Halloween is not my favourite time of year. I’m not keen on trick or treating, neither doing it nor being on the receiving end – I keep the lights off at the front of the house once it is dark, and just hope no-one rings the bell. Until I had children, it was fairly easy to avoid the whole thing, but I can’t do that now. I prefer to focus on Autumn and Harvest, and not dwell too much on the scary stuff, though I am okay with the children exploring it if it is their own idea. So our Halloween activities tend to be a mishmash of things with a lot of different influences.
I will write a post later with more about what we have been up to, and some photos. It has involved potions in cauldrons, Halloween toast, dressing up, some traditional Halloween games and eating sweets and chocolate! Now the older three children are at church, at the Rainbow Party – an alternative celebration for Halloween, so I don’t think they are missing out on the fun.
Given my ambivalence towards Halloween, I was really glad to hear that this year, World Vision want to turn a night of fear into a night of hope, and very happy to support their campaign. This is what they have to say about it:
“Our children enjoy the frights of Halloween one night a year, but for many children around the world there are real things to be afraid of. World Vision is fighting to make the world a safer place for young people vulnerable to child marriage, malnutrition, dirty water and more. Read more about how we helped Sylvia from Uganda escape child marriage at fifteen on our campaign page.”
World Vision are asking people to carve a heart in a pumpkin as a sign of hope, and if you send them a picture you will be included in their night of hope gallery. Everyone who downloads their Night of Hope pack will be entered into a competition to win a cookery class with Lesley Waters and a free night’s accommodation worth £300. Obviously it would have been good if I had told you this before Halloween, but you might be able to sneak an entry in if you are quick!
We have an eclectic mix of pumpkin decorating styles going on in our house. Knowing that the poor neglected pumpkins growing in our garden were rather small, I bought a medium sized one to add to them. Daddy then bought an enormous one which the children couldn’t even lift! I have carved hearts and stars into the one I bought, and some more stars in the best of our home-grown bunch. Owl asked for a pumpkin with the word Jesus carved on it, and luckily daddy was able to do that just before he left for work – I’m impressed, as it looked rather tricky to do. Rabbit really wanted one with a face on so I used one of our little ones for that. We still have a couple left so I might do some more tomorrow.
The reason the face is a different colour is that we used a small electric “candle” which we were given by a friend yesterday. The ones with the real candles in look a bit more atmospheric, but I wasn’t sure about putting one in such a tiny pumpkin where the flame would be very close to the edge.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12)
I’m pleased with how our random collection of pumpkins have turned out, and it feels good to be a small part of a campaign to improve the lives of many children around the world. Closer to home, I am thinking of a beautiful little girl who should be with her mummy and daddy this Halloween – instead we will be gathering in Reading on Saturday to remember her on the day that she has been dead for as long as she was alive. And as always I am also remembering a very special little boy who should be with his family too. I can never light a candle without thinking of these two little people, so Freddie and Matilda Mae, the hearts and stars are for you and your families tonight xxxx