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.