Also posted here at Boy Q and Girl Q.
It’s weeks past Halloween, but this year’s fall festivities are sticking with me. We were in a local home goods store when Boy Q decided to ask a question that had clearly been weighing on his mind:
“Is Halloween Satan’s birthday and Christmas is God’s birthday?” Wait, what?
I was unprepared. I looked at him and then realized that there was at least one other shopper eavesdropping on our conversation. No pressure.
“Okay, well, we celebrate Christmas for Jesus’ birthday but I don’t think we know when Satan’s birthday is?”
“Oh.” He was unconvinced.
“But, um, some people in Mexico celebrate the Day of the Dead, and they believe that dead people come back and spend time with us.”
“Okay…” Oh, great, I’ve confused him further.
“But we don’t really celebrate Satan’s birthday in any way. I mean…when we celebrate Halloween, it’s mostly about the fun of harvest time, which means it’s time to get the food from gardens and stuff, and then we wear fun costumes and get candy. That’s about it. Satan is bad, so….”
“Yeah, and we only celebrate good stuff.”
“Yes!” Is that true?! Surely most things we celebrate are indeed good things?
“Um. Why are you thinking Halloween is Satan’s birthday?”
“This kid at school told me he knew whose birthday it was.”
“Well, it’s not really anybody’s birthday.”
“This kid says he knows whose birthday it is. It’s someone’s birthday.”
“No, we’re not celebrating anyone’s birthday.”
Rinse and repeat. Boy Q insisted that since a kid at school said it was someone’s birthday it MUST be someone’s birthday. I could tell him that some people were born on Halloween, but then would he think they were Satan?!
“Boy Q! I’m not sure if we can go to the Trunk Or Treat at your school, but you can definitely do the Halloween party. Dad and I will even be there for the Halloween party. ”
“What’s Trunk Or Treat?”
“Well, people will give you candy out of their…cars…yep.”
“Well, strangers? But hopefully people from school. See, they fill up the trunks of their cars with candy and hand it out.”
“Trunk? Like the back.”
Girl Q pipes up: “And I can say Trick Or Treat because I’m big and I’m not afraid!”
“Well, yeah, but it’s different from going to people’s houses. You just take candy from someone’s car. Never mind.”
It dawned on me that the genius who came up with Trunk-Or-Treat was probably a pedophile.*
To all the other parents out there who are stumbling through explanations, questions, beliefs, philosophies–we’re all in this together. Don’t worry, our kids can go to therapy later and sort it out. 😉
*Probably not, but still, the pitch for this idea must have been weak: “Well, it’ll be safer than neighborhood Trick-Or-Treating because we’ll all be outside in a parking lot and random people can give kids candy out of the trunk of their car!”