My family never really celebrated Halloween. Well, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. I may or may not have waded up aluminum foil into two small globes, threaded a paper clip through each of them, and clamped them onto my ears before heading to church adorned as Queen Esther. Anybody else…? Comfortable? No. Creative? I think so.
October 31st is one of my favorite holidays, namely because of candy and costumes, two of my favorite things. (I can do without any gore, coffins, goo, or the like.) There’s an exciting creative energy around planning a costume each year. In fact, this year I will be beginning my eighth month of pregnancy, so I’ve had the joy of entering a whole new realm of possibilities. (Beach ball, bun in the oven, “Expecting Barbie”… what do you think?)
However, my friend and I have recently been discussing how much creativity is undervalued in our urban neighborhood. Kids will show up at our doors on Halloween, hold out a bag, and expect candy.
You have to keep your end of the bargain. At the very least, you must say “Trick or Treat,” but in reality, we need to do something about your outfit. We know folks who have invited kids inside to quickly transform them into cats, superheroes, and fairy princesses.
So this year we’re doing something different.
My friend and I have loosely organized the “South Atlanta Treat Street.” We solicited candy donations from our community Civic League. Volunteers are preparing to set up various stations at our neighborhood thrift store: Costume Concoctions for $1, face painting, football toss, fishing for candy, decorating a candy sack, and a cupcake walk. A local dance instructor even plans to coordinate all the dolled up kids into a group dance of “Thriller.” What a fun night!
So much of our dreams for our neighborhood focus on creating beauty, peace, and justice and witnessing the powerful redemption of God. Seeing Halloween not as a day of darkness, but as an opportunity for community, fun, peace, joy, and creativity is a beautiful picture of how our community can look.
And I’ll be on the lookout for a young girl who comes dressed as a princess, fairy, or Biblical queen – whatever might inspire her to wear paper clip/aluminum foil earrings until her lobes ache… girl after my own heart!
How have you creatively nurtured community where you live? And, of course, what stellar costumes have you invented over the years?
Labels: Faith & Ministry