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Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween

WhyWeDontCelebrateHalloweenInPost

When we were kids, we’d dress up every Halloween and go door to door in our neighbourhood, collecting more popcorn, candy apples, cans of pop and miniature chocolate bars than we would see all year.  And we had so much fun!

We would plan our costumes for weeks beforehand, strategize about our trick-or-treating route for the most efficient way to collect the most candy, and then bask in the sweet glow of a sugar high for a full week following.  We made some wonderful memories, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

But these days, our own children don’t go out trick-or-treating.  Here’s why:

Halloween is a celebration of death, violence and the occult.

As sugar-coated as it is, Halloween is all about celebrating everything that God is not.  And that, by definition, dishonours God.

Halloween decorations are downright gory.

Gory Halloween decorations, creepy music, and blood curdling screams permeate the darkness when the kids are going door to door in our neighbourhood.  I would never want my children to become desensitized to the pain and hurt that violence causes.  Why should Halloween be a time to enjoy severed limbs and mutilated bodies?  Outrage over a dead dog Halloween prop forced Walmart and Sears to pull the item from their shelves.  Why isn’t there any outrage over bloody human body part decorations?

As well, many children (and adults too!) have undergone trauma as a result of abuse, domestic violence and war-related violence in their home country.  The scary sights and sounds of Halloween can be especially harmful for children like these.

As Christians, we need to be the light, not take part in darkness.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus talks about how you would never light a lamp and then cover it up.  It would be pointless.  So it is with God’s love.  He’s given it to us, and we need to shine that light to everyone we come in contact with.  Shrouding it in the celebration of evil will hide that light.

So here’s what we do instead:

We turn on our porch light and hand out treats.

Like 1 Peter 3:15 says, we do our best to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have in Christ.  And when people are literally knocking on our door asking for a handout, we need to be giving them that reason.

So we give out treats along with the most interesting tracts I can find.  We’ve used Million Dollar Bill tracts for a few years, and the kids really like the novelty of them.

We have a special party for our own kids.

Ever since our boys were little, we’ve had an annual sleepover with another family on or around Halloween night.  The sleepover usually involves a scavenger hunt, party games and a movie or two.  And of course, lots of pizza and candy.

Other families may attend Harvest Parties, have friends over, or make it a Family Night with board games and popcorn.  There are lots of alternatives (and plenty of ideas on Pinterest!) for making it a fun time for your kids.

We explain why we do what we do to our kids.

They need to know why we don’t allow them to go door-to-door for candy.  This is where we’ve made our stand as Christ-followers.  We may be different, and people may ask why our kids don’t go door-to-door, and that’s a good thing!  We want to have those conversations with others, and we want our children to be able to articulate our reasoning as well.

Many Christian families choose to share God’s love by going trick-or-treating with their kids and by building relationships with the other moms and dads standing out on the sidewalk. I think it’s great when Christian parents are intentional in using the opportunities that Halloween provides to shine the light and the love of Christ.

There are as many different approaches to Halloween as there are Christians.  What works for me may not work for you, and more importantly, you may be led to do things in a completely different way.  As Christians, each one of us needs to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in matters like this.

 

Where do you stand on the issue of Halloween?

What does your family do on October 31st?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

11 Comments

  1. Brandi @ penguinsinpink.com

    We don’t go trick or treating exactly. We go to our downtown for safe trick or treating from local businesses. This year we also went to SeaWorld for Spooktacular for “under the sea” trick or treating.

  2. Marissa

    I like that you teach your kids why you are doing what you are doing – too often I hear parents just try to ignore the holiday and then the kids find out about it from other sources – that saddens me.

    We do take part in Halloween, in the traditional sense – our decorations are never gory, just pumpkins and lights… We walk around the neighborhood with our small group – from church- and meet neighbors and look for homes we can serve as the weather switches to harsh winter.

    You’re right, there are so many ways to be a light, when we are intentional in what we do.

    Marissa

  3. Kristen

    As kids, we always dressed up as what we wanted to be when we grew up – I recall being a doctor, a teacher, and a princess (though that one was never going to happen). It was fun to pretend for a night, but we never connected Halloween (or All Hallow’s Eve as it is actually called) to any of the bad things you mentioned.
    Go check out Kristen’s latest post! Not My Dreams, But YoursMy Profile

  4. Brianna

    We allow our kids to wear costumes, but they are fun dress up costumes. This year a cowboy and Zorro. We usually got to a fall harvest party with friends.

    http://unveiledandrevealed.com

  5. Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard

    Our family has done trick or treating in the past, but we keep it pretty limited and stick to just a few blocks and close friends, but we are very clear that we don’t dress up as scary things or witches. I am feeling more convicted about doing the holiday in a way that spread’s Christ’s light. Our church is holding a Trunk or Treat to provide a safe place for kids to trick or treat in the neighborhood that the church is in.
    Go check out Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard’s latest post! Day of the Deployed – Saying GoodbyeMy Profile

  6. Sarah Jane

    We go trunk or treating at a local church. My daughter LOVES it.
    Go check out Sarah Jane’s latest post! Five Notable Children’s Books {October 19-25}My Profile

  7. Melanie

    Halloween has only recently become a ‘thing’ over here. Last year we handed out Jesus Loves You Cookies but didn’t go trick or treating. This year we’ll probably do the same.
    Go check out Melanie’s latest post! Cheesy Cucumber Cracker CatsMy Profile

  8. Miranda

    We haven’t celebrated Halloween for a couple years now. When we became Christians 5 years ago, we went back and forth for a couple years about it. But 2 years ago, our then 5 year old son got convicted about how we shouldn’t celebrate the devil’s holiday, and so that was all we needed to make our decision. We feel it is important to stand behind our son’s conviction, so that he learns to stand behind his own. We still do dress up, but it is more of a year round thing in our house anyway. We give out candy and pass out church tracts.
    Go check out Miranda’s latest post! Blogger Spotlight–Nourishing My ScholarMy Profile

  9. Caroline @ In Due Time

    Glad you are doing what is best for your family! It’s so sad how people decorate for halloween! While I love dressing up, I hate the darkness of the holiday! Praying God’s LIFE over it all

  10. Cathy

    Thanks so much for sharing how your family chooses to celebrate Halloween!
    Cathy

  11. Susannah

    We do non gory costumes and go trick or treating/hand out candy. This year we’re going to have hot cocoa for the adults. We have found that this one night a year is a great way to meet our neighbors and build relationships that can lead to us sharing our faith with them.
    Go check out Susannah’s latest post! Christianity Isn’t Supposed to be EasyMy Profile

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