This afternoon after our weekly Craft get-together, I was driving Andrea home. This means passing our own driveway, so I was puzzled to see a sign pinned to the fence beside our cattle stop. Then I remembered that it was Halloween, and our dear daughter-in-law Kim never misses the chance to celebrate something. She especially loves the opportunity to invite the kids to her place and do something nice for them.
I have not been sure how I feel about Halloween. When our own children were young, they were not allowed to go out trick or treating. For one thing, it seemed like a greedy, begging thing to do, and it was an American idea that I did not feel we really needed to adopt on this side of the world!
However, I have mellowed.
I must admit that many of my Christian friends continue to be horrified by the whole thing. Actually, I always thought it had originally been a Christian festival, "All Hallows' Eve", on the eve of All Saints' Day, symbolising the last ditch effort of evil to make its presence felt before being overcome by the power of God and goodness. Many of our Christian festivals were adapted from pagan celebrations...maybe this one has gone full circle! I would certainly never encourage anyone to dabble in the occult, or to feel genuine fear of things like ghosts and ghouls.
But to today's kids, it is really nothing more than an opportunity to dress up, to play a few scary games, and enjoy a few sugary treats as a bonus. I know Kim, with her lovely kind nature, just welcomes an opportunity to do something nice, caring and hospitable for the children she knows. Which is not a bad thing at all.
Meanwhile, I have equipped myself with a few treats and goodies, so I am ready if anyone should call. And they probably will, because our house is first port of call before reaching Kim and Charles at the end of the driveway. And knowing that today's children have to deal with too many grumpy and negative adults in their lives, I will welcome them in my friendliest voice, invite them in for a while, and then send them on down the driveway to "Devonside", where I know Kim has all sorts of delights waiting for them.