October 30, 2000

Halloween cancelled in favor of 'Josh day?'

Josh Renaud

The end of October is always a little weird for me.

There are two big events at the end of October, two events that people everywhere await with baited breath: Halloween and International Josh Day.

I've never participated in Halloween. I was raised in a Christian family, and my parents didn't like the way the holiday celebrated all things dark and demonic. So, we never celebrated it. It was one of those things that make you stick out as a kid.

But I'm not a kid anymore. I'm now passing from childhood and adolescence to full-fledged adulthood, or so they tell me. Oct. 29 is my birthday, which I call "International Josh Day" for no particular reason.

I suppose at this point in life, many people choose to shed the traditions, religions, and rules they were raised under. I know many folks do that during adolesence.

Me? I don't intend to change much. I've enjoyed the traditions of my family. We're quite unusual in a lot of ways. For instance, before every meal we pray and then together we all say "I love you" in three long, drawn-out syllables.

Growing up, my friends and even some of my more distant family members didn't know what to make of that ritual. But I can't remember ever eating dinner without doing it, and I like the message. It's important for family members to affirm their love for each other.

So I'll keep doing it.

What about the Halloween thing? I'll keep doing that, too, because I agree with my parents. I believe there are better things that we as humans could be celebrating. I like the holidays that make us think about valor and sacrifice (Veteran's Day), love (Valentine's Day), God's blessings (Thanksgiving), and so on.

But for now, I've got bigger and better things to think about. "International Josh Day" is coming soon, although festivities will have ended by the time you read this. This is one tradition that definitely won't die--every member of my family gets to choose their favorite birthday meal and birthday cake.

If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that you can't beat chicken-fried cube steak with roast potatoes, white gravy, green beans, and coffee cake.

Maybe it's not so weird a time of year, after all.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.

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