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My little one inherited some of my food allergies, which can make holidays like Halloween difficult. I did not develop my food allergies until I was well past trick or treating age, so my parents never had to worry about it. My son is still young, but as he gets older I don’t want him to feel left out on Halloween.
In recent years, I’ve come across the Teal pumpkin project, which is a great alternative for children with food allergies, but it hasn’t been well-received by everyone. The general idea is to place a teal pumpkin on your porch for parents to know that your treats are safe for little ones with food allergies. Some folks take personal offense to children with food allergies being “catered to” and while I don’t expect strangers to understand or prepare for my son’s allergies, seeing teal pumpkins on porches is comforting. It is a sign of people who understand and want to be sure a child isn’t left out.
While a few of the neighboring apartments put out teal pumpkins last year, I plan on going to our church’s Reformation Carnival this year.
To prepare for this, I will potentially be doing one of a few things:
- Giving the alternatives treats to the folks running it beforehand.
- Swapping candy out after the fact.
- Having him donate the candy so he knows what is happening and giving him a basket at the end of the night full of special treats.
These are the alternative treats I’ll be using!
- Little toy trains (they have Thomas & Friends Trains for 99 cents each at my local Walmart)
- Coins for his piggy bank
- Rubber ducks
- YumEarth Organic Gummy Worms (free from the top 8 allergens)
- YumEarth Naturals Gummy Bears (free from the top 8 allergens)
- YumEarth Organic Lollipops (free from the top 8 allergens)
- YumEarth Organic Natural Sour Jelly Beans (free from the top 8 allergens)
- Homemade “Coupon” for use at the store
- Lemonade packets (we like True Lemon because it has a tiny ingredient list and no artificial sweeteners)
- Dehydrated fruit
- Lip balm (my kiddo loves playing with mine)
- Bouncy balls
How are you handling Halloween for your little one with food allergies?
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I grew up in a little fundamentalist community, one in which any mention of Halloween was met with a hellfire and brimstone sermon about how trick or treating would send you to hell. It may come as no surprise that my parents forbade my sister and I from telling people that we did, in fact, go trick or treating.
My parents believed that Halloween was a harmless holiday that was purely for fun. It had no spiritual bearing. Because everyone else hyped their concerns up so much, we’d often facetiously say, “Man, I hope I don’t end up a child sacrifice tonight” as we walked out the door in our costume.
As an adult, I’ve looked into the origins a bit to determine if there was anything to worry about. The only “proof” friends could produce of it being the devil’s holiday was from blogs with no footnotes, resources, or references that looked like the sites had been designed in the 90s (so, not gleaming beacons of credibility, to say the least).
What I found was that there are people who have left paganism and know a good bit about what goes down on Halloween night. The day is a big one for them and, understandably, many of those who have left that faith will not go out on Halloween.
I don’t believe that either side is 100% correct, but I think they both hold some truth. I think that folks who are convicted against participating in Halloween are valid in their concerns because there can be spiritually damaging activities in the holiday, but I also believe that it is just another day that the Lord has made and we shouldn’t fear it.
I think that this is an area in which certain Christians will have vastly different beliefs. Consider this passage that talks about believers eating meat that may have been sacrificed to idols. Some are confident that they may eat, but others are not. I believe this has applications to Halloween for believers.
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess[b] to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. – Romans 14:1-12 NIV
I have certainly changed my convictions on certain aspects of Halloween as I’ve grown, but I am comfortable with taking my son to the Reformation Carnival at church. That said, I fully support my friends who do not partake in Halloween and those who fully partake. I believe that this is an area in which we will have different convictions as Christians based on what is and isn’t spiritually good for us as individuals. As my former pastor says, let us be slow to define sin for our neighbor.
What do you think? Have your convictions on Halloween changed as you’ve aged?
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Read my latest: Feminism Can’t Fix What’s Wrong Between Men and Women
Purity Culture and Sexual Band-Aids (BDSM, Rape Fantasy, etc)
I talked about this a little in my book which is linked below, but I have observed a significant amount of people impacted by purity culture being drawn towards BDSM, Rape Fantasy, and other things that I would classify as sexual band-aids given the circumstances.
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Email me: Rebecca@newcrunchymom.com
“I just can’t do this anymore, Ed.” She was serious. “It’s just not going to work.”
“But Kathleen,” I pleaded, “it’s not my fault!”
I knew it was pointless to argue – this wasn’t the first time I’d had a girl break up with me after all. When a woman tells you it’s over, it’s never because they’re looking for stimulating conversation. It’s an expression of power, not an invitation to discussion.
“I don’t want to hear it. We’re done, Ed.”
There it was, the brick wall statement I couldn’t hope to bust through. I hated to hear it – we were so great together, Kathleen and I. Well, obviously she didn’t think so, but she’s not the first, like I said.
My name’s Ed. Ed Thomas. Ed Phono Thomas. ‘Ed’ is actually short for Edison. Yeah, as in Thomas Edison, inventor of the phonograph which, incidentally, should explain my middle name. I know, parents can be cruel.
Speaking of cruel, as I stood there watching Kathleen walk away I could only imagine that maybe I’d rather be burned with irons than by females. Not that I’d ascribe the word “cruel” to my new ex, necessarily, but at that moment I couldn’t think of any more appropriate adjectives.
Oh well, win-some-lose-some. Trouble is, I can’t seem to get the “win” part right. My record stands at 0-5. And that’s only counting this year since January. And it’s March. Yeah. Maybe I should go after Kathleen and thank her for helping me keep my perfect record. Maybe I should just go home.
I went home.
“Lost another one, huh?” said my roommate Soren from the kitchen of our little one bedroom apartment as I slammed the door.
“How’d you know?” I asked, collapsing just inside where our mangy couch broke my fall.
Soren walked in, the coffee cake my mother had baked for my birthday decorating his reddish-brown beard. He was chewing a carrot stick, no doubt trying to throw me off the trail. Little did he realize he was wearing the evidence.
“You know me,” he said through a mouthful of orange mush. “I’ve got the ESP. Ain’t nothing you can hide from me.”
“Dude, she had her profile updated before you even left.” Soren took another bite of his carrot stick and chewed noisily. “I thought about saying somethin’, but I guess I figured you should hear it from her.”
So, a coffee cake thief and a roommate deserter. I gave him what I hoped was my best evil eye and made a mental note to add habanero sauce to his stock of V8 juice at my earliest convenience.
“Thanks a lot.”
“Hey, it ain’t my fault you don’t have a facebook account,” Soren said by way of defending himself. “And it ain’t my fault you’re too skinny to keep a woman once she meets me and my friend.” He reached down and jiggled his belly, the biggest feature on his 300 pound, 6 foot even frame.
“Jimmy Stewart was a sex-symbol in his time,” I argued.
“So was Jack Black,” Soren countered.
“Oh yeah?” Soren had finished his carrot stick and sat down in the recliner he’d picked up on the side of the road last month. “Then why do I always sell more tickets to women than to men for his movies? And don’t you dare say it’s because he’s funny.”
Soren wanted to be an actor in the worst way. He worked in the local Cineplex, supposedly because it allowed him to “study the pros”. Personally, I think it’s because he knows that cleaning the silver screen is the closest he’s ever going to get to being on one, but he won’t admit it. He also has a vendetta against Jack Black, who he claims, “is stealing all my parts!”.
“By the way, dude, your grandpa called here earlier for you. Geez, why do you never carry your cell phone?” Soren grabbed the remote and clicked on the TV. “He said he’d call back later.”
That news cheered me up. My grandpa was one of the funniest, kindest, most down-to-earth people you could ever meet. Before grandma died the three of us would go down to the lake every summer for a week on the water. He’s gone downhill a bit since she passed, and we don’t keep in contact like we should, but even so, I’m always eager to hear from him.
For a moment I thought about just going ahead and calling him back. Soren, who was now absorbed in the movie “300” (“I could totally have been a Spartan; maybe there’ll be a sequel.”), read my mind and pointed to where my cell-phone sat on the arm of the couch. While I was deliberating, it rang.
I picked it up without looking at the caller ID.
“Grandpa?” It was not. Nor was it Kathleen, though I confess to hoping for the possibility. It was my mother.
“Oh, hi mom,” I said into the speaker.
“Tell her we’re out of coffee cake,” said Soren without taking his eyes off the battle of Thermopylae. I pitched a pillow at him and darted from the room before he could retaliate.
“That’s not why they’re called ‘throw pillows’!” he called after me, then I heard the volume go up.
“Sorry, mom,” I said, walking into the bathroom and closing the door to drown out the sound of dying Persians. “How are you?”
The other end of the phone was silent for a moment before my mother spoke up.
“I’m doing okay, Edison.” She was one of the few living people I’d allow to call me by my full name. “I’m calling about your grandfather.”
“Yeah, grandpa called me earlier today.”
“Did you talk to him?”
“No, I was out with Kathleen.” I couldn’t tell her that story just yet. “I was actually just about to call him back. What about him did you want to say?”
The other end was silent again, except this time the quiet was broken by a loud sniff, followed by what could have been my mother blowing her nose.
“What is it, ma?”
Do you know that feeling you get when you become aware that bad news is coming – you just haven’t heard it yet? Sometimes it’s accompanied by tunnel vision, or sometimes a chill in the sternal region of your chest cavity? I got both, and my mother’s next words told me why.
“Your grandpa went to the doctor this morning. I guess they sent him to the hospital for a CT scan. They found a brain tumor.” Now I could tell, she was definitely crying. “It’s inoperable, Edison. The doctor gave him six months.”
Outside, on the TV, I could hear Leonidas talking with one of his men.
“It’s an honor to die at your side.”
“It’s an honor to have lived at yours.”
Written by Thomas Lemke. You can follow him at tjelemke.com
My friend Raymond and I have started a new podcast. It is also up on iTunes and Stitcher! I got a bit uppity on this one so there is a language warning. Here is the synopsis:
“An Atheist and a Christian come together to discuss social issues in the world. We want to show everyone that a solitary belief does not make a person and that we are more alike than we think. No-holds barred, we talk about EVERYTHING, and we discuss topics from our entirely different backgrounds.”
Here is the episode synopsis:
“Today on our very first episode, Rebecca and I talk about the good that men do, silly things that we see on social media, gun culture and lots more. Come on in and have a listen. Rebecca and I plan to run this every week, airing on a Sunday night. We plan to show others that two people of different walks of life can have more in common than we are different. Tune in, judge for yourself.”
I am now a syndicated writer over at The Relationship Blogger. Here is my first article, “How Purity Culture Reinforces Rape Culture through Victim Blaming”