As a kid, I loved Halloween. I dressed up every year, went trick-or-treating with my mom until she got tired of taking me and figured I was old enough. Then she let me go alone in our neighborhood and that was creepy, even back in the 1980’s, so I quit going and just decided to get candy at Halloween parties. I never quit loving the decorations, the pumpkins, the dressing up, and all the sweet treats.
Fast forward, a few years after I got married and had kids. Me and the man got baptized and became believers – in Jesus, that is. Our family – on both sides – were always big on celebrating Halloween. They didn’t understand when we decided to just STOP celebrating and dressing up and doing all those Halloweeny things that people do.
In those early years, we decided to do a lot of other fun things for the kids involving candy, cake, parties, pumpkin patches, hay rides, fall nature walks, carriage rides, and dressing up so they wouldn’t feel like they were neglected or left out. We just centered it around other holidays we believed in – like Thanksgiving, and Christmas. One year they dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians, then pioneers; and because we homeschooled and studied unit studies with wrap up and kick off parties, we often dressed up for those, too. Our favorites have been dressing up for the Japan culture fair with our co-op and dressing up for the annual talent show and for a Presidents & Election Unit party as Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.
BUT, I digress…
So… all these years we’ve been in the dark porch club, hiding out and avoiding the cheesy gospel tracts stapled to tootsie rolls. I’ll be honest, I ended up feeling like I was getting more tricks than treats from the trick-or-treaters myself, after many a group of scary teens came up to my door when I had toddlers hanging off my hip. Nightmares for little ones are definitely tricks we could have done without.
Through the years, though, I felt really cheated. I felt like the decision to not recognize and celebrate the evil of the holiday of Halloween was the right decision. I’ve never wavered in this decision once since making it. Yet, I felt like there was no reason to avoid the joy of THIS DAY that the LORD MADE. Every day He makes is special and blessed – and as a Christian I should still be glad and rejoice in it.
There’s nothing wrong with dressing up – and celebrating together (God himself ordained many feasts and celebrations) – and being hospitable, fellowshipping with other Christians, eating, drinking, and being merry. I don’t have to hide out and wait for the ghosts and goblins to stop ringing my doorbell anymore.
This year we decided to reclaim the night. We’re going over to a friend’s house and having a Paleo Potluck (healthy food, not unhealthy candy), eating healthy sweets, dressing up and enjoying each other in Christian fellowship. On October 31st! Who does that?! I feel liberated to be able to feel like I can be joyous and free on this day, and not pretend it doesn’t exist any more.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more concerned about treats to come in my heavenly home. I plan to do a lot of praying tonight.
If you are interested in some Halloweeny research of your own, I have a few things in my Holiday board over at Pinterest that are great spook-free stories about what other Christians do and why. I particularly enjoyed reading this story – “Engaging but Not Encouraging Halloween” by Angie Toplin. She obviously has more time than me, because she linked a lot of great scripture and got all theological and deep. Sorry, no time for that right now. I’ve got toddlers to bathe!
Anyway, I better go get my list done… we’re going early to decorate my friend’s back yard with white lights and get chairs and glow sticks ready for the kids and adults who are eating. I’m cooking squash and dressing my little boys up with her stash of fun costumes. They might be an astronaut or a pirate… maybe a knight. Who knows?! Check me out on Instagram later (@sprittibee) and find out!
So what are you doing tonight? I hope you are having fun with your kids and honoring the One who blessed us with this fabulous season.
May God bless you and yours,