Ask Amy – What about Halloween?

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Let’s start this column out with a bang and a rather controversial topic, shall we?

Halloween is right around the corner, so when a reader asked for our take on Halloween, I thought this would be the perfect time to tackle this topic.  As always, these opinions are mine and based on what our family sees in Scripture.  You have to discern for yourselves and not rely on me for your answers.

Halloween has its roots in the belief that all the evil spirits and dead come back to life the night before All Saint’s Day which is November 1.  You dress up to “trick” the spirits into believing you are one of them.  This holiday (which really ought not to be called a holy-day) has at its very root a celebration of evil and a fear of death.  There’s nothing here you can salvage as a Christian holiday. 

We did do the trick-or-treat thing until my son was 4.  That was 10 years ago and he is the only one who remembers celebrating Halloween.  Ty and I both became convicted this was not the kind of thing we as Christians ought to be celebrating, so we left it behind.  And yes, it was difficult to explain to the grandparents, who have almost as much fun seeing the kids dressed up as the kids enjoy the candy they get for donning a costume.

I also must confess, we started a new tradition to replace the trick-or-treating (even though we are not usually pacifiers by nature).  I also must confess it has nothing to do with Reformation Day (which I think is a very good replacement if you are Protestant).  Every year around Halloween, we invite Ty’s mother and grandmother over and the kids are allowed to stay up VERY late and snack and play games.

In October, we also carve or paint pumpkins as a family while we read The Pumpkin Patch Parable.

This usually happens right after we go to the pumpkin patch in early October.  This year, we chose to get 2 family pumpkins and they are sitting on our porch being beautiful decor just the way they are.

Yes, I do know the origins of the jack-o-lantern, so this continues to be something we consider from year to year as to whether or not carving pumpkins gives the appearance of evil or if it is something we do to tell a story to our children (for what it is worth, we do not carve faces in our pumpkins).

Now, I want to be sure to say that we aren’t against Christians taking Halloween and putting together something mission-minded for the neighbor kids that teaches them about Christ or choosing to hand out tracts at the door to trick-or-treaters, but for us, this didn’t seem like a good option and we felt it would be more confusing than anything to our own children.  We chose to simply not participate.  If you do choose to do something in place of Halloween, please be sure it stays far away from any dark themes that celebrate evil or death. 

Christ is LIFE and we should have no part in promoting darkness.

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124 thoughts on “Ask Amy – What about Halloween?

  1. We choose not to take part also. My girls are 7 and 9 and we really haven’t had any issues with it. There’s a book called “Mommy, Why Don’t We Celebrate Halloween?” that we read every year that tells the same kind of reasoning you describe, only in more detail. It’s a great book to read to the kidlets that puts the whole thing on their level.

    Blessings–
    Dana

  2. These are out thoughts EXACTLY. It has come through prayer and consideration about what the Lord is showing US, and yearly reevaluating. We don’t look down on our Christian friends who celebrate at all, though we find it a little difficult to explain to the children why some friends do. They used to think only unbelievers celebrate it. We tell them we feel this is what the Lord wants for OUR family. And when they have a family they can talk to the Lord about what they should do and He will guide them.

    Thanks for articulating this so well.

  3. We have choosen to us this time of year to celebrate the Harvest and all that we have been blessed with! The garden is done for the year and hunting season has started. Its amazing these past two years to see our 7 year old son wonder why he can participate in halloween like the other kids to not worring about it and thanking the Lord for the meat when my husband got the first deer of the season. The only reason he counts down halloween now is he knows candy goes on sale and thats when mommy buys.

  4. Amy,
    Thanks for your comments on Halloween. Our family takes the same approach as you do. Our oldest daughter is 25, and we “did Halloween” with her until she was about 3 or 4, but then my husband and I became convicted that their is nothing redeeming about the “holiday” and we shouldn’t be a part of it. We replaced it with what we call Family Fun Night. We eat somewhere fun and then come home and play hide and seek in our house in the dark – Mom and Dad included! We have a large house and a large family, so this is always a lot of fun. We laugh a lot, and make good memories. However, I will say that it isn’t easy. Our kids are bombarded each year with questions on why we don’t participate. And every so often our youngest ones will ask why they can’t “dress up in costumes and go to just a few houses to trick or treat.” It does make me feel bad, but I just have to pray that we are doing the right thing and honoring God by our decision not to take part in celebrating evil spirits. Thanks again, Amy.

  5. This is the most sad and distorted description of the Feast of All Saints I’ve ever heard. As someone who knows the true meaning of the Feast of All Saints, this description is as far off the mark as one could be. (Christ came to sanctify all things. The Church in its wisdom moved this sacred feast to a time when people traditionally celebrated something that needed sanctification–Do you hold the celebration of Christmas as unbiblical since it has non-Christian roots in some areas of the world? No Christian would.)

    All Saint’s Day is the day we honor all the Saints in Heaven who do not have an official Feast Day on the calendar. Saints are those Christian men and women who have gone before us and our now in Heaven with Our Lord. This is a feast celebrating the Light Jesus brings to the world–the Light these Saints all followed.

    We honor those wonderful Christians who answered God’s call and dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ and the Church he established–the one he promised in Matthew the gates of Hell would not prevail against.

    We dress our children as Saints, Holy men and women, to remind them of the greatness that comes through a life with and in Christ. The commercial hijacking of Halloween has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Catholic Feast Day. And All Saints Day has absolutely NOTHING to do with spirits coming back from the dead.

    Whatever source told you such filth, it should be thrown away promptly as the continuation of such obvious falsehoods has no place in this time of readily available information.

    This non-Catholic site does a better description of the Feast than provided above:http://catholicism.about.com/od/holydaysandholidays/p/All_Saints_Day.htm

    • I think we could spend all day posting links back and forth as to why or why we should not celebrate Halloween/All Saints day. I believe I can put it simply. If you have been convicted by the Father not to do it, then you should not do it.

    • Obviously, I am not Catholic, but I did say in this post that if you choose to do something on Oct 31, it should be done to celebrate Christ. I’m sure you can agree much of the festivities that surround Halloween are not Christ honoring. I was speaking of celebrating Halloween, not the Feast of All Saints as a Catholic or Reformation Day as a Prostetant.

    • Keri, I haven’t looked at your link, but I believe Amy was commenting on the celebration of All Hallow’s Eve (Hallowe’en), and not on All Saint’s Day. They most certainly are two different things with two different purposes. You certainly couldn’t argue that on Hallowe’en, all the little children are running around dressed as saints, could you?

      • Hallowe’en is “All Hallow’s Eve” which can be translated to the vigil of the holy, so the two “holidays” are actually the same. What Keri is referring to is accurate and Amy’s statement about “nothing here that can be salvaged as a Christian holiday” is what I believe Keri is defending. Of course the evil parts are evil, but there is good in honoring those who have gone before us, learning about them and celebrating their lives. A lot of the beautiful things of this earth have been tarnished by worldliness and straight up evil, especially things that celebrate God and His goodness. There really is no difference in participating in a “Harvest Party” or just choosing the goodness in the holiday. Family traditions are family traditions, you explain to your children that evil does exist and we do not take part in it. But dismissing things on a whole because of a few terrible parts is not really fair. God gave us the ability to have fun, to celebrate and enjoy one another- especially when we follow His will, like the saints did. Having your own family do what you wish is your decision, of course, but stark statements like the one quoted above leave no room for acceptance of the good. Remember- God is good and He can make anything a blessing if you allow Him.

        • I cannot wrap my mind around how the things that we do as a family to celebrate Halloween are evil, as we shun the wicked parts and just have fun dressing up and visiting with friends and neighbors. I appreciate your response here.

    • Many christians do not celebrate Christmas. Or celebration of All Saints. I grew up never singing a carol in church. This beinga a reflectiongreat of my age andin therefore swingto of the pendulum regarding religion. I have since begun to celebrate it more as it seems ridiculous to turn away from Christ as the world is looking straight at Him. Her point I would think is more to share opinion based on prayer and soul searching. I love the comment below that truly considers.what Jesus would do if He were here among us. I think(my thoughts)there would bethink less focus upon our contrived holidays over the simple Eucharist of His supper. Said while knowing there are Halloween picts of my kids onon my blog.and with a heart that struggles. But I know He is able to be honored where we least expect it.
      We pick and choose. He redeems.

  6. This is one of the most well-put-together posts about not “celebrating” Halloween I have seen. I am not trying to be controversial, or open a can of worms, but do you have a post explaining your beliefs on celebrating Christmas, since it has Pagan roots as well?

    • I do not have a post, and yes, we do celebrate Christmas. I respect what the Catholic Church was trying to do in using December 25. Christmas may have a date that corresponds with a pagan holiday, but those pagan representations are all but gone (Although I know many would disagree with me on that point.). Again, a very personal decision.

      • Yeah we don’t celebrate Halloween, or saints or whatever. Nothing wrong w/that per se, but it’s just not something we believe in. We celebrate Christ ALONE.

        We don’t celebrate Halloween because of the PAGAN roots, but of the EVIL and dark of the day. Christmas and Easter/Resurrection Day is NOT evil.

  7. I think you for taking a stand. As a relatively new believer, I was looking for insight on how other choose to handle the whole Halloween situation. I think your views are right on point and our family agrees with yours. Thank you for not choosing to conform to the world or even to keep your thoughts to yourself in fear of how others might react. I thoroughly enjoy your blog =)

  8. As new Parents, our children are 2 years old and 7 months old, we’ve decided to opt out of Halloween as well. We came to the same conclusions you did and do not do door-to-door candy collecting. Last year we went to a friend’s harvest party where they had a bonfire, hot apple cider, lots of friends and family and some dressed up in fun costumes (nothing dark or sinister). We are going to join them again this year and for the first time, my 2 year old will dress up (fire fighter). We don’t decorate our house in any way and haven’t got any traditions as a family for Halloween. I grew up not celebrating it at all, we went in the basement family room, turned off all the lights upstairs and watched movies as a family. My Husband has mixed memories, sometimes trick-or-treating, sometimes going to a Church function. I never thought though that our going to a Harvest Party would just look like another Halloween Party to all the passersby, and my friend even keeps a bowl of candy to hand out if/when people come to the door. They also have each family bring some candy and then make baggies for all the kids at the party to take home at the end of the night. Halloween is such a sick “holiday” when you think about it.

  9. Though we do dress up my son and take him to a few houses and family for Halloween, we have a local church who puts together a HUGE “Family Fest”. There are vendors, booths, fair rides, and lots and lots of fun stuff for the kids to do as well as the adults. Which I think is a great alternative if you’re not wanting to participate in Halloween.

  10. Our family, with 11 children, ages 27-1, also chooses not to celebrate Halloween in any way. We, too, were convicted many, many years ago, not to participate in Halloween. But, now we have a new celebration, each Oct. 31st! Our 5th grandchild (4th grandaughter) was born on that date, last year!

  11. Amy — this is such a tricky topic for me. We do celebrate Halloween, but we have never taken part in anything scary or pagan whatsoever. I wrote a post for Tommy Nelson about “God Honoring Fall Memories” — we have let our children dress up as Bible characters, community helpers, characters from nursery rhymes, etc… They do trick or treat, but it’s always very tame.

    I have taught my children about the roots of Halloween – we watched a fabulous documentary about it this week, so they UNDERSTAND the pagan aspects of the holiday and can talk about that when defending their faith. I think we need to be aware (as I know you and your family are) of the evils in this world — even when they are disguised as something “fun and harmless”, right?

    I struggle with too much separation from the world, because I want my kids to be able to understand things “of the world” but not fall prey to them. It is such a FINE LINE for me.

    I am a lifelong Lutheran, and we will celebrate Reformation Day in a big way next weekend – it will get more emphasis than Halloween.

    I’m always wondering what Christ would do if he was here… I can imagine him out trick or treating creating that personal relationship like he did when he walked our earth — looking for the lost in the most seemingly evil of situations. (I’m not trying to sound flip here — I just often wonder what Jesus would do in our world today). It’s a one on one discipleship effort that is going to bring the lost to Jesus and I believe sometimes we need to meet people where they are.

    I know this was a rambling answer, but I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I applaud you for taking a stand and having the courage to write about it.

  12. I agree Amy! I used to dress up on Halloween and go out trick or treating. My son is 9. Last year we decided to take him to trunk or treat at a church thinking it would give a more christian feeling. Didn’t happen. They were dressed as monsters and goblins etc.. This year we are trying to figure out what to do with him. Thought we would take him out to eat. Now we see at Mcdonalds, get a free ice cream cone for dressing up, Pizza Inn has the spooky buffet. I’m lost on what to do. Maybe we’ll stay home, watch movies and order in. Thank you for your post. I have felt very convicted the past few years.

  13. This is great! My family has chosen not to celebrate Halloween as well for the same reasons. Like you we did it in the past so our oldest remembers. We’ve also done the trunk-or-treat thing at local churches, but that is no more since so many people still dress in scary or risqué costumes. So this year we told them we’ll pass out candy to ourselves. :) The kids love dressing up and do it daily anyway, so they’ll dress up and we’ll pass out the candy to them.
    We have pumpkins and we paint them. They are for decoration then when the mood strikes, Daddy takes the kids out and they shoot the pumpkins. The girls (older than the boys) love doing this.
    I think every family does what is best for them. Thank you for sharing what you do.

  14. We are Catholic and so this week is actually a very big deal for us. We will celebrate Halloween (the kids are not allowed to dress as anything evil). The next day (All Saints Day) we will go to Mass and celebrate the lives of the saints and then come home and make “saint cards” and play a saint trivia game. On the next day we will go to Mass (All Souls Day) and pray for the departed, particularly my grandmother who passed away this year. We will also look at family photo albums and eat favorite family foods. Finally, we’ll light a votive candle and pray for our departed. Like Christmas and Easter, I believe Halloween is in danger of being secularized but it would be sad to forget all of the beautiful customs that go with these holy days.

  15. Thank you!! I was beginning to think our family was the family that thought this way! So many Christian families around us say it is fine, as long as their customs are cute.

    We have a fall day in our house! We bake yummy cookies, muffins ect.. make applesauce, draw/paint pic’s of fall. Dec. the house with fall decs.
    Have a special dinner( pizza or Chinese) and then watch a nice family movie. We also talk about why we don’t do T&T and how we can be a light to the earth on that day ;-)
    If we find a good sale on pumpkins we will get them ( 10 kiddos, adds up fast). They crave Bible verses in them ans then we make soup, pies, roasted seeds..ect with them.
    Thanks again for such a wonderful and encouraging post ;-0

  16. There are two dates: October 31 and November 1. We allow our children to dress up as a fun character (such as a princess) and have dinner with friends. The children play and then we do go to a few houses. We celebrate All Saints on November 1, having our children dress up as saints and learning their stories. Our church always has a special party the weekend before with a Saints parade and activities. On All Saints Day we attend mass (holy day of oblgation) and our children retell the stories of their chosen saint. I believe there can be a balance between the two. Our children are more excited about their saints than about wearing a princess dress because we choose to focus on the lesson learned from saints’ lives. Every family can choose what is best for them and I think it has more to do with what traditions your family decides to focus on – good or evil. We choose good.

  17. Thankyou for this. We also do not celebrate Halloween.
    I actually practiced witchcraft for very many years before I found Christ. So Halloween was a huge holiday for me. When we had our first daughter we did trick or treating but it had to be “cheerful” though. but the past few years God has really convicted me about not taking our kids out. Our church does a “light up the night” party every halloween. We dress in bright colours and teach kids how God wants us to be the light of the world, glowstick games and such. Its a nice night. We do a lot of outreach that day too :)

  18. Our pastor’s open their home and we have games and candy and lots of good food. We’ve also gone to Fall festivals that pretty much do the same thing. But we do not do the door to door. We will sometimes allow them to dress up as characters that they like such as a fire man, Dorothy, or a soldier like Daddy. I do find it a hard topic to explain though to my children.

  19. I love reading why others celebrate or don’t celebrate certain holidays. My husband and I weren’t big into Halloween as kids, it was always so much pressure to have the perfect costume, and since we are introverts by nature the idea of knocking on doors of strangers was never something either one of us ever enjoyed. We were stationed in England when we had our first child. It is funny to me how much importance we as Americans attach to Halloween. It is largely not celebrated in much of the world, not the way Americans celebrate it. In England it is just now beginning to gain some ground, but is still thought of very distastefully. I worked at a British supermarket and everyone I worked with hated that it was starting to gain ground with the younger people. They considered trick or treating just a different way of begging and it was only done by young people who wanted to irritate, terrorize, and scare older people. We never answered our door, but we would get a few trick or treaters in our housing area, but only because it was an American housing area and the Brits around us knew we’d give out American candy. They do their dressing up in costumes during the Christmas season on “fancy dress” days and parties. November 5th is a popular holiday over there complete with huge displays of fireworks, bonfires, and the burning of effigies of Guy Fawke and the retelling of the story of the plot to blow up Parliament. The fireworks were neat but the burning of effigies..a bit too morbid for me. Living over there freed us from thinking that Halloween was something we needed to acknowledge or even celebrate. So, we are back stateside now with 2 kids and we just don’t bother with it. We’ve never felt a certain conviction about it, just never felt it was something we’d enjoy so why waste our time and energy on it. We do go to a pumpkin patch and pick out a few pretty pumpkins to decorate the yard for fall. We are Lutherans and as our boys grow older we do plan to celebrate Reformation Day.

  20. Thank you for your stance on this! Controversial or not, I think people should re-examine what they have always done and look at them in the light of the natural and the biblical, and I just dont think Halloween is biblical.
    I think each family needs to be lead by the Holy Spirit as to what is right for their family. Several year ago when our first child was born we felt we needed to re-examine all the holidays from a biblical standpoint. It wasnt something we just decided, it was a “gut” feeling that first Halloween when we dressed my son up and it just didn’t feel right. We don’t do any Halloween celebrating and Christmas and Easter are very different in our house, but it was the leading of the Holy Spirit that changed this in us. God led us to make decisions that was His plan for our family and that is what we do. Sometimes the kids don’t understand because they want to do what other kids are doing, but we just sit them down and explain again and pray. And know that in the long run we are doing the best thing.

  21. We were convicted ten years ago when we became friends with a gal who was raised in a satanic home. She told us of the horrific abuse & sacrifices made on Halloween. That is there biggest night for sacrifices. They plan their pregnancies within the group so that they will have at least one baby to torchure & sacrifice that night. They also go hunting for ones that satan had told them they need to “harvest”. It would turn your stomach to listen to these stories! In light of this information we realized that even church functions are not appropriate as they call them “harvest parties”. Granted it has a different meaning but it just reminds us of the horror the others are going thru on that night. It is by the grace of God that she was able to escape that life but she can have no contact with her family anymore. There is a book called “The Facts about Halloween” that has a lot of good info in it too. Bless you for trying to shed light on the evil of this day.

  22. We don’t participate either. My girls are 9 and 7. With Halloween falling on Awana night, the Awana group has decided that everyone can dress up like something from Noah’s Ark. In and of itself there is nothing wrong with playing dress up, but by doing it on the same day just seems to still be celebrating. My 7 year old understands that and refuses to dress up (of her own choice). My 9 year old is torn between why the church says its ok and Mom and Dad say its not. So I totally agree with you that it creates confusion when the church “churchifies” Halloween activities.

    • I agree.. thankfully we don’t have any church activities like Awana or whatever like that. I don’t think anyone in our church would even know what that is. I’ve only learned from the net. But I do know, in our church dressing u at all on Halloween is not good. Same thing.. good or evil you are dressing up and celebrating Halloween.

  23. Hi, Amy! Love your stuff, your site, and your family. :) However, I will respectfully disagree with your statement (in bold no less) that “there’s nothing here you can salvage as a Christian holiday.” That’s like saying “there’s nothing we can do to save a sinner.” As a previous commenter stated, Christ came to sanctify all things, and if you throw out this holiday because of its pagan roots, then you have to forget Christmas as well for the same reason.

    When you talked about getting pumpkins, I had to chuckle because of their ties to Halloween (which you did acknowledge as a point you and your husband are weighing), but look what you did… you sanctified it! You took something meant to be scary and made it something holy. And I think that is what we as Christians are called to do with Halloween. What we who celebrate Halloween do is no different than what you do with your pumpkin. You don’t carve a scary face into it, and we don’t dress our kids as scary/evil things.

    Our children dress as holy men and women of the Church’s past that have shown us what it means to follow Christ, Christian role models of the faith, many of whom died for what they believed. They always get asked what they are supposed to be when trick or treating, and it allows them to give a testimony to the saint as which they are dressed, and the importance of following Christ.

    Every family has to do what is best for their family, and I respect your decision. Just sharing a different perspective.

    God bless you and your beautiful family!

    • Kerry-
      Yes Christmas, Easter and Halloween all have pagan roots, but the difference here is that Halloween is still very much pagan, is a celebration of evil and death, whereas Christmas and Easter celebrate victory over death and the life of our Savior. I think that’s the distinction. Not the roots, but that even today it is celebrating evil and seeking to make evil things cute and acceptable to our children. Jesus definitely dealt with people in their sin, but I don’t recall Him dabbling in the occult. That’s why our family has chosen not to participate.

  24. I grew up not celebrating halloween and I am not comfortable having anything to do with such a satanic holiday. However, my husband sees nothing wrong with it as long as we don’t let the kids dress up like witches or goblins. This year, our 4 year old started public preschool (not my choice!) and the whole month of October is all about halloween and spooky things at school. Plus, our daughter told me last night that Grandma (my husband’s mother) told her that there’s “bad halloween” and “good halloween” and it’s okay to celebrate the good one. I also overheard her telling my daughter that it’s okay to like witches as long as they’re good ones.
    How do I deal with this and teach my young children that halloween is a satanic holiday that we, as Christians, should have nothing to do with when they’re getting so many conflicting messages from their dad, grandparents, and school?

    • I take the opportunity to talk to my kids about evil and God’s sanctification. God is able to redeem as He wills… so perhpas put some thought into teaching opportunities this affords? Myth, legend… the reality behind the spooky stories as retold in various cultures… and emphasis that all things come into subjection under Christ? Because we are believers we need not fear the real things of evil, only resist them and they will flee. What are witches? Yeah, never good to call on any power other than the Lord, our God. Teach, teach, teach…figure out some things you might dp to redeem the time for Him, or just skip it and explain patiently and often that the Lord has called you to a different path. The origins are nasty… so are ours. Redemption is in the heart. What started as something with satanic roots can be tanked from that garden and turned to light.

  25. We do not celebrate it either. After participating all our lives, before having children you start to see how dark it realy is. We stay home, but like alot of people said we should shine our lights and show the love of Jesus, so we hand out packages of lifesavers. Each package has a printout in it with the salvation message explaining each color of the lifesaver. Each one relates back to Jesus and how He is the ultimate lifesaver. What a blessing it has been to be able to explain to our kids how we should always be loving on people and showing them the love of Christ. Thank you for this post it is truely a blessing as halloween gets close again and we have lots of questions again each year.

  26. We too choose not to celebrate Halloween. Even if it’s roots weren’t questionable, what it has become is not a day that glorifies God in any form or fashion. My kids have complained that everyone else get to have fun, so we’ve “adapted” this season for our family. We do get small pumpkins and they paint silly faces of themselves on their own. The night of, we choose a special movie to buy, and the kids make their own pizzas for dinner. For dessert we bake huge plate size sugar cookies that they get to decorate & eat part of while we watch the movie. This has become one of their fav nights that they look forward to each year. Last year, we invited another family to join us, and this year we will have 2. (Considering how many kids we all have, thats huge! LOL) Thank you for posting this, and thanks to the previous commenters that posted other links that I can use to share with my friends and family as well.

  27. I thought this post was very well written–with thoughtfulness and humility. We also don’t celebrate Halloween, not only because of the history behind it, but also because it is a day that is still celebrated by pagans today and many of their symbols are symbols that are included in Halloween.

    I came across this short podcast last year that gives a very good, very detailed history of the origins of Halloween and reaffirmed to us the reasons why we don’t celebrate this day: http://gohardforchrist.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-20T15_59_35-07_00

  28. You are the only other person I know that doesn’t participate in Halloween, thank you! I’m with you as far as others go and whether they want to participate or not (that’s their decision), but our family does not participate. And we love the Pumpkin Patch parable! Enjoy all your posts!

  29. We have 7 children and for the last couple of years we were convicted about halloween also. We have chosen not to celebrate it. All I can say to all those who are trying to find something to redeem of this holiday is Jesus told us to be in the world not be of the world. How is dressing up and getting candy even if it is something not scary any different than those kids who choose not to, you still have all that scary influnce around your children.. To me that sends a mixed message to the world that it is still ok. Thank you Amy for this post and for taking a stand, it’s not easy to be set apart in this world for Christ, so thank you for your bravery in your beliefs on this topic and for children!!

  30. Ok, I usually chose to NOT chime in on post conversations and opinions, but I do want to point out what has been on my heart about all this. I do agree that there is no reason to celebrate because of what our culture has turned it into, but I also want to say that every day is The Lords day, a day HE created. Now, I choose NOT to allow satan to evolve something that started as nothing, and make into something. The way pagans chose to do things and their rituals is l,aim and simple; evil. The way America celebrates Halloween; evil.

    But what about all this talk about Samhain. Samhain literally means harvest and summers end. Just another day in The Lords world, that he created. Samhain EVOLVED into being tied to the pagans yucky rituals…….

    Now my problem is that before I was saved, I named our son Samhain. Simply because he was a fall baby. When I was convicted last year to not participate in Halloween I felt horrible because of his name. It’s been all over blog posts…..I went as far as getting the paperwork to change the spelling of his name since its not pronounced the comman welsh Irish way. And you know what happened? Jesus comforted me and to told me to stop. He said I am not a God of guilt. Today is the day The Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it. I believe I have been washed and reborn by the blood of Jesus Christ. I am no longer bound to any guilt satan may try to throw our way.

      • Oh, and I agree with the comment from the lady above about Christmas. It too, has been turned into a holiday were Jesus is thrown out and we lie to our kids and tell them Santa (satan…..hmmm….same letters) will bring them toys if good.

          • We do. But if you knew us, you’d see we are not very “big” on our style of celebrating. We are only a family of 4 (so far) and like to keep down low with each other on holidays :) we have only been Saved and completely surrendered to Jesus for 3 years, so convictions are freshly happening in our home, family, and personal life. I’m glad you mention Christmas and Easter, because these days too are the Lords day, and look at what’s happened to them!!! :( what do you do on these days, do you celebrate????

          • Jaclyn, We stopped celebrating christmas and easter a few years ago. This is our own personal conviction. I don’t try and force it on others. No where in the bible does the Father say to celebrate these two events. Christmas and easter are mixed with pagan rituals, and customs. That is the short answer as to why we don’t celebrate those two events. We do celebrate The Lord’s Feasts. Those we were told to celebrate. Obviously, we don’t have to sacrifice any animal, because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. OK, all done. Like I said, it our personal conviction. I am not judging anyone who still celebrates these two events.

          • I actually do know several families who do not celebrate Christmas and Easter. I get a Thanksgiving card every year from one of the families. :)

    • I agree, Jaclyn. Every day is the Lord’s. He is bigger than what Halloween has become. My biggest issue is that it does not celebrate the light of Christ, so I choose not to participate. It’s just a day and I don’t loathe it (much like I don’t see Friday the 13th as anything more than the 13 of some month that happens to fall on a Friday ;) ) Until this year, I had not heard the word Samhain and I am so thankful the Lord spoke to your heart on not changing it.

      • Amy, hugs to you!!!!!! Thank you :) Its been rough, and heavy on my heart. I cried out to Jesus and asked him to please, guide me on this one. My husband and I are working on a very personal post regarding this topic and our anniversary :/ that we plan on posting Wednesday.
        See what happens when you’re not raised knowing who Jesus is! Lol
        (And I agree with you about Friday 13th….plain silly)

  31. My church is one that does celebrate Reformation Day and it just happens to fall on the same week that Halloween does. We have great fun and maybe even more than regular trick ‘o treaters. :)

    We celebrate by sharing our favorite Bible verses, learning about our history, have a man do a talk as John Calvin or Martin Luther, dress up as our favorite Reformers, sing hymns, and watch the movie Luther. We also play games such as Luther Rose Bowling, Reformer’s vs. Cardinals Tug of War, Throw the Indulgences in the Bonfire, Bible Smuggling Relays with obstacle courses, A Might Fortress is Our God Musical chairs, and Coin in the Coffer (throwing coins in jars, use this money to raise funds for local charity.) For food we get creative with bringing Tetzel’s Pretzels, Papal Bull roasts, Burnt at the Stake Hot Wing dip, etc.

  32. Great post! Our family does the same as yours, with the exception of carving pumpkins. I really enjoy your blog. You are an encouragement to me.

  33. We don’t celebrate Halloween either, for many reasons. Some are the same as yours, but part of my reason is I just don’t want my kids to ever get that much candy! :-) Also, I don’t like the concept of them knocking on strangers doors and asking for candy. Just my weirdness here!

    We usually have a family over instead. We play in the backyard, have a fire going, have a “snacky supper” (cheese, apples, popcorn, pretzels …). I even have a bowl of candy!

      • Yeah I heard not too long ago, that everyday we tell our children to NOT talk to strangers etc, but one night a yr it’s okay to? lol

        We celebrated Halloween as kids, I even dressed as the devil one yr. We grew up Catholic, and were just “mass attenders”. We believed in God and all that but that was the extent.

        I’m glad the comments have been respectful too. Far too many blogs get ugly on these kinds of topics. I do wonder if has to do w/the way it’s presented. If it’s done in love, and not a “you are sinning” if you celebrate Halloween it’s received better and less likely to have the harsh comments.

        Amy you have a way of writing controversial stuff and doing it in such a way it’s beautiful!! It just shows your beautiful spirit, non condemning. I have a lot to learn!

  34. Ahhh you touched it! You touched it! Brave to touch the halloween topic! ;) Seems the majority of your commenters have been respectful and not freaked out, which is always a blessing. :)
    Personally we do not celebrate it either. When I was a child my family did not, and my husband’s family did. It was difficult for my husband’s parents at first to accept.

  35. While we do not celebrate Halloween night, we do celebrate the harvest and attend our church’s harvest party. Our church uses it as an outreach to the community…there’s nothing haunted or scary there. Everyone from the community is welcome to come and have fun with their family for free. Our pastor calls it “pre-evangelism” because it’s about building relationships with the people in our community. As he likes to say, “people won’t care what you have to say, until they know how much you care.” We have had quite a few people start coming to church as a result of the harvest party. Why hide yourselves away on Halloween night? There’s nothing inherently evil about Oct. 31st. It’s another day that the Lord has made. We should rejoice and be glad in it! So why not be a light to your community this year? Instead of turning off the porch light, why not let trick-or-treaters come to your door? Give them a huge treat and shine the love of Jesus for the neighborhood to see! If your church is having a harvest party, invite all your neighbors to come (or have one yourself!). I think that’s what Jesus would want us to do. He said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38)

  36. Here in Australia, Halloween was never part of our culture. Of course, it’s spring here right now, not autumn/fall. But when I was a child it was an American holiday. It popped up on the TV sometimes just like Thanksgiving and Independence day, and in the cities sometimes you’d hear about little parties, but it was a non-issue. I’m only 21, so it’s not been that long.

    I never thought I’d have to deal with it for my children, but today it’s becoming more and more common, particularly the past 5 years. Not every family participates in Halloween night, so social pressure is not as strong yet, but the shops are filled with pumpkins, spiders, lollies and chocolates. The TV channels are running Halloween specials on the children’s stations, the playgroups and schools are running Halloween parties. I guess, living in suburbia, we will get trick-or-treaters this year… not sure how to deal with them yet :S

    I don’t know what your take is on the supernatural today, but I had a childhood that included more involvement with supernatural evil than most Christian’s will see in their lives, and I have many issues within myself from that. On top of that, both my husband and I grew up in an area which is well known for it’s active witch covens etc. Witches and demons are no fairy tales to us. As a result, I struggle to even walk through the shops this time of year, surrounded by decor and attitudes celebrating and glorifying something which is so terrible, and brings up so many memories for me. If people realized the reality of what they’re playing and joking about… So many people are so ignorant of the darker element of society, because the media doesn’t talk about it.

    I’ll be glad when this is over again for another year. What do Christian’s in America do about trick-or-treaters? I’m kinda nervous to just ignore them because I’ve heard about vandalism on houses where people are home and not participating, My husbands family had their house egged when they were living in suburbia 10 years ago, I imagine it’s gotten worse, not better, since. Pretending we aren’t home might be tricky with a one week old baby crying :)

    • Hi! Just had to say this: we did the trick-or-treating as kids. I remember just skipping houses that didn’t have lights on & pumpkins lit. It was more like they just weren’t home, rather than “they’re hiding out in their basements,” which is kind of what we do now with our 4 wee ones. (: I really do think most kids are out with parents, & are led to houses with lights bright on. We’ve never worried about being “tricked” b/c we weren’t home. Hopefully, the mostly good-natured attitude of the trick-or-treating will make its way to Australia. And thank you for sharing your experiences dealing with the occult, confirms to my spirit we are doing the right thing sitting this one out. All the best to you!

    • We did have some kids steal our pumpkins from our front porch because we told them we didn’t have any candy. We don’t hide, we just don’t have our light one; although, that doesn’t always deter the trick-or-treaters. We just answer the door and tell them we don’t have any candy.

  37. Thank you, Amy! We don’t celebrate Halloween, either, and sometimes its hard to not “blend in”! You explained it well, and that will help me to better explain to both my children and others.

  38. My husband and I have gone back and forth on the whole topic of Halloween for our two kids, almost 5 and 3. When I was little (grew up in the 80s) we went trick-or-treating around our small neighborhood and it was fun. Somewhere along the line it got worse – people put razor blades in candy and there was a huge scare, and Christian families especially started looking for alternatives. Sometimes I wonder – if you’re participating in an “alternative,” aren’t you still technically celebrating the day? Anyhoo… there was a Christian rollerskating night and we went to that a number of years and had a blast.

    As a parent now, we definitely do not play up October 31st – I can’t stand Halloween decorations (especially the spooky or gory stuff or those that look like Christmas lights!) and don’t decorate in any way. I do LOVE fall decorations, though! Bring on the leaves and pumpkins! Aside from that, I think it’s neat how [almost] everyone opens their doors and welcomes children, and dressing up can be fun for them. Trying to be healthier, though, I can’t stand the emphasis on candy! It seems with each new holiday there’s a slew of candy-related paraphernalia! I often feel the pressure to buy a big bag of candy for the few people who might come to our house.

    A couple years back, instead of going around the neighborhood, we decided to do what my husband did growing up – drive the kids around to see friends and family. We use it as an excuse for short visits, a chance to wear something fun and only end up with a few treats. We volunteered at a Trunk-or-Treat one year but if you actually trick-or-treat there you’d probably end up with more candy than if you walked around your neighborhood!

    We talk to the kids about how we don’t “celebrate” Halloween or decorate like other people do – and they know our stance on sweets – but I don’t want them to feel left out!

    By the way, I thought that Biblical Horizons article (http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/open-book/no-28-concerning-halloween/) was very interesting and thought-provoking; I never thought about why there are gargoyles on churches! An interesting line: “On October 31, the demonic realm tries one last time to achieve victory, but is banished by the joy of the Kingdom.”

  39. This might get lost in the shuffle of all the other comments, but I had a question I hope you might answer for curiosity of what another believer who feels halloween is wrong does when it comes to all the Disney princess movies…..There is some sort of magic or spell casting in just about every princess movie that comes to mind, so do you not allow those to be viewed in your home? Just like halloween I have Christian friends who feel different on this issue. Just a question :)

    • One thing to consider as you think about Halloween: if you are home but “hiding” and someone rings the doorbell will your children perceive that as honesty or dishonesty?

      We don’t celebrate Halloween but we are either home or not, and if home we do give candy to the little children who come to the door. Our neighborhood is a mixture of university students, artists and working class people- largely unchurched and we are already very distinctive because of our dress. Giving the little children a piece of candy enables the beginning of a relationship with them….K

      • We are of the mind, just because someone rings the doorbell doesn’t mean you have to answer it. No mixed signals. There have been times where we don’t answer the door for one reason or another. (nap times, worship and prayer time, a meal time etc) Unless we know you are coming, we generally don’t answer the door. Just a rule in our home. Not for everyone, but it works for us. And then there are no special rules when I leave a child at home alone. Just because we are home, doesn’t mean anyone can have access to come in. Just like we guard our hearts and minds from things, we must guard our homes in the same manner.

    • I know I’m not Amy, but I’ll put my opinion in on your question :)
      Our daughter is not allowed to watch secular t.v. she can watch christian cartoon bible stories that we have previewed and feel are ok, and a movie called Jesus, and the movie Sheffey. That’s about it! It’s interesting because people have told us well she won’t really understand what’s going on in the movie or it won’t hurt her….well she recites the shows she is allowed to watch! She imitates what is going on…so if she was allowed to watch princesses, and spells and what not she would do the same thing….God would NOT be happy! I don’t think a child of God should be allowing their children to watch secular movies that have witchcraft, voodoo, mean spirited devil worshiping in in..not to mention that Walt Disney was friends with Hitler…yikes

      • Disney and Hilter were not friends. You may not like either one, but do a little fact checking on this one; in your ignorance you have born false witness…yikes.

    • We are not Disney princess fans and do try to stay away from anything that involves witchcraft. So, yes, spell casting is not something we care for our children to be watching.

  40. Thx for addressing this. We don’t celebrate it with our children and I grew up not celebrated. I don’t miss it and don’t believe my children will either. The thing that bugs me is that I don’t preach to other people about not doing it or really voice my opinions about what other people do. If someone asks I tell them why I didn’t and don’t BUT people always have an opinion about our choice. Truly annoying.

  41. Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas on what you do for Halloween! It was very insightful!

    We teach our children the Bible, and about the Lord constantly throghout the day, but we participate in Halloween Trick or Treating. Our children don’t dress up as anything sinister or evil (Batman and Spiderman this year), and they are very well behaved. We also take my autistic brother Trick or Treating as well.

    I am concerned that my kids see all the gruesome costumes even smaller children are wearing more and more often. They are, sometimes, too afraid of the decorations to even go up to the house to get any candy, and that’s fine. We are usually out for 30 minutes and then go back home.

    It would be lovely to leave Halloween altogether, but my husband loves it too much, and try telling 2 autistic kids who live and breath Halloween that we aren’t going. No amount of scripture and consolation could soften the blow. My husband would never go for it anyway, at least, not that I can forsee in the near future. However, God has been working in my husbands heart lately so…we’ll see what this Halloween brings.

  42. On Oct 31st, we celebrate Family Fun Night. We set up a fort in the living room, make homemade pizza & eat it in the fort, have banana splits (and spray whipped cream into the kids’ mouths), and play a game together.
    This year, we’ve been reading “Family Worship for the Reformation Season” in our family worship time and plan to watch Luther together when we finish the book. It’s been fun and I love learning more about the reformation.

  43. hi Amy and others,

    I just clicked on your link and learned about the legend behind the Jack-o-Lantern for the first time. We don’t do Halloween and because carving pumpkins seems so strongly bound to this “celebration” we havn’t done that either, as I don’t want to confuse my children (or even neighbors) and would like to be clear about the fact that we are refusing to be part of this thing, even remotely.

    But…here’s the thing: after reading about the origins of the lantern, I feel like I’d like to review his stand. I don’t find that story abhorrent in any way, infact my first thought was that it’s a nice illustration of the fact that one shouldn’t try to meddle with the Devil and try to be smart, look where it brought Jack ! I can see lots of good conversations about why we shouldn’t act as Jack did, but put our faith in Jesus, keep close to Him and let the Lord be ‘a lamp unto our feet and a light to our paths’. Carved pumpinks won’t then, represent Jack, but symbolize the lamp of God that illuminates the darkness of our world?

    Is there something that I have missed or what do you or others think about this line of reasoning?

    Blessings, Maria

  44. I’m posting only because I like to cause friendly trouble ;) and should preface it by saying I don’t really care where your family stands and am not trying change your mind except about the part where you talk about other “options” to Halloween.

    Growing up in an uber-conservative northern Indiana town, I had many friends who weren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween. My unbelieving family couldn’t care less and we marched up and down the streets with our friends, families, and neighbors collecting candy then en masse walking to the elementary school for a costume contest. Awesome fun.

    My husband is not from a similar background. He did not participate in Halloween. At All.

    However, he (and I) have determined that: The apostle Paul clearly says that no day is more holy than another. No food is more clean than another. Halloween is not less holy than October 30th or Nov 1st. We consider this a Romans 14 issue. We are not very hindered by cultural restrictions and are careful to only call sin what the Bible calls sin and we belong to a church that is also very careful to do the same especially since among our members are many ex-addicts, ex-convicts, and people who clearly remember being unsaved (thanks to a beautiful counseling ministry!). We don’t pick at things that the Bible doesn’t pick at. Halloween gives me no pause.

    However, every year as Easter rolls around I think about Ishtar and the numbers of poor girls who were dressed up in new dresses and paraded to the temple to be prostituted to the priests. I gag a little, try NOT to vow to never buy my little girl an Easter/spring/resurrection dress and then choose to make it about Christ.

    Yesterday I collected the tiger costume my mom made my brother 17 years ago and I do believe we’re going to go to our neighbor’s houses to laugh, collect candy and get to know them a little more. We won’t hand out tracks or invitations to our church and we’ll say hi to the kids in zombie costumes.

    Maybe my view will change as my children get older and things are a bit darker. I’m sure we have different views on culture and community. We watch TV (selectively), could care less if my son hears the “s” word, my husband (who I do YM with) brews beer with the pastor’s son, and we go dancing with unbelieving friends from college.

    Jesus hung out with sinners, he ate and drank with them so much that he was called a drunk and glutton. We go out of our way to be with unbelievers- where they’re at. Sometimes it involves talking to them about Jesus, sometimes not. We like them and want them to know it.

    • I’ve been kicking this “appearance of evil” thing around for a while now about something *ahem* (my husband brewing beer with my toddler son in his arms and then someone taking a picture and posting it on facebook AND then I get to deal with all the clucking hen ladies LOL). I’m using alcohol as an example because it’s available and regularly used- though not by you (I’m not accusing you of anything here! :). I started wondering what I was fearful of when I saw that picture and started dealing with people’s comments. Was I fearful of our unbelieving friends thinking evil of us? No. 1. Alcohol in itself isn’t wrong. 2. Unbelievers don’t assume that drinking=drunkenness. They weren’t thinking evil of us. So who? Our believing peers? No. They also did not equate drinking with drunkenness. So WHO was I scared that we would give the appearance of evil to? Older believers and those who have been raised neck deep in American Christian culture- that’s who. That’s not the intention of the verse, I was misapplying it and it was coming out as the fear of man. My neighbors could care less about the history of Halloween or jack-o-lanturns. The only reason they would assume us participating in evil is if they were also conservative Christians who thought trick or treating wrong.

      Thought process over, thanks for posting this- it was fun (at least for me!) to further work it out in my mind!

  45. Ok I’ll start out with my comment is probably going to be way too long and strongly worded :D
    I have prayed and prayed and prayed some more, talked to my husband about it prayed some more, and I just can’t see anything good or holy about halloween. I can’t ignore the roots of it even if that is not what people mean now that’s where it came from..My flesh has been wanting to make this ok to do, but it’s just not.
    It’s Satanic that’s where it came from no candy coating it is what it is.
    I can’t lie to my daughter (2 1/2) about why we think it’s wrong one day to dress up like a fake (lie) mermaid and the next say oh it’s ok it’s just for fun.
    The costumes, the past it’s all to much. I prayed mostly for the trunk or treat at the church, and it’s just the same as the heathens are doing, with a Bible tract thrown in. I can just feel how the Lord feels about it…I know it’s one day when the world is knocking on the door, but I feel and my husband to that it is a day we should show we stand with Jesus! I could not see Jesus being ok with allowing my daughter to celebrate ghosts and goblins and witches…we passed one trunk or treat yesterday while going to revival, and there was a girl dressed as a witch…..come on guys and gals God is not ok with this….
    And as far as all Saints Day goes I’m not Catholic and that is another can of worms I won’t open here..I don’t believe in how they do is all I will say!
    God Bless you Amy for having the courage to stand up for Jesus!

      • Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
        See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
        Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
        Wherefore be ye not unwise but understanding WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD is.
        Ephesians 5: 14-17

        • Ashley,
          I can see where you’re coming from and feel the same way about Easter- though force my overly literal mind to get over it. I once would have agreed with you. I learned what it meant to be a Christian by living around and befriending very conservative Mennonite women since my family are unbelievers.
          Amy’s post is very kind and is about her family’s stance. It’s her blog, she gets to say what she wants :D and she does it gracefully.
          I’m not trying to be argumentative, so if you’d rather not answer my questions, it’s ok :) What do you do with the Apostle Paul telling people that eating meat given to idols was ok? Those idols were not real though they were given into people’s imaginations by the works of Satan. Even so, Paul said it was ok to eat it (though not if it caused your weaker brother to stumble).
          You draw a very strong line of imaginative pretending=lie. One can’t pretend to be a train conductor, a car, a dog, or a mommy with out “lying”? Your daughter or son can’t pretend to be a mother or father during play time as a way to model you?

          To know God’s heart on the matter: I graduated Crossroads Bible College with a degree in Biblical counseling. I firmly stand on the word. I counsel the word. I strive to live the word. What I found when I graduated was that I loved the apostle Paul and knew enough systematic theology to last a life time (not a huge fan…) but knew so little about Jesus. What did he say? What did he love? What did he hate? I have been studying the parables of Christ and his words along with our Body for the past few months. Wow. Jesus LOVED sinners. He LOVED being with them! He hung out with them and had fun. Who did he hate? Those who placed heavy burdens on the backs of people with their self imposed rules and laws on how to make God happier with them.

          We think that Grace is is for the sinner and after salvation obedience is how we make God happy. God is as happy with me now as he will ever be. Ever. That is rest. I work heartily because his spirit convicts me and because I love him- because of his grace.

          Maybe it’s the blogs that I’m frequenting… but it seems to me that there’s this “redeem every moment” thing going around and everyone has forgotten about Ecclesiastes. I don’t disagree with what the Bible says… but something is missing. It seems to me that a lot of people are picking and choosing what needs to be redeemed and what doesn’t. Blogging can be a great encouragement (I know Amy’s is) but it can be an awful detractor. Like instead of getting to know our neighbors and getting dirty for Christ, it’s easier to talk about it. Now I’m going to stop wasting my time and go finish folding the mountain of laundry on our bed ;)

          • Hi there! I take no offense or anger at you asking me questions at all :) Sorry I had not wrote you back sooner I was thinking and praying about what you asked! I’ll try to answer them all! If I forget one just ask me again :)

            About Paul with the meats that was the old Jewish law they could not eat unclean meat. We are no longer held under the Jewish law, because of Jesus. He fulfilled the law! I am probably one of the only people you may have heard of that feels pretending is a lie. I know there is a fine line between child foolishness (as the bible calls it) and lying. I don’t encourage our daughter to pretend in ways such as a cat..yes she will meow and say that’s what a kitty says, but if she says she is a cat I tell her no you are a little girl. It has never harmed her or made her mad ;) I don’t punish her at all for pretending I just encourage her to tell the truth. Does that make sense?
            I need to make a sidenote here I don’t feel anything will send you to hell other then rejecting Jesus and walking away from your first faith. THAT IS IT! BUT we are to live like Christ did, and HE DID NOT SIN! He was around sinners yes, but he rebuked people and told us to rebuke as well for sins! There is a BIG difference between rebuking, and judging! I can’t tell anyone they are going to Hell unless they reject Jesus…
            Anyhow back to your questions
            Does my daughter pretend to be a mommy? Kind of she has her baby dolls, but she has never said that she was their mommy just that they were her baby dolls, and she plays with them and barbies by cuddling them up in blankets, and pretending to take them to church…so I guess I haven’t really been to the you are not really their mommy issue.
            I must also note she does not watch secular television at all unless we are at someone’s house and we have them turn it off if she see’s anything it is usually the news, and doesn’t pay attention to it. She also doesn’t listen to any music other then hymns, and spiritual music.
            I say this because I feel it has made a huge difference on how she acts compared to other kids. She is very happy though! We always have fun! She prays for people, sings hymns/songs, makes dirt cakes, laughs,jokes, and just started saying I love you so much :D
            I’m sorry I’m getting long winded haha

            Who did Jesus hate? No one! Does he condone sin no! Does he condone having something to do with darkness NO! I’d like scripture pointing to where Jesus was acting like a pagan…He was telling all the sinners to come to repentance! We have to change from what we use to be. I personally feel his heart was aching until the end when he finished his work down here! We will rejoice and be happy in heaven! This is a fallen world, and we are fighting with forces we can’t even see…I feel people are blinded by their flesh! So am I! We try to make everything our flesh wants ok to do!
            God did give us rules weather people like it or not. Are we always going to live up to God’s standards NO! If we could he wouldn’t have sent Jesus. We can’t be holy without him, however throughout the new testament we are given “rules” to follow. We still all fall short of the Glory of God, but that is why Jesus came to save us! I don’t like the mentality well you can just go ahead and sin because Jesus is going to save you anyhow, which is true to a point, but we are to be Holy for he God is holy. I don’t see anything Holy about Halloween (or anything pagan).
            I am only saved by his Grace!!!!! Obedience is just what I try to do for God since I lived in sin for so long. Obedience will NOT get anyone in to heaven, but it just might make God smile :)

          • If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13

  46. Amy, I recently read your post on facebook and was discussing it with my husband. He then pointed me to this, which he had just read: http://kuyperiancommentary.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/how-to-celebrate-a-christian-halloween/
    It’s pretty short and doesn’t delve into the history of the holiday (I saw the previous post about the holiday as a Catholic feast day…We are Protestants who have recently discovered the beauty of the church calendar, so I would agree that the history of this holiday happens to be rich with Christian meaning. I also think it’s interesting that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door in Wittenburg on the eve of All Saints Day [October 31] ). – anyways, this article argues that there is indeed much we can do as Christians to proclaim Christ as Lord of Heaven and earth on Halloween (and every other day). Jesus is the King and He is on His throne – we can march forth in confidence knowing that we are Christ’s ambassadors. Christ wants everything in all Creation for His own. And as a Christian, I believe that we are not to shrink back and let the world define holidays – we must assert ourselves into every sphere of human existence and reclaim it. Therefore, we will, joyfully with the love of Jesus, let our little ones dress up and excitedly hand out candy and mini-play doh containers to neighborhood children. (My four year old is still deciding if she will be a princess or a ballerina – it’s a tough call…The two year old doesn’t have a choice- he gets to wear his basketball outfit from last year). After the candy runs out, we’ll load up in the car and head to a neighborhood church which is having a festival and let our kids join in the fun before bedtime. They will learn to give generously and will learn that others are willing to give generously to them. We do not, however, allow them to say “trick or treat” – that is something which needs to be done away with, in my opinion. :) Anyways, I appreciate you being willing to tackle this subject and to respond to replies. I hope the backlash hasn’t been too bad for you :) I posted last year about why we don’t lie to our kids about Santa…you can only imagine the questions I got after that one! Blessings to you & your family.

        • We focus on St. Nicholas, who was a REAL person (Bishop of Myra who died in 343). This is where the name Santa Claus came from (“Santa” – saint, Claus – Nicholas). We tell our kids that the Santa story of a fat man who drives a sleigh pulled by reindeer is a fun story that many people like to tell, but the REAL Santa/St. Nicholas is in Heaven. We tell the kids that St. Nicholas is in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus can see you all the time – He’s really the one who knows when you’re awake or sleeping, etc. – and He sends special things on Christmas through the people who love us. If you aren’t familiar with St. Nicholas, here’s a great site that has his story: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/ Our family does a lot more with this but the basic idea is to keep the focus on who the real “Santa” is and how Jesus is behind it all. Hope that helps!

          Deo Juvante, Jen

    • We often carve a cross or a J for Jesus or an R for our last name. We’ve tried doing just some designs, but they often turn out badly. We have carved faces in the past, but decided a couple of years ago to change that.

  47. Hi Amy! I am not American, so I’m sure I’m missing many aspects of how you celebrate Halloween over there. Today I happened to read this article from Desiring God blog, and i thought it was interesting addition to what you said.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/trick-or-treat-its-martin-luther

    It seems like there is some Christian heritage to the All Hallows’ Eve after all.
    Again, this is not matter of salvation and judgement :) but maybe it’s important as Christian Americans to know how to be wise and how to celebrate…You can totally join in rejoicing how Christ triumphed over all evil on the cross!

  48. Hi Amy,
    I haven’t read all the comments so I’m not sure if it’s been said, but, in thinking over this question the last couple days, I thought of something I wanted to add to the discussion. I’m Catholic so we view Halloween as it’s original meaning of All Hallow’s Eve (think, Christmas Eve as the night before Christmas Day, All Hallow’s Eve as the night before All Hallow’s Day – the feast day to celebrate all who have died before us). I’m sure it’s been mentioned that there are a great deal of customs and traditions associated with this day. which has come to be known as All Saint’s Day and the following day, All Souls Day. Christians of many different cultures do something to make these days special. That said, I have met many Christians – Catholic and otherwise – who steer very clear of secular Halloween as well as anything having to do with skulls or other representations of death. I have good friends in our homeschool group who will not allow their children to wear anything with skulls on it at any time of the year. The thought that has come to me though, as I’ve been thought about this over the years. is that, while I respect the intention, the thinking is misguided, especially for a Christian. Through Jesus Christ, Our Savior, death has been conquered. We need not have any fear of death nor what it represents because, as mortal beings, death is our natural end, it is our goal. We look forward to death because, in dying, we receive Eternal Life. When you read the stories of the early Christians, they sang and rejoiced as they sat in the prisons awaiting their turn in in the Colosseum. They were happy to die because they knew they were dying for Christ and that they would see Him that very day. Death has no power over us and we don’t need to fear it.

    Now, I am absolutely in full agreement in regards to avoiding the zombies and witches and that sort of thing. In our family my kids dress as fun characters (I have one child dressing as an Old Lady this year!) for trick or treat and then we usually go to our church for an All Saints Day party where they dress as Saints – people who lead exemplary Christian lives and who we can look to as role models of the faith. The Saints were mortal beings, just like us, who sinned and struggled with many difficulties, but, through it all, kept their eyes and hearts on Jesus and never despaired.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you because it seemed like an important element to why we make a big deal out of these days. None of it is dependent on our Salvation, but it is important in helping us live good Christian lives.

    Deo Juvante, Jen

  49. I just posted something similar on by blog. I am saddened to know that so many Christians see nothing wrong with taking part in Halloween. Thank you for your post and the gentle reminder that Light has no place with darkness.
    God bless!

  50. I hope nobody minds me posting a second time. I was listening to Christian radio this morning and the person talking was saying that, what we Christians need to remember is that Hallow’s Eve truly is a Christian holiday which, sadly, has been hijacked by the secular culture just like Easter and Christmas. The commentator went on to say that, from the earliest days of Christianity, people marked when Christians were martyred and then gathered in the places where they were killed to remember them. This included the Colosseum in Rome where many unknown Christians were killed. Eventually, around the 8th Century, they chose a day on which to remember ALL the Christians who were killed for the faith, The date that was chosen may have coincided with the time of the pagan autumn festivals but it was not an issue of making something pagan into something Christian, but rather replacing something pagan with something Christian. I wish I would have caught the name of the person being interviewed but she urged Christians to reclaim this day as well as Nov. 1, and keep it what it was intended it to be. Christianity grew and spread because of those brave martyrs back in the first centuries and, since then, we’ve had even more. It is right and good to honor and remember those who came before us and who now go before us into the Kingdom that has been prepared for us. How blessed we are to have this rich heritage!

    Deo Juvante, Jen

  51. Really appreciate your comments on Halloween. It is refreshing to see a Christian take a stand when so many don’t know why they believe what they believe these days, and don’t care to know for that matter. Also thank you for your honesty in still wrestling with the “jack o lantern” issue. Also I really enjoy your blog. I have gleaned much.

  52. I have to say, I thought about not celebrating halloween , but to me, I just won’t turn down an opportunity to love on my neighbors and their children that I barely know. My kids love to dress up as people from the bible or super heroes, and if I let them play dress up every other day, it would seem silly to ban it on one day because other people celebrate death. We have few opportunities to share the love of Christ with our neighbors and build relationships. All of that being said, I truly admire your desire to follow after the will of God and seek his wisdom in all of your decisions. I really loved this post and look forward to reading more! God bless you, Amy!!