She Can't Be a Princess for Halloween

My niece told me “Tia (aunt in Spanish) I want to a princess for Halloween.” I smiled really huge because my baby couldn't have picked a better costume; she would make an adorable princess. I told my brother that I could take her trick-or-treating. He said, “Halloween is a satanic holiday and she is a Christian child. She doesn’t do that.” He said this in front of my 5-year-old niece. I can’t begin to tell you how much that bothered me.

My brother is a devout Baptist and I respect his beliefs because they make him happy, and to each his own. But I find some of his practices harmful when it comes to my nieces. I just don’t think that he should say things like that in front of young child. Just think about it, my niece gets to school next Friday (they are celebrating Halloween on the 30th) and she won’t be wearing a costume. I’m sure she’ll feel uncomfortable because she might be the only one not dressed up. Imagine if another child asks her “Where is your costume?” and she says “Halloween is a satanic holiday and I’m Christian”. Can you imagine the follow up?

I don’t think young children should be put in that situation. They just don’t know how to explain things properly, so they might end up getting hurt in the process. They can be the victim of alienation, even worst, they can get psychologically damaged. I read a post the other day on Perfectly Pagan, a fairly new blog about discovering Paganism. The creator of the blog, One Pink Fish, explains that her husband advised against using terminology their children couldn’t explain or that would get ridiculed around friends, in order to keep them safe. I GET HIM!

Some have told me that I’m a hypocrite because if I follow a path, and I believe is the right one, then I should want my entire family to follow it too. Trust me I do, and I wish, but I’ll not push it down their throat; that is not the Pagan way or MY way, period! I believe in letting people make informed decisions. Let them experience life, so they can learn what works for them. A 5-year-old child just doesn’t know. I think it is immoral to make them commit to something they don’t fully understand.

I know this is a very touchy subject, and I might get the same old reply: You have no children, so what would you know! And whoever says that is very right. I haven’t had the honor of making life—yet—but I love people in general, especially my little angels. So it breaks my heart to see how they get pushed into these types of situations. Children should be allowed to be children. Wait until they are old enough, before asking them to make lifelong choices.

What are your views on this issue?


P.S. Sorry if I sound a bit frustrated. It is just so hard to see unfairness happen right in front of my eyes, and to the ones I love most. It kills me because I can complain, try to educate the intolerant soul, but in the end I can’t really do a damn thing about it ;( I’m angry.

29 comments:

  1. Well, where do we start, I am completely with you 1000%. I have two little ones but just like you said children should be allowed to be childen and they will make the eduacated choices that will be right for them.
    I am Pagan but my hubby doesn't really follow anything, he likes the pagan way though but I will be totally honest with my boys when they get older and ask questions about my path and other religious paths, I don't believe they should follow my way, I beleive in them being totally informed and it being their choice.
    Halloween to kids should be about dressing up and trick or treating - parents beliefs and politics shouldn't even come into it.
    I hope they do let her dress up for the 30th, like you said can you imagine where that conversation would lead to? Sending healing to you my frustrated friend xx

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  2. I would consider myself Jewish. But I've never turned down a Christmas party, nor have my children.

    I so get what you are saying.

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  3. Pixie, Thanks so much for the energy, I sooo need it luv. My sister in law is trying to get some sense into my brother, but his head is hard as a lava rock. Big teary hugs ;(

    Janette, I'm just like you. I give people presents for Christmas and go to every celebration I'm invited to. Fun shouldn't have boundaries.

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  4. Yikes. You're right though, children don't know how to frame arguments and explanations, particularly with ideas they have limited experience with or that are new to them. And when religion is involved, they already don't understand, but most will have the "I'm right, you're not" approach (something kids normally have anyway). Well, blessings and good luck.

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  5. Thanks for your thoughts Emma. I guess, I'm just venting. It is so hard to change people's mind and the principle goes against my most basic beliefs anyway, but by the Gods I wish...

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  6. I also agree with you Magaly. Obviously I am Pagan, my daughter started school this year and she goes to a Christian school. I'm not going to force my beliefs onto her at any point. When she is old enough to decide what, if anything she wants to believe then I will be happy for her and endeavour to understand, there is no one right path/system of beliefs through life after all.

    At her school they have had a week of Halloween themed activities, though interestingly they haven't spoken to the children about what it is. This is a question she asked me the other day "What is Halloween?". To this I gave her a very basic reply about mummy's beliefs and why it is important to me and this sufficed. She knows that I'm a witch and I am always honest and open with her if she asks me what I am doing at my altar in the kitchen or why.

    I spent a great deal of my life as a child being taught a system of beliefs that I didn't value, but felt it was my duty and place to learn and accept. I will not have this happen to either of my children, my path is not their path, I'm just here to support them as they find their way :)

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  7. I applaud your reasoning my dear Witch! I have a Pagan friend who could open an intolerant club with my brother. I'm not sure why she is that way, but she refuses to teach her daughter anything about other religions, in fact she tells them really horrible stories about persecution and things of the sort. The hold thing saddens me to no end. I wish she could see life through your eyes one day because I feel that her decisions are really hurting her child, for she's becoming the exact thing my friend despises the most.

    That was such a downer of a comment, huh? I guess I need to meditate a bit and raise some energy, my levels are on the ground ;(

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  8. I am with you on this one too. Allowing a girl to wear a pricess costume and have fun trick-or-treating is not initiating her into Satanic cults, for God's sake!

    It is very hard to see people you love exposing their children like that - I suffered it as a child, on myself, and as an adult on my yourger brothers, so I know well how you feel.

    Big, big loving hugs.

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  9. Ohhh, where to start with this. I don't raise my kids in my faith. I don't because I consider it irresponsible to choose a faith for another human being. This does not mean that I look down on those who do, though.

    Although, in your brother's case, I feel that it's his responsibility as a parent to make sure that his children are not tormented in public schools because of HIS decisions. This means, he has a responsibility to his daughter to either keep her home during events he does not allow, or to bend when it comes to "popular" opinion. He owes that to his child, and to not do it is creating problems where there shouldn't be any.

    I do not think it is hypocritical AT ALL not to want your family on your same path choice. In some cases, it's the best decision one person could make. Especially, in the case of Pagans in Bible Belt. That's where I live, and I don't want my children in the line of fire for Paganism. Am I protecting them from a facet or real life? Yes. But, I'm also not telling my children what to think, who to believe in, or how to feel, either. And I think parents need to seriously take a step back when considering a "family" religion, because there is no such thing. Children should be taught to question everything, read everything, explore everything. And to not do that creates "Halloween is a Satanic holiday", and the ones who REALLY lose....are the children.

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  10. Ooooh, this is a tricky one when it's family.

    Does your brother know your beliefs? Because if he does, then what he said is pretty darn harsh. But it does give you an opportunity to point out that Halloween has nothing to do with satanism, and is a preChristian harvest festival. Christianity has more to do with satanism than any other religion since they believe in the same God! (Perhaps that could be seen as a little bit antagonistic though! :P)

    If he doesn't relent, maybe take your niece out for something nice to make up for it?

    I firmly believe that it isn't actually a parents' place to indocrinate their child into their own religion. Teach them about it, teach them about compassion, honesty etc, etc, but every human being has a right to choose what they believe in.

    My children are told this is what mummy believes in, daddy believes in something a bit different, and nanny and grandad believe in something completely different, and would be upset that mummy and daddy aren't the same so we don't mention it to them.

    I hope your sister-in-law talks him round.

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  11. Caro, thanks so much for the hugs, I need them. I think that most of us (Pagans) wore your shoes at some point during our younger lives, thank the Gods we were lucky enough to find our path. Like you, I wish those I love didn't have to cry my same tears, but life happens *sigh*

    LJ, it is so sad. My brother won't listen to reason. I'm glad my sister-in-law is more open minded, for she keeps the children sane. I have tried to him other perspectives when it comes to All Hallow's Eve, but he just doesn't want to listen. I pray for him and sent all the positive I can raise, his way, I accept his way of thinking, but he doesn't want to take the time to give mine a chance. *More sighs*

    MouseDemon, my brother knows everything about my beliefs and to be honest I don't think he thinks about the things he says before he does. In fact my mother and my late grandmother (mother side) have always been involved with Witchcraft; my brother and I used to go to drummings together when we were younger. He dated the daughter of a very prominent Anaissa Priestess. Today, he pretends that none of it happened and that everybody who doesn't think his way will burn in a very hot, despicable, Christina hell. *Sigh, sigh, sigh*

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  12. I'm sure your sobrina is a princess--costume or not! I will never forget Clayton Dean. He was in my classes in my elementary school and was never allowed to join any of our holiday parties because he was a Jehovah's Witness. On days like Halloween, his parents would keep him home from school.

    Even though I'm Jewish, my mother never forbade me to take part in other religions. I think it's wrong to do so. Children should be exposed to as many beliefs and experiences as possible. Worldliness is a virtue. (Not that Halloween--at least in the way it's celebrated in popular culture--has any religious aspect at all.)

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  13. I totally agree with you.
    It's not hypocrisy to allow others to be and believe what they wish.

    It's maturity.

    Those who believe that what they believe is the _only_ option aren't "staunch" in their beliefs. They're limited.

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  14. My parents were like this when I was a little girl, and my father continues to be so. I think I only went trick or treating once as a child and a few more times in my teenage years. Any other costume I had related to Halloween was when I was going to those church lock-ins. The "alternative" to the satanic Halloween.

    I have always been upset with my parents for depriving me of the holidays - they even told me Santa wasn't real to keep my focus on Jesus during Christmas. Children should be allowed to be children. Talk about religion later, when they are ready to ask questions.

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  15. Does he celebrate Easter with bunny rabbits and Easter eggs? Those are rooted in Paganism, The names of the days of the week and months are Pagan in origin. My point is if your going to start with a holiday, why not go the whole nine yards and not have any involvement with anything with Pagan origins? You couldn't because you wouldn't be able to exist that's why, I don't celebrate Thursday because it's named after the Pagan God Thor, It's just I can't stand Thor ; ). The original Pagan beliefs are so far removed from almost everything they started now, it's like they didn't exist to begin with.

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  16. Religion is really an adult concept. I don't think a child's mind is equipped to handle the heavy realities and epiphanies that stem from religious study.

    Here, where I live, our local Baptist church does their "alternative" to a haunted house every Halloween. Except they call it "Reality House". They include wrecked cars from drunk driving accidents(complete with blood still on the windows), a room that simulates abortions, a satanic ritual room and a teen rape room. I'm not even REMOTELY joking. People take their little 3 and 4 year olds to this place every year, and I sit and wonder WTF is going on in society that has told people that this is okay.

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  17. M.J., thanks and yes she is a little princess and whoever tells her otherwise will receive ugly stares lol. I'm so glad your parents let you be a kid when you were growing up, that is what parenting is all about: protect your children, but don't no matter what you do, you can't live their lives for them.

    Miss Ash, I believe that the ability to be happy about one's own beliefs and rejoice in the happiness of others who are content with their own is one of life's greatest joys. I hope my dear brother sees it like that one day.

    Tiffany, that sounds so very sad ;( I can't believe they told you Santa wasn't real, what a lie! Of course he is, if not, ask the reindeer ;)

    Asshole Boyfriend, once I told my brother that Eastern found his roots on the Goddess Eostre and he looked at me like I was on crack. I just wish people would stop focusing on our differences and start celebrating our similarities.

    LJ, I do not believe you! A "rape room"? Oh my Gods! I have lots to say about that, but like I said to each his own. But I do not agree with taking young children through such a thing.

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  18. I, like you, have no children, but share the same feelings as yourself and the previous commenters.

    Children should be allowed to be children, trick-or-treating and dressing up doesn't make them 'un-christian' it affords them to opportunity to have a good time, pretend they're a princess/super hero/dinosaur and get free candy. It's a great bonding experience for family and friends and it's very easy to leave all the religious points to the side.

    As a pagan, Halloween is important to me for different reasons than that, but when my husband and I do decide to have children Halloween will be just a fun time for them. Of course, if they ask me about my altar and beliefs, I will explain it in terms that are plain but if they don't the roots of the holiday can wait to be explained until they're older.

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  19. I believe that's the healthy view, but I also understand his need to protect him from something he believes to be wicked. I just wish he could see it the way you do. We know that the commercialized Halloween presented today, has little to do with the religious meaning it holds to Pagans. I wish we could share something that is beautiful without focusing so much on what it means to me or to him. I just want her to be happy and to grow up healthy enough to make her own decisions when the time comes.

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  20. Awww I don't know what to say. Believe me, I keep trying and deleting and starting over, so just let me say that I hope your niece gets to be a princess for Halloween or at least gets to stay home from school. Maybe sometime later, say a month or so, you could dress her up as a princess just for fun...no "Satanic" holidays required. hehe

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  21. This is a difficult one to tackle, I know. I've thought about dressing up at the house and just staying in. We are planning a scary salad (sour warms, sticky frogs, and blood berries) we'll make cookies too, but it's not the same; she wants to be with her friends, doing what they do.

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  22. Yeah I didnt' believe the rape room thing either until someone basically spelled it out for me. I refuse to go there and I don't allow my kids to either. Being a former fire fighter, they're well aware of the drunk driving car accident thing, but the abortion room and teen rape thing just takes the cake for me.

    It's basically a room where there's a teenage girl and she's being pressured and pawed at by a boy to do what he wants her to do. There's no "actual" simulation of rape, but I think that a girl screaming "no, no no" is enough to nix that idea right out of my head. I do believe that this year there's a family violence room, too. That should be a real holiday maker......*sarcasm*.

    You would think there would be an age requirement for children going to this, but I can find no such thing. I've seen people hauling their toddlers to this lovely event.

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  23. I'm glad you don't let your children go to those things, it sounds very traumatic for me. I mean, we as adult, should teach the youngsters about the world, but that's is so not the way.

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  24. My husband, daughter and I were discussing just this type of situation this weekend also. Our grandchildren (my son's girls) have been 'praying for us' because they want to see us in 'heaven'. The girls are 7 and 11. They are scared of what will happen to us, not realizing, that we'll be just fine. The church they attend has scared them!! It's so wrong and frustrating; why would a church put the children in such a panic? We can't say anything without alienating my son, and confusing his children. We just discuss it on our own. I understand what you are feeling. Good Luck with your situation...

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  25. Oh, I so agree with you! I'm not raising my children Pagan, though I am raising them with what I consider "Pagan values": be nice to others, respect everyone's beliefs, cherish the earth and do your part to take care of her.

    Kids should be kids, and that's enough, I think. It's not that easy these days!

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  26. My parents are fundamentalist Methodists...yet they still let me participate in Halloween and all other childhood activities, even if they didn't particularly care for the tradition.

    Bottom line, we have to let our kids be kids.

    I completely agree with you, love.

    )O(
    boo

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  27. Oh Judy, that is one of my biggest fears when it comes to my nieces. I don't want them to grow up thinking that I'll go to the hell of Christianity because I don't practice their faith. I'm glad my sister-in-law is a bit better than my brother when it comes to this, she usually explains to them what I believe in, the way she understands it. I truly appreciate and love her for that.

    Mrs. B, thanks for stopping by, I know how busy you are with your 31 Days of Halloween. And I want to raise my children as children. I will teach them about everything and do my best to help them become adults with good critical thinking skills. Once they are old enough they can make their own, educated choices. I will love them no matter what.

    Bridgett, your parents sound like awesome people. Yes, kids should be kid, they can put up with the nonsenses of being an adult when they get there.

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  28. Oh, I so agree with you! I'm not raising my children Pagan, though I am raising them with what I consider "Pagan values": be nice to others, respect everyone's beliefs, cherish the earth and do your part to take care of her.

    Kids should be kids, and that's enough, I think. It's not that easy these days!

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  29. My husband, daughter and I were discussing just this type of situation this weekend also. Our grandchildren (my son's girls) have been 'praying for us' because they want to see us in 'heaven'. The girls are 7 and 11. They are scared of what will happen to us, not realizing, that we'll be just fine. The church they attend has scared them!! It's so wrong and frustrating; why would a church put the children in such a panic? We can't say anything without alienating my son, and confusing his children. We just discuss it on our own. I understand what you are feeling. Good Luck with your situation...

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