If you are one of those people, you may find this time of year awkward. Spending weeks steering your kids away from the ever-increasing retail hype and constantly explaining why you don't celebrate can be draining. You may feel like you just want to get to Nov. 1 already!
This year, however, try turning October into your family's personal celebration of joys of the season, honoring your beliefs in a fall festival — no ghosts or goblins necessary.
Regardless of whether you celebrate Halloween, autumn is a glorious time of the year in much of the country. Leaves are changing, adding vibrancy to the daily landscape that possibly has not been appreciated since the leaves burst out in the spring. Apples are ripe for the picking, cider is being pressed and there's a crispness in the air. School has started and kids (hopefully) are enjoying a new season of learning. Winter holidays are on the way and it's time for the first fire in the fireplace. It's a time of transition, and one that can be appreciated in its own right.
A seasonal celebration requires no costumes. It requires no candy. It requires no eerie soundtracks or tricks. As with so many celebrations, it's about the attitude.
Call like-minded friends and arrange a fall potluck or enjoy an afternoon of crafts with the kids. Plan a special movie night in and make fresh kettle corn or organize a neighborhood game night. Go on a favorite hike or take a bike ride. Many orchards make fall celebrations easy, with hay rides, activities for the kids and fresh produce ripe for the picking — gather your friends and family, pick apples and spend the evening making scrumptious pies. Whatever you choose to do, if you call it a celebration and you make the effort to appreciate the season, then a celebration is what it will be!
It's easy to decorate for fall without a Halloween theme. Thanksgiving decorations are already out in the stores full-force, and many of those feature attractive fall items that will work all season long — autumn leaves, fall-themed wreaths and foods of the harvest. From rugs to warm candles to flower arrangements to wall decor, you can find plenty of inspiration at local craft stores.
If you feel it necessary to explain yourself, whether to adults or children, you can choose to be as informational as you like. However, in the hoopla and busyness Halloween seems to bring, others may not be fully able to hear your message. It may be easier to keep the explanation simple and offer to talk more about it after their sugar high has passed. A simple, "As Christians, we choose not to participate in an event with Pagan origins. I'd be happy to tell you more sometime," may go further than something more dogmatic.
If you don't celebrate Halloween you can still celebrate the gorgeous fall season in a fun, delicious and respectful way.
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