I've tried. I have really tried. I have marshaled all my self-righteous bluster and vast knowledge, and I still can't do it. I'm pretty orthodox, as orthodoxy goes. It seems I should be able to - it kind of makes sense. My brain tells me I should be able to... but I just can't bring myself to do it. Believe me, I've tried, but I can't.
I can't hate Halloween. I'm sorry to disappoint some of you.
Yes, I know that:
It is pagan in its origins. (Much like Christmas and Easter)
People dress up as bloody, ghoulish, soulless, evil creatures.
Complete strangers are bussed into my neighborhood and show up at my door expecting candy.
In the old days there was a lot of "mischief" surrounding the "trick" part of treating.
Candy is bad for you. And expensive.
Nowadays walking through a costume shop is semi-pornographic.
Insides of pumpkins are slimy gross.
Dorky, uncostumed teenagers ride around on skateboards with bulging pillowcases full of candy.
I know all these things - but I like Halloween anyway. Maybe it's because we contain it. We don't go scary or bloody. We go cute and creative. We refuse to see R-rated movies - and avoid the satanic/gory ones even if they are PG-13 or on TV. We don't go to haunted houses. We don't watch Glee. (Unrelated - but I wanted to slip it in.)
Halloween is fun.
Not only that, Halloween is the single most charitable day of the year. Name one other day of the year that complete strangers can knock on other stranger's doors and walk away with something they value, leaving the 'givers' expecting absolutely nothing in return. Not even blessings. There is precious little we do that is so non discriminating.
Remember that 2nd great commandment: Love thy neighbor? I don't think what the Savior meant by that is that on the one night of the year the neighborhood is interacting with each other, we should turn of our lights, lock the doors, and go somewhere else to avoid those very neighbors. In my book, avoiding trick-or-treaters is missing the point.
Seeing the FOMLs get excited to play dress-up.
Having photo archives of their costumes as they grow.
Milky Ways. A lot.
Hanging out in the streets and chating with my neighbors.
Carving pumpkins with my kids - especially now that they are old enough to 'gut' them by themselves.
Holding hands with the little ones and watching from the sidewalk as they courageously make their first door approaches. (Mission prep?)
Ward parties, even if we call them something less pagan.
Watching the maniacal kids run around in their costumes at the ward parties
Seeing the cool adults dress up and not being spoil sports.
Green apple Jolly Ranchers.
Watching my kids sort their candy on the floor and learn basic trading etiquette.
Refusing to give candy to a kid unless he actually utters the magic words 'Trick-or-Treat'. (Tiny tots excluded)
Asking the slackers "What are you supposed to be?"
Big Hunks, though increasingly rare.
Laughing at any woman wearing anything remotely "Twilight".
Quoting Titus 1:15 to people who are "Anti-Halloweenites".
So, if you are looking for a spiritual, or doctrinal treatise on why we shouldn't participate in Halloween, you've come to the wrong place. Sorry.
No treatise. Only treats.
(Did I mention that I like Milky Ways?)