Halloween Through to Christmas: Like it or Loathe it?

  • I'm going to be honest. I love it when the clocks go back. The dark nights, cosy and warm with the telly on, curl;ed up on the sofa eating hot cheese on toast for supper as you snuggle up under a duvet! But, I'm not going to admit to liking everything. I don't "do" or "get" Halloween. It is an old Celtic festival hijacked by the Americans to turn into a dumbass festival where you are meant to enjoy yourself. The roots of Hallowe'en (spelt correctly) are sinister and macabre and yet, here we are in modern Britain, with most unaware of the origins or the meaning of what the English used to observe as a day where you would observe the transition between the living and the dead. Many Halloween traditions, like wearing masks, telling ghost stories, and carving vegetables into lanterns, sprung directly from Samhain celebrations. The Church contributed to Halloween celebrations as we know it, too: an activity called souling, when a person would go from house to house asking for cakes in return for praying for the souls of those in the house, was popular during the later Middle Ages, and may be the inspiration for our modern-day trick-or-treating.


    31st October was chosen as the date for Hallowe'en by Pope Gregory IV in the year 835. This date just happened to coincide with the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was a commemoration for the dead. But like most Celtic and Pagan festivals, the Christians stole to make it into their own observation event.


    But, Hallowe'en asides, I do feel poignant and proud each Remembrance weekend and then, gleefully get excited when Christmas approaches. I love the mid-November through to Christmas Day period. It really is my favourite time of the year. The twinkling tree lights, the presents, the music. The whole ambience of occasion. Is this your favourite time of the year? Or do you long for the never ending days of Summer? I'm not a summer fan. Never have been, but between now and Christmas, I simply love it. I do not observe New Year though.

  • Don't agree about the cold weather.:) Don't like hot weather, either! I was about to say I prefer California weather, but considering the news from there today, perhaps not!


    Halloween now in Britain, is the Americanised version and although I'm slow to come round to things, I quite like seeing all the kids dressing in different costumes. So, yes, I like Halloween again, the new version. I did used to do a pumpkin and that tradition may be restored in the future.


    Due to personal circumstances, I've not seen a fireworks show in a very, very, long time. I love fireworks. I always try to go out into the street for a bit to watch some of them and hope to see a proper show in the future.


    I used to watch Remembrance Day and its events and when I worked in central London, would always go to the see the flowers at the cenotaph trying not to get run over by taxis and couriers! In recent years I've not been able to see the remembrance day events, though, but I hope to see them on tv and one day, go back to attending actual events. We only have the lives we have today because of the sacrifice of others.


    I don't have kids, and my own family lost a member last year, so not really had a lot of time to enjoy Christmas over the last several years due to caring responsibilities. It was just a work day, like any other, but with all the extra Christmas duties and jobs on top, so really didn't enjoy it to be honest. That said, every year I get all the decorations out and tree and spend a whole weekend decorating the house and always do a Christmas dinner. Hate Christmas tv now, so that stays off.


    Again, copying the Americans, some locals in my area get very competitive about external Christmas decorations and lights for their houses and although I initially hated this, it really brightens things up, so now love it.


    Used to love New Year, but my last proper celebration was at the millennium. I hate crowds, but despite that, I went to central London and although I couldn't last it out to midnight, I did enjoy the atmosphere up until the crowds along the embankment got too much for me. Since then, New Year Eve's I've either been on my own, or over the last decade, was busy with caring responsibilities. That said, the tv was on at midnight and I love the fireworks display from London.

  • I hate Halloween with a passion. It has become repugnant, full of horror, blood, axes in heads and violent films and is something that is creeping across the world from America. Samhain has vanished. The reverence of the ancestral dead is not even a memory, it is itself dead.


    Christmas where I am is in summer and is celebrated for me with a nice dinner, but most now do a barbecue. When I was a child Christmas was magical with lots of decorations and a tree and families. Things have changed.


    New Year is a horror night of fireworks which terrify the animals and cause pollution. Fireworks now sound like bombs and guns.

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

  • I don't mind this time of year in general as a time of year, as for Hallowe'en and the Americanised concept of begging with menaces not keen on that, Christmas I don't mind that it brightens up the place, new year don't bother with that now it's been turned into what seems like a bomb festival.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I hate Halloween with a passion. It has become repugnant, full of horror, blood, axes in heads and violent films and is something that is creeping across the world from America. Samhain has vanished. The reverence of the ancestral dead is not even a memory, it is itself dead.


    Christmas where I am is in summer and is celebrated for me with a nice dinner, but most now do a barbecue. When I was a child Christmas was magical with lots of decorations and a tree and families. Things have changed.


    New Year is a horror night of fireworks which terrify the animals and cause pollution. Fireworks now sound like bombs and guns.

    I couldn't imagine Christmas in the summer. Although since 2011 the temperature on Christmas Day has been between 12 and 16 degrees, so it does feel as though it's a Spring festival lately! I am hoping for colder weather this year as a proper winter has been absent for many years now.


    I share your views on Hallowe'en with a passion. Old English customs of reverance, apple bobbing and sitting in darkened rooms with candles telling ghost stories are long gone, and it is ghosts and the occult that need observing, not zombies or mass murderers or psychopaths. A "let's butcher a dozen people to death" type mentality has crept into the festival and it is a far cry of what it should be. I often wonder if other religions would be so lenient over their festivals changing from one of reverance, to something all singing, all dancing glitz, colour and commercialism. Perhaps Ramadan could bnecome a thirty day disco with food and drink aplenty, but as long as the Muslims don't eat chocolate until sundown, all will be well? Do you think they'd go for that?


    Part of the reason for the decline of Christianity is that they made Christian festivals secular. Now people celebrate things not even knowing why they are celebrated. A prime example was a Newsroom South-East report about the Church of England using stark imagery of a blood covered Christ on a cross for Easter. One Reading woman said "That's terrible. That'll frighten the kiddies. What's images like that got to do with Easter? Easter is about chicks, bunnies and chocolate eggs. Not horror movies!"

  • Religions from the middle east have nothing to do with solstice festivals. Easter used to be the spring festival in the northern hemisphere. Christmas was Yule. If people went back to being more in tune with the earth and where they are on it, perhaps various celebrations to honour the old ways might be enjoyable and keep children close to their true roots.


    In the present time, everything has gone down the pan and is focused on crass materialism and shopping.


    I don't know what the future will look like. That depends on how far people are willing to go to give up the past.


    Spring is about new life, not about dead Jewish reformers nailed to crosses. They can dump that down the deepest well as far as I am concerned. It's macabre.

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

  • As a Christian, I clearly, and obviously disagree with you. Yes, Spring is about new life, but Easter isn't. You can of course equate Christmas and Easter to pagan rituals, and of course, that is wholly acceptable, but I observe Christianity, and whilst I acknowledge and respect paganism, I observe Christmas as the birth of Christ, and Easter as the death of Christ. So, in that respect, the Church of England imagery has everything to do, moreso in fact, with Easter, than chicks and chocolate. Of course the crucifixion is macabre. It's meant to be. It is meant to teach us the error of our ways and to warn of the consequencies whilst at the same time reminding us of the pain Jesus endured so we can live by the morals we practice today.

  • My local Sainsbury's has had mince pies in for two weeks now. Far too soon IMO. Local Toby carvery was taking Xmas bookings in September. The actual day is £50 a head.8|


    We don't "do" Christmas until the second week of December when the tree and decorations go up.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

  • I don't mind this time of year in general as a time of year, as for Hallowe'en and the Americanised concept of begging with menaces not keen on that, Christmas I don't mind that it brightens up the place, new year don't bother with that now it's been turned into what seems like a bomb festival.

    You'll get from my tone on here that overall I'm petty negative about the police due to my experiences with my neighbours from hell, thread coming soon!


    Over the last 3-4 years or so, the police have cracked down on all the teenagers doing the aggressive trick and treating. I'm not quite sure how the police do it, but I think if they see groups of kids over the age of 12, they get stopped and sent home on Halloween night. So, Halloween is now filled with groups of very excitable young children going round the streets in their fantastic costumes doing trick and treating. It livens up what would otherwise be a dark and gloomy evening and I have finally warmed to it.

  • My local Sainsbury's has had mince pies in for two weeks now. Far too soon IMO. Local Toby carvery was taking Xmas bookings in September. The actual day is £50 a head.8|


    We don't "do" Christmas until the second week of December when the tree and decorations go up.

    My new Co-Op had them when they opened last month. Me and sweet things....;)

  • As a Christian, I clearly, and obviously disagree with you. Yes, Spring is about new life, but Easter isn't. You can of course equate Christmas and Easter to pagan rituals, and of course, that is wholly acceptable, but I observe Christianity, and whilst I acknowledge and respect paganism, I observe Christmas as the birth of Christ, and Easter as the death of Christ. So, in that respect, the Church of England imagery has everything to do, moreso in fact, with Easter, than chicks and chocolate. Of course the crucifixion is macabre. It's meant to be. It is meant to teach us the error of our ways and to warn of the consequencies whilst at the same time reminding us of the pain Jesus endured so we can live by the morals we practice today.

    For me, when I was younger, as well as the presents.... I did associate Christmas with Christ. Going to Sunday School kind of drills that into you.... but these days, the religious element is eliminated for me. Same with Easter, although that was probably due to Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas and all the religious films that used to be on, but again, for me, the religious element is completely removed and will never come back.


    I don't like the consumerism of Christmas and other festivals now, but I would never go back to the religious version either. My brother, for various reasons, is planning to take the remaining members of my family to Church on Christmas Eve as he knows I enjoy choir music. What he should also understand, is I like being in my own home, not in draughty Church on that day, but we'll see what happens.

  • For me, when I was younger, as well as the presents.... I did associate Christmas with Christ. Going to Sunday School kind of drills that into you.... but these days, the religious element is eliminated for me. Same with Easter, although that was probably due to Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas and all the religious films that used to be on, but again, for me, the religious element is completely removed and will never come back.


    I don't like the consumerism of Christmas and other festivals now, but I would never go back to the religious version either. My brother, for various reasons, is planning to take the remaining members of my family to Church on Christmas Eve as he knows I enjoy choir music. What he should also understand, is I like being in my own home, not in draughty Church on that day, but we'll see what happens.

    I go to to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It is part of my Christmas ritual. I like the atmosphere of the carols and the message of the Christmas story. It reminds me also of the ones who I have lost and it reaffirms the Christian message message of love and hope, hope being that Christmas instills a sense of eternity in our hearts and helps us believe that one day we will all be together again in heaven. I don't go to church on Christmas Day. It has become happy clappy with guitars and drums and singers who think they're wonderful. In my view that distorts the Christian message.

  • I like it but then I'm easily pleased and like the rest of the year too... I grew up near Lewes so bonfire night was the big one for me and Halloween was a total non-event. My kids got into the new style Halloween which was ok by me.


    Christmas I've always enjoyed with my family although I used to use up holiday and get some time off so was able to avoid the madness at weekends. Now I'm contracting so holiday costs me money and it might be a little different...

  • Anyone would think humans had no idea of morals, eternity, hope or good behaviour until we were salvaged by a middle eastern cult, or two. On top of that, it nicked all our festivals and burned, hanged, tortured and shunned anyone who dissented, including other Christians. No, I don't think it has much to offer that wasn't already there. As for having a message of love, this is also typical of cults that claim to have a message of peace. Often their history reveals no such thing and is a song of blood and conquest, with the added attraction of theft, brainwashing and oppression.


    The Earth, on the other hand, has been the silent witness to human suffering since first we opened our eyes and saw our brethren coming towards us, carrying clubs. 8)

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

  • Anyone would think humans had no idea of morals, eternity, hope or good behaviour until we were salvaged by a middle eastern cult, or two. On top of that, it nicked all our festivals and burned, hanged, tortured and shunned anyone who dissented, including other Christians. No, I don't think it has much to offer that wasn't already there. As for having a message of love, this is also typical of cults that claim to have a message of peace. Often their history reveals no such thing and is a song of blood and conquest, with the added attraction of theft, brainwashing and oppression.


    The Earth, on the other hand, has been the silent witness to human suffering since first we opened our eyes and saw our brethren coming towards us, carrying clubs. 8)

    Your post here proves that one age old myth. The older we get, the more cynical we become.

    Christianity is, like all religions, a mixture of old and new. Many pagan aspects are incorporated into Christianity. The whole good vs evil thing for one start. I guess it's just an evolution that takes place in everything humans are involved in.

  • Intelligence is what saved me from the religion we were all burdened with from birth whether we liked it or not.


    I questioned God, via my mother, when I was four years old. I found him to be unpleasantly fascist. I didn''t agree with her answer (she was a devout Christian.)


    I struggled on through all this nonsense , feeling a good deal of sympathy for Jesus as he was a real man and people treated him as badly as they treat one another, unsurprisingly. At the age of fifteen, I realised that one struggled with this religion because God doesn't exist. The sheer clarity that pervades the mind when this is acknowledged, after giving it a good try, is what motivates one to seek what perhaps does exist. That is a lifelong journey, possibly not interrupted even by death. 8)

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

  • I have always considered myself as a Respectable Heathen and the older I get the more I find that I respect members of any Religion only where it's followers lead caring, considerate and moral lives. We do have a great time at Halloween, and having lived in our home for nearly 50 years, we now welcome the Grand children of some of the young children who used to appear on our doorstep to be given very modest treats. The older children still dress up but tend to enjoy lurking at a distance together with the parents watching over the younger ones. My father died on 31st October. He came come to live with us when he was no longer confident to live on his own and my husband and I remember his absolute glee each year at slowly opening our front door and doing his Lurch impersonation. Much to the children's enjoyment John does his best to keep up my Dad's antics.


    Christmas is not a religious festival in either my, or my husband's families but we do have decorations and a tree and enjoy the chance to meet up and enjoy being all together.


    So in answer to the question. I love the winter months and the fun times they bring. I love the dark cozy nights but I hate the cold and wet days.

  • It's not something I have experienced since I was a kid and probably never will experience again, but if there are young children around, they bring excitement and energy to everything. As I said in my post, even I have come round to the Americanised version of Halloween now and if I had children of my own, I've no doubt I'd enjoy Halloween and Christmas even more.

  • I hate Halloween with a passion. It has become repugnant, full of horror, blood, axes in heads and violent films and is something that is creeping across the world from America.

    This is an example of what you're talking about:



    A fancy dress company has been criticised by psychiatrists for selling a Halloween costume they say stigmatises mental illnesses.


    Escapade's "psychotic nympho" dress has straitjacket sleeves, a lace-up collar and optional face paint for the "seductive goth" look.

  • They will sell anything, but then it's the consumer who can say no. If the consumer wants to wear this stuff, then one has to question the consumer's brain cell.

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

  • Indeed. It's some way removed from little girls and boys dressing up as witches and wizards, or spiderman and cinderella etc.


    I wonder if the clowns will be back this year? America was flooded with it last year with adults putting on scary clown masks and popping up everywhere.

  • The real clowns were highly miffed as this ruins their livelihood by portraying them as badasses.

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

  • I had clown phobia when I was a child. if one came anywhere near me I would scream blue murder.

    “Your youth and inexperience are your greatest enemies at present. Wait until the years have given you a longer perspective on this day. You may still regret your actions, but you will have no regrets concerning your cause.”

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