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.