Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween/Fall Festival Fun Memories by Cindy Hester

Growing up I always loved Halloween - not because it was supposedly the "devil's holiday" (I didn't even know there was a "devil's holiday!") I loved it because it gave me the chance to dress up as something fun and mystical. I also loved the fact that Halloween signaled the beginning of fall, and  two of my other favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, were not far behind. (Oh who am I kidding? I love all of the holidays.)

We always had so much fun at the school carnivals. I especially loved dressing up and getting to be a part of the costume parade in town. All of the students would start at the elementary school and march throughout the streets waving and having a blast showing off our costumes. We always ended back at the school for the carnival where there were all kinds of games and booths, and even a spook house. I can close my eyes and smell the frito pie, corn dogs and hot dogs cooking in the old school cafeteria, with a whiff of caramel apples and cotton candy every now and then. I can hear and feel  my breath against the plastic casper the ghost mask that fit snugly against my face with a rubber band around the back holding it in place. It was pure, innocent fun.


 


My sister, Melody, and friends in front of the old elementary school
cafeteria where those delicious frito pies, hot dogs and corn dogs
were served.
Dad and Mom always made the holiday fun for us kids. We usually would get creative and make our costumes since there was no such thing as Party City or even Wal Mart in those days. About the only place to purchase Halloween costumes was Perry Brothers, a local five and dime store. Of course no one wanted to look like everyone else, so we would usually try to come up with something on our own.


 


I must have been dressed as Madea (way ahead of my time, huh?!),
and I don't think Mary wanted to stand still for the picture!

I remember one year all of the kids from church went out to the farm for a hay ride as part of our Fall Festival. There were kids and adults enjoying themselves as if they were kids once again. I remember the moon was full like it has been the past few days around here, so it was sort of bright even for night time. Dad turned off the tractor lights as he drove down the dirt road in the woods that led back to the creek. We were singing and having the best time, until someone jumped out of the woods scaring the living daylights out of us. That was the highlight of the evening.

Then there were the times our house got wrapped by some of the teenagers at church. Mom heard them moving around outside my bedroom window, so Dad thought it would be fun to scare them. I remember crouching down beside the bed giggling, waiting for them to come back closer to my window. At the time we had those windows that when opened could be clicked into place at several different heights. When opened quickly, they sounded like an automatic gun going off. Dad waited until they got to the chair right next to the window, then he flung it open as fast as he could. I have never seen kids scatter so fast in all my life. We all sat there rolling on the floor laughing while Dad ran out to tell them all was okay.

Isn't it wonderful to know that God gives us laughter and fun out of even those things man tries to make into something bad. And isn't it wonderful to know that we don't have to dress up in a costume to be a different, new creation. All we have to do is trust in God's precious Son, Jesus, who died to give us an abundant, joyful life. He promises to make a new creation from our old despondent, worn out, hopeless selves.




Thank You, Lord, that You chose to provide us with new life instead of tricking us like old Satan tries to do. Thank You that You give joy unspeakable to those who simply accept You and who build a relationship with you. Thank You that You enjoy seeing Your children have fun and be playful. Help us to be mindful to share Your love this Halloween season, and please keep our children safe. Please help us to create wonderful, happy, innocent memories for them to look back on.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

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