I’ve got a confession to make… I like Halloween. I like the idea of dressing up to go to a party. I like trick-or-treating with our kids. I like Fall Festivals and caramel apples and decorating my house with spider webs or yellow caution tape. Does that make me a bad Christian?
I do understand the arguments regarding Halloween. Costumes originally worn out of a superstition that they would ward off ghosts on All Hallows’ Eve. (for more Halloween background, click HERE) And while many of today’s costumes and decorations include witches and monsters and ghouls of various shapes and sizes, it still doesn’t bother me. It’s all in fun. I don’t think that by dressing as a zombie my kids are opening themselves to anything demonic. In fact, perhaps the whole process of choosing a costume can be used as a way to talk about those sort of things. Sure, I like it when the kids would rather be Spiderman than Jason from Friday the 13th. But even more, I like it when they choose a costume we can make at home rather than the tacky looking ones that the Halloween stores charge an arm and a leg for (no pun intended).
I’m a little more on the fence when it comes to haunted houses. Mostly because they just creep me out. One of our kids has struggled with night terrors much of his life, and yet begs year after year to go check out a haunted house. At what age do you think kids or teens should be allowed to go?
Again I think the horrors of a haunted house can become opportunities for family discussion. We can ask things like, “What scares you the most and why?”, “Are those scary things real or fake?”, “How do you know?”, “What does the Bible say about fear?”.
Here’s the other issue I have with the idea of avoiding Halloween based on religious principle. For one, “religion” is rule-based, and my faith is relationship-based, so I’m not focused on rules (those who know me are not surprised here). My 5 children come from a variety of households, all of which have celebrated Halloween all their lives, as have I and my husband. If we were now to tell them they are not allowed to participate because well-meaning Christians have informed us it is wrong, well that’s the sort of thing that makes kids rebel against authority, and against the church.
So until God shows me that Halloween is wrong or spiritually dangerous, our family is going to continue to get dressed up and have fun with it. Besides, the Christmas season practically starts the day after Halloween anyway, and then we’ll have plenty of time to focus on the reason for the season.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Will you embrace your inner trick-or-treater? Are you more of a Fall Festival attender? Or are you a conscientious Halloween objector?
(archived from Oct. 12, 2013)