With Halloween right around the corner my kids are driving me batty wanting to know when it's trick-or-treating time! Sam says he wants to be Robin for Halloween time and Spiderman for trick-or-treat time (you can't reason with a 3 year old that they are the SAME thing)! All the talk about Halloween leads me to ask the question--do we celebrate Halloween as Christians? Is it OK?
Well, I googled the history of Halloween and found several different reasons as to why it started. One of the most consistent was that it orginated as a Celtic festival that had something to do with crops and living/dead worlds overlapping on Oct. 31...Americans adopted the tradition of trick or treating and costumes first in the west and then it spread to the east. Also noted that Disney firmly established the tradition in 1952 when they ran a cartoon called Trick or Treat.
In a book at Sam's therapy (I can't remember the name of it-I'll look Thurs.), Halloween is said to be a time to celebrate the fact that those we love who have died have gone to heaven and are enjoying eternal life. It's celebration of what Christ provided for us when He died on the cross--eternal life!
I don't know how much of the research is true...just thought it was interesting. I think that as parents it is up to us to decide whether to celebrate Halloween or not. I grew up trick-or-treating and dressing up and I turned out just fine...no devil worshipping or witchcraft. But you know your child. I know that for us we celebrate fall. I don't do Halloween decorations (except a cartoon ghost tablecloth) and we don't go to spook houses or watch scary movies. We go to the fall festivals and the kids dress up. We trick-or-treat on Halloween at the local Baptist church and neighborhood around the church. I make sure to tell my kids that we are celebrating fall and not witches, vampires, or other scary things.
There are lots of things as Christians that we can do during Halloween time. When carving a pumpkin, you can use the face to symbolize Christianity pumpkin carving. The 'Pumpkin Patch Parable' by Liz Curtis Higgs is also a good book for kids about Halloween (you can get it at Lifeway). Another thing is to use the "Shine your light (Matt. 5:16)" saying with a carved pumpkin or picture (you can find this on Oriental Trading). You can google 'Christian Halloween' and get all kinds of ideas about how to use this holiday for good in your child.
I know some will say that we shouldn't celebrate Halloween as Christians and I agree that we shouldn't embrace the world's celebration of it, but there are all kinds of ways to reach out to others during this holiday. You can give out gospel tracts with your candy--you can get cute ones for kids at Lifeway. You can host a fall festival with games and candy without costumes either at your home or church and invite kids you know don't know Christ. The possibilities are endless!
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