I have been thinking about why I like Halloween so much, especially since so many other Christians think it’s Satanic. But it’s probably my second-favorite holiday, after Christmas.
It’s the most neighborly holiday we have. If Christmas is when we’re nice to strangers, Easter is when we go to church, and Thanksgiving is when we’re nice to family, then Halloween is surely when we’re nice to neighbors. We feed them candy! We go to their houses and talk to them! We talk to tens or even hundreds of people in our neighborhoods, exchange names, make new friends, and have an opportunity to spend the entire evening with some neighbors by teaming up for the trick-or-treat rounds. It’s a holiday chock-full of opportunities for witnessing, even without handing out tracts.
It’s not particularly Satanic. I’ve read a lot of articles in the past month about why Halloween is “wrong” because of the importance it holds on the Wiccan calendar. But the reality is that Wiccans stole it just as much as the church did. It’s a Celtic end-of-harvest festival. There’s no historical connection back to some human-sacrificing-Wiccans, and in fact the church has been celebrating it (as All Hallows Eve) much longer than Wiccans have.
It’s the one day of the year when the world looks its fallenness full in the face. Decorating our yards with skeletons, ghosts, and tombstones? Pretending to be dead people? Thinking about dead people? Telling scary stories and creeping through graveyards? The whole event is a festival of death, in more ways than one. It’s a definite fall festival, taking place as the last leaves are falling off the trees and the summer warmth is fading for the last time until spring. And it is definitely based on human death as well, as both the decorations and the costumes (which traditionally over the centuries were people dressing up as the dead) attest. In a certain way–Halloween is the holiday when the world is honest with itself and acknowledges the reality of death and even of the afterlife, all very openly, bluntly, and gruesomely. It’s not the Gospel, but it’s one of the first steps. I hadn’t appreciated this fully until this year with a highly inquisitive two-year-old along for the ride: just try explaining Halloween decorations, even just the ones you run into in store aisles, without talking about death and dying and even Hell. Not possible.
It’s an honest holiday. This is one of the things that bugs me tremendously about Easter and Christmas: they’re so taken over by the church that people actually complain that the world is taking them over. It just isn’t so. They’re all pagan holidays. Halloween’s just the only one that we actually admit is a pagan holiday.
So I have finally realized a simple truth, that you might have thought I’d have grasped a pregnancy or two ago: the third trimester is exhausting. And maybe it’s worse when there are two toddlers to chase around, but honestly I think I’d be pretty exhausted even without their interference.
My biggest “problem” this time is that I had a routine, and was doing a reasonable job of keeping laundry washed, food on the table (and more importantly, off the floor), kids happy and schooled, and dust bunnies banished. Things weren’t perfect, but for perhaps the first time in my life, I was starting to understand how the whole housekeeping thing was supposed to work.
Now it’s really, truly all I can do to keep up on the bare minimum: the kitchen and dining room are cleaned enough to keep flies away, the clothes are washed and folded but not put away, dinner is getting kind of repetitive and chronically simple (but still edible, I think, and occasionally in existence), and the floors are getting vacuumed but rarely mopped.
And the blog, you’ll notice, is perilously close to abandoned. I don’t have energy to think at the end of the day, much less write! Hopefully it’ll be back by February.
All this is driving me CRAZY. I”˜d forgotten how tiring this stage was–or maybe I just plain didn’t realize in the first place since I had lower expectations for myself–and I didn’t see it coming at all. This pregnancy has been more comfortable up to this point than the other two, and I guess I assumed it was going to keep going so nicely. So now I’m really struggling with figuring out what is laziness and what is genuine inability to do what I “need” to do. Some critical points I’m trying to focus on:
- Trying to be realistic without being complainy. Which is hard. There’s a certain amount of communication necessary, but it’s always easy to wallow, too. 🙂
- Figuring out what really needs to be done, and what can realistically get done less often–or not at all–until January. I probably don’t need to be cleaning out the basement or blogging.
- Using every moment I do feel okay. They’re not very often, but some days I have an hour or so. I’m trying to be conscious of those and work like crazy until I’m ready to fall out. Some days (like today) they don’t seem to happen at all.
- Asking for help with activities that should be easy for a normal person, but aren’t for me. Like picking up ten million toys off the floor this might take Seth ten minutes, but a lot longer (and a lot more exhausting) for me right now. Other things, like running to the store, aren’t a lot slower for me to push through myself.
All this to say, the blog isn’t “dead” or on hiatus, but I definitely won’t be keeping up with a remotely regular schedule of posting anytime soon.