Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, as it is more appropriately called, is one of those days of the year that can bring about a whole host of reactions. We think these gifs sum up the range of feelings surrounding this often misunderstood eve of a Holy Day:
1. The “I can’t wait!”
This is the reaction of those people on your block who were decorating on October 1st. They have ghouls, inflatable pumpkins, orange lights, and skeletons decorating their yards. They may have blacked out windows with glowing candles and spooky music playing just for effect.
2. The “Halloween is evil”
This is often a well-intentioned reaction from those who have never learned about the very deep Christian roots of celebrating the Feast of All Saints Day. As with any major feast, the preparation and the celebration begin at the vigil the evening before. This is the very basis for what we now know as Halloween. Originally it was called “All Hallows Eve,” then shortened to “Hallowe’en” which morphed into “Halloween.”
3. The ambivalent
This reaction can most often be found among the parents of multiple children who want to dress up and get free candy. It is the reaction of those burnt out from the yearly debate of “to Halloween or to not.” It is also generally the reaction of Graduate Students, PhD students, nurses who work the night shift, parents with newborns, and newly single Xennials who are trying to avoid the office Halloween party.
4. The “I’m scared”
Often a reaction associated with a misunderstanding of evil and the origins of the Eve of All Saints, this reaction strikes those who have not heard the Good News that even evil itself is subject to God’s Providence. This reaction is usually short lived, for once the truth about the origins of Halloween and Christ’s power over evil are truly understood, the fear no longer can last.
5. The “Bring it”
This is how those who have a firm grasp on the differences between the historical, cultural, and faithful aspects of Halloween all intertwine react. They are ready to take on the secular culture that believes the day is one for the occult and evil. They know that at its core, All Hallows Eve is a night that prepares us for a series of Feast Days (All Saints and All Souls). They are not afraid, they aren’t going to sit it out, because they know that as Catholics we are called to engage and evangelize! Hallowe’en? Bring it!
6. The countdown to Christmas
There are some who consider Halloween the un-un-official beginning of Christmas preparation. Thanksgiving? That’s too late. It is time to take down those spider webs and put away the pumpkins before the last trick-or-treater has cleared the front porch and put out the holly, mistletoe and snowmen.
Now, where is that Elf on a Shelf? Is he still in his Halloween costume?