Being raised in a Christian household, Halloween was looked down upon by my parents, especially my dad. I would always hear my friends talking about what their costumes are, who everybody was going to go trick-or-treating with, or what neighborhoods had the big candy bars. I always felt left out because I never got that experience as a child. Instead of participating in the normal Halloween traditions, I was sent to Hallelujah Night held at my church.
As an alternative, my church home at the time held an event on Halloween called Hallelujah Night. It was a way to encourage families and their children to be in a safe place during the night of the holiday and remember what is important. As a kid, I never looked at Halloween as something scary just like other innocent kids. The only thing most children under the age of 13 look at it as a competition on who gets the most candy, or who has the best costume. My parents saw it as “worshiping demons and goblins.” Again, I never thought of it that way no matter how many times my dad told me what he thought the holiday was about.
Hallelujah night was enjoyable without a doubt, but I still wanted to experience the traditions of going to Party City to find a costume and show it off to my friends in the neighborhood and tag along with the group to get some candy. Not only just trick or treating, but even our character parade we would have in elementary school as well.
Around Halloween, my old elementary school gave kids the chance to dress up as their favorite character from their favorite book, giving students the chance to wear a costume during school. I would always ask my parents if they could at least let me participate with the rest of my class to dress up, but they were not having it. I felt so embarrassed every year that I was always the only one not dressed up during the parade.
Eventually as I got older, my parents stopped thinking so much about what their interpretation of Halloween was. They went from the household that turned their lights off during Halloween night to the house with the “good” candy. They even got lenient about me going out and trick-or-treating with my friends, but they still wouldn’t fund me for a nice costume, and I still do not know why on this very day.
Again, I never really asked why my parents were so against Halloween when I was little. All I could think of was they are being super Christian right now, and it is not that deep. In a way, I slightly think they thought I would lose sight of Jesus, but I knew better than to “worship” anything outside of my religion. All I ever wanted to be was my favorite character and get all the free candy I could possibly find.
– Destini Thurman is a junior mass communication major from Orlando, Fla.