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.
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.
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!
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 !!
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.