Halloween Fuss

Honestly? I really don’t think it’s worth fussin’ over, this Halloween thing. Some hate it, others love it. They can be equally Christian, the haters and the lovers.  I try to dish out a fair amount of respect for others’ choices and expect the same in return.

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We can talk church history and paganism all you want, but my children and the people we visit on Halloween really don’t care about all that. I’m actually more concerned about future dental bills and upset stomachs each October 31 than I am that Jesus is frowning on my little farmers.

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Halloween is a community event here.  We are expected to show up on every doorstep, and the ones we miss are sure to scold the next time they see us around.  “We missed you Halloween night!”  One sweet widow asked, toward the end of the evening last year, “Are there many out?  I haven’t seen too many.”  I wanted to blow a whistle and yell to everyone on the streets to stop by Mrs. S’s house!

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Our own Trick-or-Treat Trek includes a 60-mile round trip drive after school to visit my grandparents, a couple aunts and uncles, and my in-laws.  (We’ll sure be missing Grammy this year!) Then we hit the pavement in our own Tiny Town. I don’t know how many times we are always thanked, and thanked, and thanked again for stopping by.  We’ve been asked in to many homes, and even had a family picture taken in our librarian’s front room once.  Apparently it’s therapeutic to see cute kids in costume.  ;)

Last year I grinned at this November 1 email from my aunt.

Just wanted to tell you that your yearly visit to Grandma & Grandpa’s each Halloween is the highlight of their year….I truly believe !! :)   Mom was so excited to see your children in their Halloween garb….she just bragged, bragged and bragged some more…..time and time again….they were so CUTE she kept saying….I think “your children” were the whole topic of our conversation last night !! :)   Anyway….you made their day and I wanted you to know that!  Maybe you could dress them up on New Years, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, April Fool’s Day, May Day……every little occasion and take them to the farm and make G’ma’s day !! :) happy

And that right there, my friends, is why we do Halloween.

I’m sure I could look deeper into it and teach our children why dressing up as fluffy blue monsters and squishy pigs to visit happy neighbors handing out sweets only promotes evil, but I’m rather certain their eyes would glaze over.

And then where would I get all the candy we toss at the Tiny Town Christmas parade, pack in OCC Shoeboxes, and hand out with Valentines? ;)

What would Jesus do? I don’t know. What does Jesus want me to do? I’m not entirely sure. What does Jesus want you to do about Halloween? Absolutely not for me to say, even if I thought I had answers. Which I don’t.

The one thing I’m relatively certain of: My salvation doesn’t hang on Halloween, and neither does yours. Thank goodness, right?

 

 

Adapted from a post published on November 1, 2012.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this. I think not celebrating Halloween because it’s “evil” is a silly idea now days. We aren’t celebrating anything evil with Halloween anymore…it has just become a fun holiday for the kids to get to dress up and get candy, nothing more than that.

  2. I don’t know what Jesus would say about Halloween either, but I know the the excitement and joy and community feel, doesn’t feel wrong. My kids are older now, but I love having little ones come to our door!

  3. Jennifer Young says:

    Absolutely how I feel!! Our neighbors just love seeing our kids dressed up. My husband and I were talking this morning about how much work goes into every holiday. For parents/adults anyway. I don’t know if I’m just not interested enough or just too lazy to get all crazy for everything. I suspect the latter. Ha. We don’t carve pumpkins, we don’t buy new costumes (borrow or get creative), I don’t make fancy Halloween treats… More power to you if you like that stuff, but it’s not for me.

    • “I don’t know if I’m just not interested enough or just too lazy to get all crazy for everything. I suspect the latter. Ha. We don’t carve pumpkins, we don’t buy new costumes (borrow or get creative), I don’t make fancy Halloween treats…” < ———– We are SISTERS! ;) I didn’t buy a thing. (I’ve even been known to “recycle” my kids candy when we get home for the late-comers who ring our doorbell. Ha!)

  4. Molly Morgan says:

    Thanks so much for putting into words what I have tried to explain to certain persons in our little town that don’t GET IT!!! Fellowship and family is why we “do” Halloween.

  5. Hi Amy! So very well put! It’s kind of funny, the same people who frown at Halloween, decorate for Christmas using a Christmas tree! Same pagan tradition! If your heart doesn’t condemn you, neither should they! It’s for the kids! Your kids are adorable in their costumes! What memories! Thanks for sharing and Happy Halloween! Blessings from Bama!

    • Yes! I keep forgetting about the Christmas tree! (Pretty sure we humans make big deals of things that don’t matter and then sometimes forget the things that DO…)

  6. I guess I will be the first to offer a different opinion, just in case no one has ever thought of it from this perspective. What I say is full of respect for others choices. This is simply a very short way to explain why I choose not to celebrate halloween. I believe that “doing halloween” simply for the free candy and community fellowship and saying that it isn’t about evil anymore is the same as “doing Christmas” for the presents and hanging out with family and saying that it isn’t about Jesus anymore. I think certain holidays always carry meaning and that it can never be changed. I don’t think you can take evil out of halloween any more than you can take Jesus out of Christmas. There will always be people in every town that invite evil into halloween just like there will always be people that invite Jesus into their Christmas celebrations. I understand why you make your choice and I respect that. This is the reason for mine. I hope your kiddos have a blast tonight!

    • Respectful discussions and sharing differing points of view stretch us all and make us think. It’s a good thing! Thank you so much for weighing in!

  7. Amen! What a GREAT post!

  8. So glad to have someone put that out there. It is what you make of it

  9. Not certain, but if I had to guess I think Jesus would be happy that you are doing a good deed and perking up someone’s day and putting a smile on someone’s face.

    • And I wonder if maybe, just maybe, he wispers, “See. Community is good! Don’t wait until Halloween next year to bless others and bring joy.” ;)

  10. ok, I admit it, I had been complaining about going out with my girls who are older trick or treating for another year…not being positive AT ALL…because of the many family/friends we visit so they can see the girls…but I DO like your perspective and WILL try to change that attitude…because really what does it hurt and how many more years will the girls actively want to go trick treating…

    • If the kids weren’t So.Very.Excited. I could pretty easily hide somewhere with a movie myself. But they are, and The People are, so I’ll dress up as Fun Mom. LOL

  11. You are blessed to have such a community. Having moved a lot, it is difficult to find that. The Halloween you describe is the one I grew up with 40 years ago. Unfortunately, a lot of places no longer have that community, that acceptance. Here it is the 15-20 year old crowds that jam the doors and grab handfuls of candies and then berate you if you try to limit them to just a little so the younger kids can enjoy. The pranks they see as so simple and trivial are just fore-runners of the troubles ahead if they continue on the road they have started. A few years ago we were invited to a 6 year olds birthday party that had a Halloween theme (was a few days off), only to discover it was an adult party with the kid party tacked on. The birthday boy refused to leave from under his bed because he was terrified of the costumes the adults wore. My son had to go home and change clothes as he had wet his pants because of the costumes. My two kids, now 10, hate going into stores and seeing the gory, bloody, scary items on display for sale. Seeing the wholesome, fun costumes your children are wearing, yes, I can see how Halloween can still be fun and worthwhile. What we see here where we live–we’ll be hibernating in a back bedroom tonight having a family night instead.

    • Oh, geez, Rhoda! You are helping me count my blessings today. In your situation we’d be hiding in the back bedroom, too! Ick!

  12. I absolutely adore your post today. Maybe it is the ‘adorable’ costumes that flood the page…but I did enjoy reading your reasons for doing Halloween. I personally made the decision not to celebrate when my children were growing up. One child carried that on in her family. The other decided to celebrate with her children. I admire both of them for their convictions. I personally would do it different if I had the chance. And I do miss seeing the sweetness of children in costumes. Have fun!!

  13. We have a few nursing homes in our area that have activities for the kids and they bring the residents out to watch them play and those that can hand out treats do. We have visited them every year possible since our kids were big enough and it has always been a blessing to me. The residents get the biggest kick out of seeing all those children come dressed up.

  14. Amen to your post!! Loved it!! My youngest is now 13 and I think he has more fun dressing up, handing out candy to the little kids, watching scary movies w/ Mom and eating pizza and wings than he ever did trekking around the neighborhood getting candy!! Of course, I also have a bunch of his favorite candy on hand so he doesn’t miss out. I can’t find the harm in any of this, but that’s just me. Loved the pics of your kids. Thanks for a glimpse into your life.

  15. Amen, friend! (Also? Now I’m feeling guilty for not taking Annalyn to my grandma’s today…grrr!) (AND? Your kids are super cute!!)

  16. Ashley’s comment makes me realize I’m missing a step in the evolution of Halloween. It began as a pagan holiday, like Easter and Christmas, then evolved into a Christian holiday that focused on remembering loved ones, martyrs, and saints. It’s still part of the liturgical calendar and celebrated as such in many European and South American countries. I’ve known this for some time, but it had pretty much slipped my mind.
    I’ve never been comfortable with Halloween as a celebration of fear and violence; and costumes, candy, and harvest games have never seemed quite adequate to counteract the gore and scariness (for me). Ashley’s comment has me thinking that the key (again, for me) might be to add an element of remembrance–we have several precious loved ones who are with Jesus, and it could be a great time to tell the kids about them and thank God for the blessing of knowing them when they were here on earth.

    • “and costumes, candy, and harvest games have never seemed quite adequate to counteract the gore and scariness ” my guess (after reading a few other comments) is that this is quite dependent on each individual environment. We encountered ONE kinda sorta scary mask last week, but I know other towns/neighborhoods are faced with much more gore!

      • I think you’re so right! Many of our neighbors really revel in the pagan and/or scary side of Halloween, and our area always has a lot of haunted houses and gory Halloween stores. So it’s all around us here.

  17. I hope you don’t mind, but I had to share this post on Facebook–it was PERFECT!! You summed it up perfectly! It is what you make of it. We are a Christian family, our salvation is in Christ ALONE (!), and we do have the discussion with our kids about Satan and how all he wants to do is derail us. We avoid the gore, we use creative and fun costumes, and we have fun, as a family! And I know what you’re saying about Your People who want you to come by. Our next-door neighbor is a sweet elderly woman who made our 5 kids each a special bag of candy, and then asked if she could take pictures of them in their costumes! Sometimes these kids are all the “grandkids” some people will get. It melts your heart. God bless your adorable family, and keep up the good work, Amy!

  18. Jenna DeMaria says:

    Amy, thank you so much for this. For the past 2 weeks I have been bombarded with posts from other blogs I follow, telling me how wrong I am to choose to Trick or Treat with my kids. I think everyone has a right to their opinion. I don’t agree with them using their podium to preach how wrong others are. I believe that is left up to God to judge. And I wish we could all choose our words as eloquently as you did. Thank you and God Bless!

  19. well said.

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