Our family isn't into Halloween. We find that we have no space left for it in our lives with Reformation Day becoming such a large and meaningful celebration. I'll post on that later. For now suffice it to say that Halloween, as a celebration, doesn't fit with our family's philosophy of celebration; therefore, we don't celebrate it. For us October 31st is Reformation Day. Nothing else fits.
Having said that, we, as a family, are still attracted to many of the elements that often are combined in the Halloween time. We simply break them up and enjoy them at other times. Take candy for instance. I have such a sweet tooth it's a miracle I have any teeth left. Dressing up? Forget it! We'll costume up for almost any excuse. The boys are frequently Spiderman, Rambo or Knights of the Round Table. Earlier this year I helped deliver Pastor Jeff Garrett's message on Sunday morning at The Table dressed as Batman. Oh, and around Halloween you can get some great deals on costumes that you might use some other times.
But one thing that has been a family tradition is watching scary movies. I grew up with my parents watching scary movies at night while I hid behind the couch. Eventually, when I got older, I graduated up to actually sitting on the couch next to them, covering my eyes either with a blanket or my fingers. Into my teens I grew into a full blown thrill junkie. Now mind you, I have absolutely NO appetite for the slasher movie genre, or films that use the horror genre to feed my eyes grotesque gore or nudity and sex. But there's a select group of terrifying movies still around, or even produced now and then, that can spin such a spooky yarn as to really give you the heebeegeebees. Case in point? John Carpenter's "The Fog." I still get the willies over that puppy.
Well, early on in our marriage I thought Naomi would be my "scary movie girl." You know, the kind that hold tight to your arm and then jumps in your lap when the killer emerges suddenly from the closet. I was in for a surprise. She doesn't get scared by that stuff. Was I ever disappointed. Who would enjoy scary movies with me?... Answer? My Daughter!
Jessica is now my scary movie partner. We get on the couch, pull the blankets up under our chins and start shaking in our boots before the opening credits even appear. The popcorn is nervously consumed, the lights are dim, the music foreboding and the anticipation nerve wrenching. Although we don't celebrate Halloween, those that do accommodate us with scary movies that have been edited for television with increasing frequency as October 31st draws near. We have our own agenda with Reformation Day, but in the meantime we still get a thrill with "scary movie night" as a father/daughter exercise.