Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Holidays & Holy-days and Halloween

For the most part, I do not "get into" holiday "spirit" - though I love the time to live differently for a day or a few days!  I enjoy fireworks on the U.S. 4th of July, though I rarely buy anything more than a sparkler or two.

Even while I enjoy time with family at Christmas, I really do not care about decorating the house, the tree, and I think gift giving in most cases is a consumeristic-self-gratifying-and-ultimately-unsatisfying quest for the next "thing" that we think will make life "better" or "complete" or "happy."

As I child, I enjoyed Trick-Or-Treating at Halloween and have not restricted my children from participating in community candy events.

And yet, I really do not get how most Christian people invest so much more energy in these holidays, than they invest in holy days!  In fact, most people of faith probably do not realize that our "holiday" is a sub-version of what used to be holy days!  We've even de-sacralized the name from being about holy things - to just "holi" - and most people never catch it!  We've secularized what used to be distinctive about marking holy-days and holy-time!

I am certain that the past decade has seen massive growth in the popularity of Halloween Costumes and Halloween items.  In our local community, where costumes and decorations used to only be available in Big Box stores, now, emporary outlet stores of remarkable size are set up weeks before Halloween.  (At one major intersection near our home, 3 large Superstores for Halloween items and costumes are in competition.  I entered two of the stores and the variety of headless, armless, bloody, prison, vampire-ish, zombie, animal, villain, werewolf costumes and "decorations" astounded me!)

It's curious to me that for most of Christian history, Christian people used to give their focus and celebration to All Saint's Day - November 1st.

It used to be the focus of believers to celebrate and adorn and consider those who were most holy in their midst.

And now, instead, most Christians don't know an All Saints Day exists - as they invest their hard earned dollars not in missions or justice or charity - but in costumes of entertainment that do not beckon us to live differently as holy people in the world.

This makes me wish believers could and would do more to promote peace, love, joy, justice and charity!

May all believers find unique space and time in these next days to consider the best examples of people who lived lives that best reflected the perfect hopes of love & peace in our world.

And may the example of these holy persons in our midst inspire us to have more holydays in our own lives and more peace in all Creation.

After posting this, a few persons shared with me other links to persons who have expressed the same idea - with other data and history.  Here are a couple of other great links that share the same hope!

By K.W. Leslie 

By James B. Jordan

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