This blog post was submitted by Esther D. Moonsammy
As a child I was taught and learned not to be a part of school or outside activities as it related to Halloween. My Pentecostal Haitian parents made it very clear to us that this was a day of the unholy and as Christians we were not to even think about asking for a costume or trick or treating (begging for candy as my mother put it). Prior to contributing to this blog I called onto my brother and sister to compare notes on how they recalled our up bringing as it related to “Halloween” and without hesitation we all were on the same page with our beliefs and our memory of no Halloween.
My earliest recollection of “no Halloween” was when I was in kindergarten in the 70’s attending Immaculate Conception in NJ. My mother, who was strict and a no nonsense Haitian Christian made it very clear to the nuns that her children were not to be a part of Halloween in every sense of the holiday. No parties; no trick or treating and especially no costumes of any kind, however my teacher who I believe felt sorry for me on the day we went around to the upper class men classrooms to trick and treat, gave me a leftover “Charlie Brown” tee shirt to wear.
As she help me into the shirt, I knew deep down in my 5 year old soul that it was wrong to go along with this scheme to out smart my mom, however I was curious and wanted to also experience the occasion. We went in and out of classrooms and all the children were given candy and the older kids complimented us on our costumes and it was flattering and I figured this is not as bad as I thought it would be. Next we approached my sister’s 4th grade class and things went sour quickly. She saw me in the line of children parading around I could still remember the look she gave me of shock and disappointment, I knew immediately that I was in trouble and I felt shame. It was as if the entire church had witness my sin and that my mother was in the room as well quoting the bible. We’ll need less to say, when my mother found out her wrath was talked about at my school for weeks thereafter.
Since then I read on the subject, studied in church and I grew to understand why my mother was so adamant on this subject both as a mother and Christian. Since then as a child and into my adulthood, I have never been part of any Halloween celebration and I do not feel as though I miss out on anything nor envy others who choose to celebrate it.
Some say well it’s just innocent fun for the kids but I disagree. I often find that I have to call on certain scriptures in the holy bible to anchor my beliefs and virtues on this matter and it always goes back to my foundation, my church and parents which were a great part help me understand the true meaning and reasoning and I knew it made sense and it became natural.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Today I am now a parent of two (5yr old & 21 months) and naturally I have passed on the same teachings to my children. More recently I found myself in the shoes of my mother. I recently contacted my children’s school as my mother had done so many years before me and I explained to them my belief and not to let my children to be a part of Halloween. After I made my request, I received an email, a phone call and had to explain to their teachers over and over again what could not and should not take place. What is so hard to understand I thought? In my household we do not believe in the living dead; zombies; witches; ghost; black cats;etc. I had to quote the bible to the director (Joshua 24:15 – “But as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord ”).
I think they got my point now. I quickly realized that the world had not changed much since the 70’s nor had I. Remember these our my beliefs and I don’t judge families who want to take part in Halloween however I just wanted to know your opinion on the subject.