In past years our family would join friend for a night of food and fellowship, and yes we would dress up and go trick-or-treating. Well, my husband would stay at the house and pass out candy and give the older trick-or-treaters a hard time. But it was fun and I didn’t at all feel uneasy about it.
Then our friends who hosted the night moved out of state and we moved north. And, well, that was the end of our group Halloween. The next couple years we took the kids to the great-grandparents house (about 5 minutes away) and went to the non-scary houses on the street closest to ours – we didn’t live on an actual street. They seriously knocked on maybe 15 houses and got WAY too much candy.
This year we are in a new state, a new neighborhood and we are trying to figure out how to do things. Last year my husband was ready to cancel all holidays – which of course didn’t go over well with me or the kids.
But we want so desperately to be intentional about what we do with our kids. We’ve been in a survival mode for most of our marriage – post finding out about our surprise first child. And often times we’ve let life roll over and around us.
I am also finding more and more this was the case for my parents when I was growing up. And looking back as an adult I see why. I see their circumstances. So as much as I want to scream at my parents and ask, “Why?!?”, why did they not lead us more? Why did they not question? Why, most of the time, did they just go along with it? I see, just as we are trying to stay above water, they were as well. But I am ending that cycle! Because even through the contradictory upbringing, they did teach us to question and think for ourselves.
I was definitely leaning towards cutting out and cutting back this year. To my surprise my son’s new Christian preschool does a lot with Halloween. NOT A HAPPY MAMA. Our last Christian school did fall and thanksgiving activities, no mention of Halloween and I liked it this way. It was much easier to decide for ourselves what we wanted to do.
So I have been reading and mulling and debating. And this is a REALLY hot topic this year. Last year it didn’t seem to be that way. I am not sure if the state of he country just has people on edge and willing to argue or what. Maybe people are just buckling down into their convictions more – which I think is great. Regardless, this is an issue between you and God.
- How and Why We Gave Up Trick-or-Treating – It’s Not What You Expect
- Five Minutes on Halloween
- Christians Love Halloween (And If They Don’t, They Should…)
- 10 Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye
- 3 TIPS FOR DISCIPLING YOUR KIDS THROUGH HALLOWEEN
- Celebrating Halloween as a Christian
- Redeeming Halloween: How Should Christians Approach Halloween?
- The Christian and Halloween
- The 4 Things Halloween Teaches Our Children
- Confessions of a Ghost Buster
- How we handle Halloween junk- The Sneaky Scarecrow
- Should Christians Participate in Halloween
- Halloween Round Up
- On Halloween (also a good follow up linked)
Well honestly I am still on the fence. We are in but not of the world. I think that has to be the number one lesson for our children.
While I would like to redeem Halloween – claim it for Christ, I can’t work that out in my head. We are not Catholic, so I can’t justify the All Saints Day – though I do believe there have been many men and women worthy of remembering who fought valiantly for biblical truth. There are a few who celebrate reformation day instead.
At one time I had thoughts of writing a book with historical truths and telling what the symbols we associate with Halloween mean and trying to figure out some biblical relation. Some way to center this holiday on Christ. But right now it’s just not in me.
Some people have a problem with the costumes. For us we are not going to celebrate or make light of any evil symbols. My children will not ever be dressing as evil, dead or gory things (Abstain from all appearance of evil. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:22). Personally I don’t like being scared. I don’t watch horror movies. I don’t do haunted houses, the rare occasions when I was young, I was the one punching anything that came at me.
My kids are too young to do these things. And honestly I see no value in them. (I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23)
Every kids loves playing dress up. Even I like to get dressed up, right ladies? It is sometimes nice to wear something extraordinarily pretty or fun. I think dressing up is for anytime. We have often had “come dressed up as” for our kids birthday parties. I love the idea in England of having “fancy dress parties” and I think these should be year round!
So when we dress up on October 31st, though everyone else is, I see it no different than my children playing with their dress up clothes any other day of the year. That being said, we do not go get or make Halloween specific costumes. They have a dress up box and that is what they get to choose from.
We don’t really do candy. I am so sick of every holiday, celebration, letter of the week, reward and otherwise being centered around sugar, GMOs and fake food! This is a whole other rant.
But really, what other point is there to going “trick-or-treating”? Here are a few ideas our Facebook fans gave us:
- Let them trade it in for a toy
- Sell it to a dentist, per pound
- Do the “Candy Fairy” or “Switch Witch” – for healthier treats
- Let them have as many as they can eat after it is checked that night and make it disappear the next morning
- Pick 10-20 pieces and trash the rest
I love fall colors. I also had a much beloved black cat I got when I was almost 16 and my children too were able to to know and love him. Thus our love of black cats! He was named Dreizehn (13 in German, cause guess what, I am NOT superstitious).
A few years ago I started purging Christmas decorations – with the exception of our family’s tradition of yearly ornaments – anything that was a secular representation of the materialism of Christmas left the house. Why not take the same approach to Halloween? And every other Holiday for that matter.
My daughter loves decorating the house. There have been a few years that we, because of moving or chaos in our lives, have not put out all or anything for certain times of the year. If she want to make fall decorations I am all for it! But we are not doing secular Halloween – creepy, gross, yucky stuff. There is no other time of the year I would put witch’s hats, spiders, ghosts or cobwebs to adorn my home – why on this day?
Other days of the year I would have a centerpiece of seasonal fruits and other nature leaves and flowers. So I am okay with that! And I really want some of those mini pumpkins on a stick – which are really a variety of eggplant!
For the Now
This year we are cutting back.
We are not trick-or-treating.
We are not darkening our home.
We are having a family night.
We are handing out candy.
We are making some semi-healthy, or should I say “not as bad” treats together.
I loved being able to answer the door and pass out candy when I was a kid. For some reason it was fun. I have watched both my children’s faces as they have received joy at the happiness of other children.
We are going to make homemade caramel either this or this one. Dip apple slices, make homemade candy corn, and hopefully start our Thanksgiving Tree. Tonight the kids and I will look at my Pinterest Halloween Board and decide what all we want to do.
Here’s the thing. I am at peace about what we are doing for this year. Though deep down I would really just like it to go away and not be an issue, we are doing what we can now. And I am okay with that.
When I first mentioned that we are not going trick-or-treating this year, my daughter (7 years old), turned into a toddlers, fell to the ground and started crying. Too much change recently? Anyway, we talked. They are excited about our plans and I think understand why we are doing it this way. Of course we will talk about it again tomorrow.
I do hope that each year we can take small steps as a family to point our children more and more intentionally towards Christ.
Where are you finding your Peace with God this Halloween?
Be respectful, be kind. Speak what you believe is truth in love.
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