Days before October arrived, number 1 told me “I know it is not okay to celebrate Halloween because it has Pagan roots, (I told them about the origin of Halloween and luckily the class teacher also discussed and explained the same to them) but would it be okay if we can just give away candies to people who come to our door”
This was the most tricky question I had been asked in months, so much so that I had to ask her for some time to think about it and get back to her.
In its essence, it was just a simple innocent wish to welcome people who come to our door step. At the same time it was something, that if I allow, would totally go against my previous sermons of why we should and do not celebrate Halloween.
I was lost in my thoughts for days around. I asked an aunt and she mentioned the same that her daughter had asked and that she would allow her to go out trick or treating this year. I was almost falling into the same path, with half my mind and heart still saying it is wrong, when suddenly one afternoon, as I picked them from the school bus stop, she went “Mama I think I do not want to give candies on Halloween. It is better we stick inside, and enjoy some good movie”. Should I say I was relieved? Yes I was. Should I say I was surprised? Yes I was.
Later she went on to explain “There are all kind of creepy faces that come for candy and I would not be able to sleep if i see one of those so closely, so its better for us (Pointing to herself and number 2) that we do not do it”.
End of story-Or was it?
It was basically their fear of those ugly faces, or zombies or demons that played the trick this time around but would it help next year?
As I keep saying and repeating, life in West has its own pros and cons. You live in a first world country, enjoy all the perks and privileges, many can only dream of back home. Yet there is this constant battle, within self, with the family, with peers to maintain our own identity, to have our own rules. Sigh!
Every year as Halloween approaches, there are these long lunch time discussions about why Halloween is not for us.
Lets put it this way: to me it is all a way of making money by the corporate giants around the world, than anything to do with any faith or religion. Enter any store in January and you’d see red hearts, chocolates and cupids all around asking and inviting you to SHOP for Valentine’s day. Comes March and suddenly everything is about Easter egg-hunts, and pastel flowers and bunnies. Then Mother’s day’s daisies, Father’s day’s ties, Back to School clothes, bags, things, Thanksgiving turkeys, Halloween candies and decorations, Christmas lights and Santa’s presents. In between al this there’s summer sale, winter sale, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Boxing day and God knows what.
There is so much temptation, such marketing that one is almost forced to indulge into shopping for cheaper candy or better food items.
And then there is the religious part too.
You see I am quiet a liberal woman with very strong beliefs about right and wrong of my own. These were embedded when I was still a kid, a baby kid, and then reinforced time to time. Yet I would say, my mother must have had a better time teaching us things because back then there wasn’t this much awareness or must I say, information, among kids.
But at the same time, I am thankful to Almighty for such beautiful children I have. They listen, try to understand, and follow. Hardly ever a question, and not because there is any lack of intelligence or because of fear of any sort but because they’ve have learnt and believe that whatever mom decides for them would be the best and that is what they know.
I remember when number 1 was only 7 months old, I myself took her out trick or treating in a Tigger costume. I guess it was more my own wish to go around and have fun rather than her choice.
Then I realized its only little things like “Oh its just candy” “Oh its just saying Merry Christmas” or “Oh its just Easter egg hunt” that later on can find ways to justify a lot of things that are actually a nightmare, because “Oh its just……” (Fill in the blanks)
Also my own inner child that I had to tame. How long could I do things in the name of my children but actually because I want to do them or because I did not get to do those when I was a kid. And my kids see not what I say, but what I do!
I had to teach and lecture them repeatedly, again and again, why celebrating Halloween is not for us or why wearing spaghetti strap or sleeveless dresses is not proper. And friends it does make sense: How can you let your children do something until about 8 to 10 years of age thinking oh they’re just children and then one day just tell them they can’t do it anymore. You see those little minds do not see the justification here and they are not wrong. If something is wrong, it must be wrong from day 1. Then why were they allowed to do it or follow it till now and why is there a sudden halt.
By the way the above lines only stand true for some of us, while for others Halloween is just about candy and having fun and being part of the world we live in, for the rest of their lives and it is perfectly okay. I am no one to judge. To each their own!
For the candy part, I try to make it up to them. Every party at home, any sleep-over, any occasion, I try and keep extra desserts and candies for their little tummies and eyes. And I let them drown in those, never keeping a tab on those special occasions so they never feel “Oh we did not get enough”
I am no religious scholar, neither I feel my knowledge is perfect. Yet I am an individual with my own opinion and belief about everything. I have two beautiful well behaved kids that the world praises for their manners and etiquettes, who are not picky eaters, who are in bed when most of the kids their age are still in front of the television, who are known for their wit and intelligence so there must be something that I am doing right. And this is just one of the lessons that I taught them and thought of sharing.