With fall comes Halloween and, this year, the dilemma of whether to participate when it falls on a Sunday.
Growing up, my parents would graciously decline the birthday party invitations that we received when they were scheduled for a Sunday. Many of these parties involved going to places, such a pizza parlors, that most Mormons would eschew on Sundays. But others were merely gatherings at homes. Still, they got the same treatment. I also remember Halloweens that fell on a Sunday. Some members would not let their children participate and sponsored special Saturday Trick-or-Treats. But my parents, it turns out, didn’t have an objection to trick-or-treating on Sunday. More recently, I’ve been to wards where church activities were not allowed to be held on the Friday and Saturday before fast Sunday. In other wards, this seems fine.
No one should criticize anyone else’s Sunday worship practices in this post. However, I have to confess that I am puzzled as to why we sometimes think it is taboo to participate in these activities when they touch on the Sabbath. They are amongst the few opportunities that we have to come together with our neighbors in celebration. They do not immediately strike me as incompatible with principles of Sunday worship.
So my question to the bloggernaccle: How widespread are these decisions to not celebrate holidays/birthdays that fall on Sundays? For those who opt not to celebrate, what factors motivate you? Does it matter where the celebration is held or what the holiday is? What factors motivate those who do participate?