games, but not go to the competition. She had the choice to be a cheerleader or to do a different activity, but despite missing the competition, she still wanted to cheer.
  24. Susanna+3

    Susanna+3 Well-Known Member

    I haven't looked at the other posts, so I'm just responding to the original question...

    We explain, and continue to explain, to our kids our reasons for not celebrating. We believe it's a dark holiday. It certainly does not honor Jesus, and in that reason alone it's not worth celebrating. We also make no attempt to substitute the holiday. I do believe these substitute celebrations can send conflicting messages about the holiday. Honestly, we just do what our family does every weekend which is to spend some good family time together playing games or watching a movie or just having fun.

    My dh found an excellent article written by a rabbi with very good insight on this questions for a jewish mom wondering what to do over the issue. He highly recommended pointing out the roots of the holiday and also not being afraid or ashamed to point out that we don't need to be 'the same' as everyone else in the neighborhood. That children should learn to be leaders in showing a different possibility on how to live your life. He also made a very good argument for the notion that halloween is in some ways an 'answer' to the jewish holiday of purim. If you know anything about purim, it is a celebration of Esther and how her courage rescued the jewish people. Apparently, purim tradition includes dressing up as the characters in the story, and actually going around to other people's homes and giving out candy or food. So he recommended as a substitute for halloween, to really rock your neighborhood, go around dressed up on Purim (which is usually in march I believe) and give out candy instead of asking for it!! Thought that was a very neat idea for jewish families or christian families willing to embrace the jewish roots of christianity.

    In any case, we make an emphasis with our children that this is how we feel about the holiday. We emphasize to them that they are not to run around telling other kids that the holiday is 'wrong' or to make judgements towards others on it because that is something their parents need to decide. We've got bigger fish to fry than to try to persuade the neighborhood that halloween is evil... And I think we can probably get a better message across about what we believe by being kind than by handing out tracts with candy, which is why we simply don't participate. If someone knocks on our door even with the lights out, we would try to scrounge something up for them, but I don't go out of my way to make sure candy is in the house.
  25. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing all that. I learned something new today
  26. shoudeshell

    shoudeshell Well-Known Member

    Just so you know, I'm one of the ones who doesn't think there's anything wrong with dressing up and going and getting candy from the neighbors. If our church had had a fall festival or trunk or treat, we probably would have done that instead. In fact where we used to live and our church there, that's what we usually did. We don't allow scary or creepy costumes at all. We don't do any Halloween decorating, but fall type stuff. We do carve pumpkins and try to stay away from the creepy images on those as well.

    However, I have a friend who celebrates Reformation day instead. She googled when Luther nailed his thesis on the door, and believe it or not, it occured on Oct. 31st. So, they spend the day celebrating that, making reformation cookies and giving those to neighbors. I think it's a neat idea.

    Anyway, I'm sorry you had some sadness about not getting to T or T. I know that must have been tough, but stick to your guns. Keep explaining why (like you did) and move on. I think you did a good job at getting their minds off what they were missing, and focusing on just being a family. There will always be some disappointments in life, and this is no different. :hug:
  27. mel&3

    mel&3 Well-Known Member

    Wow, great discussion... I loved the post with the explanation about why your church doesn't celebrate, Cheryl... that pretty much summed it up for us. And no, we as Christians may not totally understand what "Pagan" means, but usually it is meant to denote polytheism or worship of non-abrahamic God, and Christians tend to frown on worshipping other Gods in general, whether they be good or bad, because that's the FIRST COMMANDMENT, and so we take it pretty seriously.
    As for the origional question, we don't do any alternate celebrations. If our kids ask to trick or treat, we'll simply tell them that we don't celebrate Halloween, and explain that we have lots of other great fun celebrations to be thankful for all year long so it's ok to miss out on one holiday the rest of the world chooses to celebrate.
    In Sunday school this week we talked about the Jewish celebration of Sukkot... I think it's awesome to look back at our Jewish roots and talk about the celebrations of our forefathers, and so the kids got to make a Sukkah (so sorry if I misspelled it)... it was a nice way to see how other cultures celebrate this time of year through alternate holidays.
  28. mnellson

    mnellson Well-Known Member

    Hi, Cheryl! I can certainly understand your feeling and you little girl's feelings, as well. It can be hard on us parents follwoing throught with thngs whenwe know they make our children feel sad.

    I'm wondering if your daughter really understands your point of view. I mean, yes, you can explain it to her over and over. But, at her age, I'm sure it's difficult to understand religion to begin with (I know it was hard for me at that age!). It can be confusing and hard to understand what all of it really has to do with putting on a costume and going trick or treating. I think if she really understood the relationship between your beliefs and trick or treating, shw wouldn't have asked if she cold go It seems that she just thinks of trick or treating as costumes/ candy/ fun...not really thinkng anything religious about it.

    Of course, you are right in standing by what you believe and tryong to teach your children. It's not always easy, is it? Maybe you can take you little girl aside and let her know that you aren't trying to have he miss out, and that you are sorry that not going trick or treating made her sad. You don't have to change your beliefes, but you can acknowledge how she feels. I would. I would wnat her to know I understand and I would also want to help her deal with any resentment she might have. It's ok for her to feel disappointed despite your religious beliefs. I know that when I was a kid, I felt guilty for feeling angry/ disappointed in these situitatins. And, maybe I'm reading too much into it. But, I can picture the look on your daughter's face and understand how you feel bad that she feels that way. Gald you all had a fun evening!
  29. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    I honestly do not believe she was resentful one tiny bit. She also knew already that we do not and why we do not celebrate. That is why she stated her question to me the way she did. We have talked about why we do not celebrate this holiday before. She is going to be 9 in a few weeks so it kind of shocked me that she asked. I mean we have not gone T 0r T ing ever. But over the last 2 years (when she was 7 and 8) we did go out and have an event at church. This time when talking to them I asked "what are we supposed to think about or think on?" and she along with 2 others shouted out Philippians "4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

    She is not upset and was over this feeling not long after out discussion. One of the children did ask if they could bring some candy to school for snack and I said "yes" and they were all happy. I am sure many other children will be bringing candy to school today even though it is asked that we not send candy to school for snacktime.
  30. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Yes, there are holy days and church festivals that coincide with Halloween (All Hallows Eve) as well. We are Lutheran. Reformation Day (October 31st) All Saints' Day (Nov 1st)/All Souls' Day (Nov 2nd) are observed at this time as well. So no evil associated with those days or Halloween for us. (Catholics observes All Saints'/All Souls' as well.)
    1 person likes this.
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