To Halloween or Not To Halloween: That is the Question
Make no mistake: I grew up in a profoundly Christian home with two parents incredibly committed to raising their brood in the fear and admonition of the Lord. We never felt like we were selling out or compromising; Halloween just wasn’t a big deal. We enjoyed the fun of bobbing for apples in a friend’s barn, dressing up in wacky costumes, and eating way too much candy.
But then, I became a parent and things seemed to change. The innocence and silliness of the season began darkening, revealing more disturbed and violent sensations. Scarecrows turned to vampires. Ghosts turned to demons. Clown paint turned to oozing blood. Animals showed up tortured or missing. Death abounded. Evil lurked.
So here’s the question: Has the season actually changed...or have I? Probably both. As my children grew, I became increasingly troubled by the tone of this holiday, which I was seemingly supporting. I was personally confronted with a simple decision: In the precious few years I have to mold my children, do I want to spend even one day a year dancing with darkness?
It’s a quandary for parents. I appreciate the churches that throw those wonderful “Fall Festivals” for kids. Thanks to them, we have some adorable photos of our kids dressed up like Sylvester the Cat and a ladybug. I also applaud the home schooling groups that emphasize the “All Saints Day” aspect of the season by assigning papers on heroes of the faith. They’ve wisely chosen to follow Scripture’s direction that we “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
For me, it comes down to that foundational truth outlined in Ephesians 5:16. I intend to “be very careful, then, how (I) live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17). For this reason, we've chosen a pretty limited course when it comes to participating in Halloween festivities.
I’m curious: How have you settled this issue in your home? What does your family do when October 31 rolls around on the calendar? I’d love to hear about it!
NOTE: If you’re interested in exploring this issue more, check out an intriguing approach outlined in the book Redeeming Halloween, authored by Kim Wier & Pam McCune.