Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween

When our first two children were very young, we dressed them up on Halloween. Usually we just paraded them around for their relatives to see how cute they looked dressed up as giraffes or lions or what have you. Occasionally we would go to whatever function our church was hosting as a Halloween alternative. I can remember one single time we took them trick-or-treating. Our oldest was then two and a half.

Pretty early on, we decided not to participate in Halloween due to the obviously sinister origins of the holiday. We also became increasingly concerned with safety issues, and were more and more appalled at what parents where allowing their (very small) children to dress up as. I vividly remember one year when we saw a very tiny little girl dressed up as a prostitute. It greatly disturbed us.

I know some people who take a stand for Christ, turn out their porch lights, and refuse to participate at all. I understand and respect that. But it isn't what we do in our home.

We still buy candy by the ton. We let our children pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, along with really neat gospel tracts from livingwaters.com. We can't pass up an opportunity to have dozens and dozens of kids come to our door, opening up their bags and pillow cases and taking whatever we give them. So, along with the sugar, we give them Jesus.

And we eat lots of goodies. I pull out my grandmother's recipes for cider and pumpkin bread and peppermint popcorn balls. Sometimes we watch Charlie Brown. My kids look forward to Halloween, because it is family oriented and full of good things.

I want my children to understand why, in some aspects, we don't participate. But I don't my kids to feel they missed out on something really cool either.

I hope you all don't find us terribly unspiritual, but I honestly don't think there is ever a bad day for cider and pumpkin bread and popcorn balls. Or gospel tracts and candy.

Even if it is on a night when the kids come to the door dressed as devils and witches and characters from horror movies.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:20-21

4 comments:

  1. i grew up not participating in hallowe'en, although my family passed out candy. they thought not giving any wasn't exactly neighbourly. last year we decided to go out with our school friends. there are very definite limits on what our children are allowed to dress up as, but it has been a very good relationship building outing. i know some disagree with our choice, but we've seen some good fruit come of it. this year we're going with the same family as last year and then another that lives in a student housing area. they're a family from india with whom we've been building a relationship. i'm excited about this opportunity to spend an hour or so together.

    your celebration sounds delicious. :)

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  2. Amy, I know this has become a hot button issue in the past 30 years or so, before then we all just celebrated it together with our neighbor's as a community event and it was great fun. I am so glad you have taken this stand, it is so important like you said "to overcome evil with good" I think sometimes the church gets so overzealous with certain things that it only serves to build a big wall between them and everyone else. While I certainly support someone's right not to participate at all, I think your idea is a much better alternative!

    Lori

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  3. Amy, I agree with you 100%. Sharing God's love with a joyful heart and generous spirit is the way to go. Hallowe'en is a perfect opportunity to open our doors and do just that.

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  4. I really agree a lot with Lori's comment.
    I have to admit that we do let the kids get involved in Halloween festivities. I'm not a fan of some of the scarier costumes though. They seem to get scarier evey year. They even scare me!
    It sounds like you have created a perfect balance in your home Amy :)

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