Many children entered the class this morning wishing each other a "happy Halloween!" They shared discussions about their Halloween plans as they did puzzles and settled down on the mat waiting for their friends to arrive. I heard one little boy say "my family doesn't celebrate Halloween." So I felt it was something worth discussing with the children.
First I asked several children to explain what Halloween was.
"It's trick or treat."
"We dress up scary."
"It doesn't have to be scary. My sister is dressing up as a unicorn."
"No, you have to dress up scary."
"We go around getting sweets."
We talked about how important it was to make sure that they would be going around with a grown up that they know and that we should never go to meet new people or take treats from them without a grown up that we know with us.
I then asked the children if some of them were not going to be doing Halloween. A few of them said they wouldn't be. We discussed how different families celebrate different things. Some families do not celebrate Christmas. Some families celebrate Hanukkah. Some families celebrate Ramadan. Some families celebrate birthdays. We have had a role pretend birthday party in the role play area this week.
I explained that some families may not celebrate Halloween because it isn't Australian, but came from another country. Some families may not celebrate Halloween because they do not like to celebrate scary things. Some families do like to celebrate Halloween because it is nice to 'meet and 'treat' your neighbours.
In our Devotions time over the last few weeks we have been reading about Jesus dying on the cross and coming to life again, to rescue us from sin so that we can be friends with God. This morning I talked to the children about how Halloween reminds me that Jesus is the boss of everything, even the scary things. He showed us when He came alive again that He is the boss of sin, which is the biggest, scariest, yuckiest thing ever because it stops us being friends with God.
In the next few weeks we will be exploring people who are Australian and it would wonderful to hear about aspects of different cultures within our families, including different ways you celebrate together.
For News for the remainder of the year, I will be encouraging the children to bring in pictures, artefacts, or talk about celebrations they share with their family, or other aspects of their culture. If your family speaks a different language at home, we would love for you to teach us how to count from 1-10 in your langugeg. You can write it down, or come and teach the class yourself! We also have a song that we sing as a prayer of thanks for our food that I would love to have translated into your home languages as well, if you are comfortable with that.