Friday, November 02, 2007

Dressing up............

A few year's back, one of the local Churches decided that to counteract Halloween they would provide a firework display and evening of fun for the village.

A great idea indeed. All the villagers are invited each year. Entry to the event is free and then there are pay as you go fairground type activities for the kids. It is a good night, the fireworks are excellent and everyone has a good time.

Well......... nearly everyone.............

One of the conditions of the event though is that you are not allowed to dress up in anything remotely Halloween oriented, because that is against the ethos....

Nine year old Gymnast fully understands of course. Her best friend's Dad is one of the organisers, and she wouldn't want to offend best friend who freely gives us all Divinity lessons on every visit to our house. It's handy for me, because despite having attended very heavily Church oriented schools, I clearly missed out on large parts of my divine education, especially the bits that said that no works of literature involving any witch or wizard should enter the house. And in particular any works of literature that involve a boy with the initials H and P.......

Seven year old Tinkerbell Mushroom is less convinced. Why shouldn't she wear her witch's hat and highly garish orange wig? It was actually quite a long time ago that we used to burn witches at the stake after all............ and she's not exactly planning on following Satan's gang, raising the dead or slaying vampires. She is just simply dressing up........

Hubby meanwhile was organising a drinks night and meeting for the parents of the Air Cadets.*
He rang one of the parents. The Air Cadets had been invited to a Halloween party at another Squadron, leaving the venue free for the parents' meeting. Parent on the phone was seriously not impressed. Their son would NOT be attending the party, and because the meeting was on that particular night - being the most convenient for all concerned, they would NOT be attending the meeting either, because clearly a large amount of devil worshipping was about to go on, given the date of the meeting and the location of the cadets.

Oh........................

Halloween over, Christmas came up in the conversation.

"Best Friend doesn't believe in Father Christmas" said Gymnast. "Oh?" I mused idly. So who does she thinks gives her Christmas presents then?" I said.

"God." said Gymnast.

I looked at her incredulously......................

Now don't get me wrong. I am certainly not an aetheist, and I do believe that God gives.......... in more mysterious ways....... But where in the Bible does it say that he dons a red cloak and wraps his presents in fancy paper?

A friend of one of my brothers as a little boy wasn't even allowed that much. His parents stopped whoever it was that left the presents at Christmas from even entering the house.........

The little boy had no presents at all. Now excuse me, but where again was the Sunday School lesson that said that you had to be mean to your children? I think I missed that one too........

And where does it say that we cannot dress up, have some make believe and do some acting? Is "make believe" not the way to explore life in an innocent and harmless way?

Besides, depriving kids of certain things "for their own good" has never shown to have great results as far as I am aware. My mother didn't allow us biscuits in the house when we were growing up. I now love biscuits.... And have a serious problem in leaving a packet half full. In fact, I think I need to go to biscuits anonymous.

Then there was a boy from a strictly vegan family who was in ED's in primary school a few years back..... And he has, it has to be said been known to be spotted in town more recently with a milk chocolate bar in one hand and a burger in the other...........

For any Christians reading this. Please don't get me wrong............... I am not anti Christian in any way. But I am equally not sure that we shouldn't allow our children to have fun - as children.....

In the meantime I'm off to negotiate with Father Christmas, as he might need to do more of the present giving than us this year. Things being a bit tight. I'll let you know what he says......


*Being that we only have the five children, we are very good at being available for every vacant secretary ship and chairmanship that is ever needed. A few year's back I seemed to be in charge of everything imaginable. It was the MUG sticker on my forehead that did it..... But gradually I have learnt to pull back and no longer put my name forward first. It took great skill and learning and bravery on my part and a bit of therapy, but finally I got there. "Mugs Anonymous" won their battle with me............. Not because I'm mean, or lazy..... But......... I do get tired. And I am quite busy in normal life! Hubby however, who was a bit slower than me in coming forward in the first place has recently managed to land himself both Secretary and Chairman of the Air Cadets as well as Treasurer of his chess club....

p.s. Have just discovered that Chris B, one of my very first blogging friends, has awarded me a "You make me smile award!"



Thank you Chris!! I'm honoured......

And I pass the honour onto Enidd and Alice Band......

23 comments:

Lisa said...

I have posted about my previous best friend becoming 'born again.' I'm sure you may have some complaints about this post, but I agree 100%. My life philosophy is too much anything is not good for you.
I will take my wine and religion in moderation, thank you.
(Also, regarding HP, have most of them even READ it?! If they had they would clearly see no devil worship, AND the celebration of Christmas and Easter. Oh, wait, is that bad, too??!)

Sally Lomax said...

I'll weather the complaints... I'm sure I will too. But absolutely - everything in moderation......

enidd said...

well, you won't have any complaints from enidd, sally. why didn't your anti-halloween party become some sort of fancy dress party?

and thanks for the award! enidd probably won't display it, as she's too minimalist and too lazy, but that doesn't mean she's not very very chuffed!

Eliza said...

no complaints from me and i'm a born again! our church do a really nice thing called "Light party" where all the kids come on haloween dressed as princesses and fairies. x

john.g. said...

God botherers and political correctness! PAAH!
Let the kids enjoy themselves!
And ban religion.

Asha said...

I agree with John.g.!! Ban all religions and just enjoy everyday as it is the last,in a good way that is!:))
By the last book, my kids lost interest in HP's books anyway but those books made many kids read!!:D

Mary Alice said...

You won't hear complaints from me either. Some people, I am afraid, are far too literal for their own good - and far too serious.

Akelamalu said...

My philosphy has always been 'Mrs Do As You Would Be Done By' - Religions have a lot to answer for! Well said Sally.

Sally Lomax said...

Enidd - They did actually dress up once they got home - as you do... and to be fair, it was a nice evening.
Eliza - That would be a good idea, to include a dresssing up theme....
Similarly the event is called Skylight...
John G - I am quite happy to have religion ..... but I think that fun is healthy for kids and adults - assuming that it does no harm to others, which hopefully no thinking person would ever be guilty of ...
Asha - I agree. JK did fantastic things for children's literacy worldwide.
Mary Alice - You have phrased it perfectly. It is the literalism that is the problem. If everything in the doctrine was taken literally, we would actually be living life at all sorts of sixes and sevens, as the literal message is different on every page. The important thing is to not get too hung up on the literalism of the less relevant stuff......

Sally Lomax said...

Thanks Ak - A good philosophy!

ChrisB said...

Kids need to express themselves and although I have to confess I would not allow my girls to go tick or treating when they were young this was not based on religious beliefs but the fact I looked on it as begging (at the time I was very sensitive to my single parent status.

Sally Lomax said...

Hi Chris!

I agree about the trick or treating thing. We don't let our kids do that for the same resson - although some of them have gone with other friends as it happens. But the dressing up thing is entirely different and I agree with you. children do need to express themselves!

Alix said...

I'm with you Sally and Tinkerbell Mushroom - nothing wrong with a witches hat and an orange wig!

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear sally. I absolutely agree with what you say about just having fun. That's how kids learn and expand their horizons. It encourages their imagination... Mr Moi comes from a pentecostal christian background and some of the things his family say drive me crazy. Even to the extent that they demand movies with the odd swear word to be switched off... when they're guests in my house!

Debbie said...

Never mind Halloween, I'm shocked that you're celebrating with fireworks considering your close links with Catholicism! Disgraceful!

Beccy said...

I'm a bit stunned to realise that people exist who try to ban Halloween for religious reasons and impose these ideals on others. I'm with you and think we all need a bit of fun. As mum says we weren't allowed to go trick or treating as children but back then not many people did. Halloween is huge is Ireland (which I would consider far more religious than the UK), we have a bank holiday around Halloween, the children have a week of school and everyone has fun!

headless chicken said...

Brilliant post Sally!
As you know, I don't have an ounce of religion in me and although I don't have a problem with the 'god-squad' it does annoy me when some assume they have the moral-highground. Far too many hypocrites with far too loud opinions.
Go for it Tink, enjoy your childhood!!X

pierre l said...

Like HC, I am totally non-religious. I certainly object to people trying to control what I do on the basis of their beliefs.
As for the little boy who wasn't allowed presents at Christmas, that might have been OK if he was isolated and had no-one to compare notes with, but otherwise just cruel.
I have never read HP, but I see no problems with stories involving witches, and devils.
In spite of not being religious, I still believe that I am a good person, kind to others, etc. I also don't believe in hell, so I am not impressed by suggestions that I might burn there (with thanks to another blog I read recently).
As my children are now 30 and 28, my memories of their trick or treating are a little hazy, but I think they were taken to a couple of houses where we had good friends, and vice versa; they certainly didn't go to random houses.

Karmyn R said...

They've taken all the fun away. Bah Humbug!

I'm kind of relieved to read this actually, Sally - I just thought this extreme religious view was only happening on this side of the Atlantic.

KT said...

Some local children I know were shouted at by one of thier near neighbours when they called at her house trick or treating last week. From what they managed to tell their mother (between sobs) she called them satan's children and evil. Love thy neighbour eh? Where is it taught that christians should make innocent children cry?

Your attitude is sensible and tolerent Sally, you shouldn't feel the need to apologise for that!

Sally Lomax said...

Alix - Thank you!
LMM - Glad you agree!
Debbie - Ha ha!! :) S
Beccy - And so they should have fun!
HC - Thank you!!
Karmyn - Sadly no, it's not just confined to your side of the Atlantic.... Pity we can't push it all onto the Pacific and beyond...
KT - That is awful - How dare people be so horrible to kids!
Pierre - I agree with you. And re Harry Potter, the irony is that the books are simply classic tales of good winning out over evil.... No devils or evil withcraft. Simply a dark force that is overcome - of course - by good and lots of modern day Enid Blyton style boarding school. All good children's stories really, with a thriller type feel and plenty of suspense.....

Besides...... Milton's "Paradise Lost" is about good versus evil, and in particular God against Satan. "The Tempest" included some magic, as does "Peter Pan"...... Should they be banned too I wonder?

And I too wonder if these people have ever read any literature. Let alone HP....


.........In fact...... "Mary Poppins", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", "The Lion King", and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" all have elements of magic.............

Life would be dull if all had to be banned......

Alice Band said...

Sally,
I have several Christian aquaintances, some are friends some are just plain mental. But hey, in the name of Jehovah a young mother died over the weekend in child birth, leaving twins. She needed a blood transfusion. Jesus must be turning in his heaven.

Sally Lomax said...

In a land where euthanasia for the seriously ill is not considered acceptable, how in the name of God can we allow a young mother to die like that?

That poor misguided family.....