This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hallowe'en is thought to have originated 2000 years ago as the Celtic "end of summer" festival called Samhain. Prominent in the celebration were autumn crops such as pumpkins, apples, and various gourds. The Celtic new year began on November 1st.

The Romans were great adopters of the cultures they conquered. When they took over the Celtish peoples in about 43 C.E., they integrated Samhain within a pagan festival they celebrated, Feralia, that was celebrated in late October. Feralia was a day to commemorate the dead.

Christianity spread through the Roman Empire, and remained in the Roman lands once the empire fell. In the eighth century Pope Gregory III established a syncretic holiday between the pagan and Roman Catholic belief systems, that November 1st would become All Hallows' Day. All Saints' Eve, the day before All Hallows' Day, was the time when the wicked spirits roamed free. It was celebrated with bonfires, parades, and people wearing costumes of saints, angels, and devils. Turnips were carved in Ireland and Scotland and made into lanterns to remember the souls in purgatory; this custom came to America although the immigrants used pumpkins because they were easier to carve.

For myself, ever since my kids were scared in a "haunted" house when they were little, I've hated Hallowe'en. People laugh at the common themes of death, evil, occult, monsters, demons, zombies, witches, and so forth but really, these things are not funny. The idea of Hell (and yes, I believe there is such a place) should terrify anyone. Even though the children trick-or-treating door to door in ballerina and Superman costumes are cute, these dark themes remain with worries of candy poisoning and worse.

Yes, I may be an uptight mom, but our family no longer celebrates Hallowe'en. Throughout the year we always have various candy around if anyone wants it, although frankly the peanut butter cups or M&Ms sometimes aren't eaten for months. So the trick-or-treating loot isn't a big deal for the kiddos. We get a pizza and watch a fun movie together in the family room. Our house is in an area that doesn't receive trick-or-treaters, so this makes it easier. (I would answer the door if we did have them, though. In our previous house one year while studying for a test I put out a bowl of candy instead of answering the door. I heard some pig kids mount the steps, and when I checked the bowl after the hooting and chortling saw they'd taken everything. I shouldn't have been surprised, I guess).

This year kiddos are big enough that they're both going to dance parties with costumes, rather than our traditional pizza. This sounds like more fun than the spooky, evil stuff.

I don't really have a point here, except that I don't like Hallowe'en. Can you tell?

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