E was busy working at her craft table this afternoon. She came upstairs with the finished product-- two very cute Halloween cards for her friends. The outside said, "Happy Halloween", while the inside had a message to this effect: "I hope you have a spooky halloween. What are you going to be? love, your friend, E". She had illustrated them with haunted houses, complete with cracked windows, "Beware" signs, flying ghosts and witches, and walking zombies. I know they were innocent, thoughtfully made cards, with no ill intent. But this is where "celebrating" Halloween gets a little dicey.
I think that it is a perfect trifecta of kid fun-- dressing up, going out after dark and getting/eating candy. We love it in our house. I would say there are very few people who actually consider Halloween a demonic holiday. For most, it is just a fun kid's day. And it is in that spirit that we celebrate it. But there is undeniably the darker side, the reason many Christians choose not to celebrate this day. But I want to strike a balance. I want my kids to have fun, and enjoy the day, but not embrace the spooky or gruesome aspects. It is this reason I will not allow them to be witches (even "cute" ones) or mummies, zombies, ghosts, etc.
So the question is, how should I have addressed E's drawing ghosts, witches, zombies and haunted houses around this time of the year? Should I have just let her do it, and figure it is harmless? Or was I right in telling her that there are darker parts of Halloween that are represented by these things, even if she doesn't mean it that way. As a Christian family, we celebrate the fun parts, but we don't want to glorify the gory or scary. Instead, she can make cards with pumpkins and scarecrows. I don't know, am I doing the right thing? Is there more I can/should say?