My little boys were super heros this year for Halloween. This holiday was a little different for me than it has been in the past. My experience with Halloween as a child was limited. We dressed up, but not ever as anything scary. We didn't dress up at school, I don't think anyone did. We went to our church Fall festival & didn't stay home or trick or treat that I can remember. My parents never made a big deal about it, and I don't remember ever really thinking much about it as a child. Not a dedicated Halloween enthusiast, but not against.
|testing out the super hero t-shirt|
This year even more than before, I worried about my boys seeing things that would scare them - make them afraid. I don't want to put things before their eyes that are too violent or scary. They are still so little & there is no rush for them to grow up! The question for me is: how to participate, be involved, be in but not of this cultural norm. I don't want to remove our boys from their culture, but I desire for them to be wise in the midst of it. I desire to give them a filter, a sensor, a radar & alarm that tells them that they need to evaluate & choose. What can be a fun, purely cultural tradition where we spend time with our neighbors & friends, versus what is not. (I am laughing at myself, but maybe these understandings will come with age & seeking as mine have?)
|we found some super heros that became snuggle buddies|
Holidays continue to spark questions for me as we raise our boys: what traditions do we desire to create? What do we want to emphasize? What do we want to de-emphasize, downplay, eliminate? How can we make our holidays about the time together & joy in our family&friends? How can we elevate Christ in all the holidays, especially Christmas?? What is good balance?
|pumpkin carving & using their little wooden hammers & a golf tee to create a polka dot pumpkin!|
I tend to run away from excess, indulgence, over-the-top. I desire small, intimate, meaningful. I'm not good at it, but I try. I am already a 'kid on Christmas morning' as I am now 'allowing' myself to shop for toys & pjs & books like I normally do not. and it brings ME so much joy! No wonder we want to spoil our kids, and it is a blessing to give.
|Evil doers beware! Super James & Super Hayden are here!!|
I hope I can help create & foster holiday gatherings with our extended family for our boys as they grow. It is a precious gift to have family - even when holidays bring stress & schedules & chaos & travel. I know I value the memories I have & the effort my parents made for us to spend the holidays with our grandparents & cousins & aunts/uncles. I hope to always be able to give that gift to my boys as well.
|Super Hayden & Super James in action!|
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It strikes me as odd because how could Christmas NOT be my favorite, but still. I love the Fall. I love the concept of gathering together to give thanks to our God for what he gives. I love apple pie & pumpkin pie. Yes, Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.
|all 3 of my super heros|
But Halloween has definitely made me look at the way I celebrate & why. and I am grateful for that. If nothing else, I would like to be INTENTIONAL about how we participate as a family in any & every holiday. That may seem a little odd, but I'm glad to be odd.
|ready to roll around our block|
I'm convinced the introspective look & challenge to my own norm is healthy. Self-evalutation can be such a helpful tool in refinement, but only if I am honest. It is easy for me to be all in the mind & not as good in actual day-in-day-out life, but you do have to start.
|by far my cuddliest super hero|
Next, all I have to do is figure out how to turn down the volume on santa + materialism + elves + chaos and turn up the volume on Christ + his birth + his life + his gift. How to do that....!?