I arrived back home in south London this evening to heaps and heaps of autumn leaves blanketing the pavements, and hoards of children, from babies upwards, with their parents, trudging through the piles of leaves and dressed up in exquisite costumes ready for trick-or-treating.
This is a source for some debate in our area. On the one hand, American-style celebration of Hallowe’en seems to have gripped our little corner of London: it’s like a Saturday morning on the Northcote Road – you can barely move for the number of children (only a very slight exaggeration). On the other hand, some parents are adamantly against it. I met recently for a drink with the yummy mummies who were received into the Church in our parish last Easter. We still meet up regularly (thankfully, they are not part of the 75% in London who are received into the Church and soon afterwards lapse). No, I found what they had to say really heartening: they will not take their children trick-or-treating – firstly, because it’s not Catholic (woah! My jaw dropped at that one! I don’t think we ever talked about trick-or-treating during RCIA) and secondly, because it’s too American (sorry to my American readers…) We’re just a bit stuffy.
I’m sitting on the fence. If it’s really just about dressing up as cartoon characters, having fun, getting sweets, I don’t see that it’s too bad. I think Catholic families should do what they can to ‘Christianise’ activities like this – not succumbing to the competitive approach with which pushy parents often come at them. But that goes for any other fun activity…
What are your thoughts? Are you out trick-or-treating tonight?!