Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween - please don't toilet paper my house :)

So Halloween.

I'm increasingly horrified at how many Halloween traditions have crept into South African society.

Over the last couple of years it's got worse.

Last year one retailer (CNA) had full window displays. This year I saw full-on displays in CNA (of course), Woolworths and a party shop in my beloved Bedford Centre.

I moaned and griped to a few work friends and some in the computer but it reached all-time proportions when I got a newsletter FULL of Halloween activities.

And that's where I draw the line.

I love (a lot of things about) America but I love more that each country has a flavour. I don't want to go to my mall down the road from my house and feel like I'm in America.

I know that we've embraced a lot of things over the years but do we really need to do this too?

What actually saddens me is that South Africans are so keen to embrace all things America and shun all things South African! We have lots of traditions here to be proud of!

I maintain that to fully love your country you need to travel and experience the good and bad elsewhere. D jokes that he had never seen me so fully patriotic as when I first travelled overseas to Singapore/ Australia in 2004. It's true. Yes, it was GREAT but South Africa is a WONDERFUL place to live. We are so very blessed here.

Moving on.

I personally don't "celebrate" Halloween for many reasons. Pre-Christian, I just don't do blood, gore, witches and the like and certainly post-Christian, I'm not going to be celebrating the kingdom of darkness.

That's my view in a nutshell. I'm in the business of not going against my conscience so this is not likely to change anytime soon. What will be interesting is how D and I will deal with all this stuff when our kids go to school!!!

I know a lot of you will say it's just fun to dress up and such... like it's just fun to read 50 shades of grey.... :)

I honestly do think your kids look cute dressed up (in non-witch clothes) and I've always loved orange and pumpkins (!) but no Halloween for me.

Julia had a post up about how she can't stand to see food used as decor since there are starving people on our doorsteps in SA. I'd love to know how my American friends feel about that. I said (in case you're interested) that we middle-class South Africans waste plenty already so another pumpkin here and there doesn't really outrage me :) Food wastage on the whole outrages me.

So, friends, tell me your thoughts on Halloween. Have you ever consciously thought about it all?

Next up, my thoughts on the American elections and politics :)

That was a joke :) But I took an online quiz the other day that showed how to vote on the issues, not on the people..... I wish we had things like this here and I'd love the debates too. 

PS I couldn't resist putting pics of the kids in orange :)
PPS Jayme, are we still friends? :) :)


  1. Foaming at the mouth over election business!

    Did you know that most Americans don't eat pumpkins? Aside from pumpkin pie that is!! In fact, I've seen adults amazed that I bake whole pumpkins! "You can eat them too?!" Yes friend, welcome to shallow America!

  2. I for one has a huge problem with Halloween - if one looks at the origins I just find it totally wrong on many levels. However if I was American I might have seen it in a slightly different way as it possibly lost a lot of the darkness around it - if You get what I am saying. Celebrating it here is just all wrong - I agree that the world is getting Americanized and that is so wrong,

  3. I think a lot about Halloween that I have children, that is.

    I have a posted drafted -- this reminds me to finish it! -- about the blood and guts and gore. It's truly disgusting. And, sadly, it's almost impossible to avoid.

    I'm OK with a small dose of fun for Halloween. Our girls will dress as something cute (not scary), and we'll take goodies to our closest neighbors. I have told the girls it's a time to celebrate our neighborhood, to dress up and walk around and share goodies. That's not exactly it, of course, but it suits our purpose. ;)

    I am hosting a couple of twin friends (6 kids total) for a little Halloween-themed play date. I'm super excited about my sandwiches shaped like owls, a game of bingo, and toilet paper roll bowling.

    There will be very little candy consumed, though. It makes me laugh a bit to see so many people complain about all the candy their kids get.'s because you allow them to go door-to-door and ask for it! HA!

    Hmmm...I've never thought about using food as decoration. That's an interesting point! On the other hand, think how much money the farmers make from growing pumpkins...maybe??? ;)

  4. Lesley5:15 pm

    Being a Christian I'm not into celebrating darkness either. But Halloween in Ireland is huge!!
    I think its only the second festival in the year they do anything 'crafty' in my children's primary school. I did consider 'making a stand' and going in and asking for my children not to take part, but because they already dont take part in the religious part of the curriculum, i didnt want to separate them further than i had to - especially when we are just talking about the odd 'bat' mask or song. Saying that i did complain once when my eldest daughter was asked to write a spell in her English lesson (different school).
    The other thing is i LOVE autumn - its my favourite time of year, so i do decorate a little bit - but its not spooky - pumpkin, autumnal foliage, pumpkin night light, that sort of thing.
    Tick or treating is a big thing here, but my children have never done it. But we do do apple bobbing (apples are eaten).
    All in all, we dont celebrate it,and the children know why, but we do do nice autumnal things instead.

  5. our kids dress up several times a week at my house. ...most of the time they just don't leave the house in dress up clothes :) haha we are going to a few halloween parties, but i really don't like the holiday. i DO love fall on the other hand. and pumpkins:)

  6. I walked into my local fruit and veg and they had whole pumpkin on display labelled Halloween pumpkin. While I don't have any issues with fun dress up, the spooky and the gory irks me :(

    The truth is most people don't know the origin, all they see is an opportunity to dress up and eat too much candy.

    One year (because of bad planning) my office Christmas / end of year party was held on oct 31st and you can guess the theme :(

    Ps my SIL has lived in the US for close to 20 years and her kids don't take part in any Halloween inspired traditions for very similar reasons as you

    1. Love that picture of k and c in an embrace, very heart warming :)

      And yes I noticed the orange

  7. I love this set of pictures :)

    We don't do halloween either and I am very glad our school doesn't do anything either.

    We did go one year to the zoo but it rained and the kids didn't really enjoy it.

    Personally I don't get it at all!

  8. [Had to come back and read the comments! I told J yesterday how you wrote about being protective of your culture...he loved it. ;)]

    By the way, the girls will have a "pumpkin party" at school (not sure exactly how that will play out).

    And I love the pictures of your babies in their hats! You probably know I'm a big proponent of hats for the wee cute!!!

  9. I've been to a few Halloween parties in the past. Usually it's pretty much the same as any other old dress up party in my opinion (although sometimes there are pumpkins involved). In fact, I once went as a pumpkin when I was pregnant - it's the only thing I could find that would fit over my giant belly!

    I get why you would be against it Marcia, but I feel more or less about it like I do about yoga. Just because it has some religious/cultural roots that aren't mine doesn't mean I can't take the bits I like from it and have fun. Sometimes yoga is part of some eastern religion, sometimes it's just and interesting way to stretch - if you know what I mean?

    There are a lot of things that are celebrated here that actually have nothing to do with South Africa. Not all of them good. For instance Guy Faukes(sp?), St Patrick's day, Valentine's day, April Fool's day and so on and so forth.

  10. You already know that we don't celebrate Halloween either. We don't celebrate the kingdom of darkness AT ALL. No negotiations on this matter at all. We have already explained last year to our son (now 10) why we don't watch nor embrace or celebrate this holiday. He totally understands it and have never questioned it again. Halloween is like swearing in our household. A big taboo!
    And I love Julia's view on how this is wasting food. Brilliant! Have not seen it like this till now.
    Oh, am so disgusted how every email or store I see, is filled with Halloween things. Grrrr

  11. Of course! Because the things I love about Halloween have nothing to do with gore or anything- I love fall- the smells of pumpkin spice stuff baking, gingerbread, apple cinnamon things, etc...
    The way the weather is cool but not cold. Before October, it's too dang HOT and I'm always miserable when I'm overheated.
    My birthday is in October... and who isn't a fan of birthday cake!
    THE CANDY. I love candy LOL
    Dressing up is fun for the kids- BUT my kids do it year round too- they wear with their costumes all the time- and I think it makes for great imaginative play.
    I think though that I really enjoy it because once it's past Thanksgiving, it's all Santa, Christmas, annoying holiday music, commercial, buy, shop, spend. It gets too cold to kick the kids outside to play, so they're up my butt inside. But until then, it's more family doing stuff- hay rides, pumpkin patch visiting, baking, etc.

  12. I get plain irritated with the people that just embrace anything that blows over from the US...without even knowing what they are celebrating. How messed up the whole thing the end of October the US celebrate the kingdom of darkness and the end of November they have a Thanksgiving to God?

  13. I don't know enough about Halloween to make a judgement on it ito the darkness issue but I am simply not comfortable with it. Quite honestly, the pumkin thing annoys me too much and so I don't even really look past that. We don't celebrate and in fact, we haven't really talked about why that is. Joshua gets invited to a Halloween party every year. I purposely plan something for us to do that day - not because of Halloween but because I don't like my kid going to parties where I don't know the parents and where I feel the kids are too "grown-up" - am OBVIOUSLY in for a rough time during the teen years.


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