Halloween and Hot Chocolate

29
Oct
2014
Written by:   |  Found in: Current Events, Grace, Parenting  |   no Comments

Halloween and Hot Chocolate

What is the best day of the year to get to know the majority of the people living in your neighbourhood? It’s not Christmas Morning. Or Easter Sunday. Or the first day of school. The best day of the year to build community is on Halloween. People leave their fenced yards, their closed-in garages, and all the other necessary amenities of life that by their very nature detract from people getting to know one another, and walk about the neighbourhood. This is why, if you can somehow make it work for your family, I suggest getting out there and celebrating with everyone on your street. I suppose I should qualify what I mean by celebrating.  In our home, we don’t allow our kids to wear costumes that are immodest or inherently evil.   We don’t decorate the house that way either – which leaves pretty much pumpkins and leaves, in case you wondered. We do however; let them dress up in fun costumes.  We do, let them trick or treat and eat more candy in one night than seems humanely possible. And, I’d like to think that something very good is happening because we are deliberately involving ourselves in our neighbourhood on Halloween. Here is how we’ve made it work for us: Living in the great Northwest, Halloween is often met with pouring rain. We affectionately call it liquid sunshine, but who are we kidding, it’s gross! At the very best of times, Halloween is cold enough to make most parents miserable, but not cold enough to snow and “cancel” trick-or-treating. We don’t even bring out the sled dogs…that’s a little Canadian humour, eh. Our family moved into a new neighbourhood a couple of years ago, and since we were in a new place, and really, a new non-pregnant, non-nursing, non-baby stage of life, we decided to try something, well, new. We hosted a “warming station” in our garage, and it was such a fun way to spend Halloween.   We kept it simple:  a big coffee urn full of hot chocolate, a crock pot full of cider, paper cups, and multiple cans of Redi-Whip. A couple of days before the big day, we put signs on the neighbourhood mailboxes, so people would anticipate the warming station, and not think it was a private party they weren’t invited to.  Then, on the big day, we opened up the garage door, lit our pumpkins to light the way, and did our best to encourage everyone to come up for a free hot drink. We got to make contact with dozens of families and their kids, and we have started to build community.  It’s not like everyone is knocking on everyone else’s doors asking to borrow a cup of sugar…yet.  But we’re working on it! This year we are hosting the warming station again – and we’re going to up the ante by inviting people to join a community facebook group.  If we want to foster community and have influence where God has placed us, we have to first believe and behave like we want community with those around us! I think people are craving community.  They are searching to be known and to belong, and the one holiday people still feel a sense of community around seems to be Halloween. So if you feel like God is nudging you to open your door a little wider this year when those trick-or- treaters come knocking, don’t be afraid, because God is with you. God can redeem Halloween. Maybe redeeming will start with a cup of hot chocolate.    

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