Halloween. What are we good Christians to do with this day? I've seen several blogs, all from Christian writers, expressing very different opinions.
When I became a mom for the first time, I determined that we would never "do" Halloween. I have a few fond memories of dressing up when I was a kid, but mostly Halloween was a blip on my childhood. As a conservative Christian I didn't want to do anything that could even remotely have ties back to the occult. So we decided we would never go Trick-Or-Treating, but that it was as good a day as any to dress the kids up and show them of at Grandma's house, where there happened to be lots of candy. =-) The kids would help grandma give out candy to trick-or-treaters. Then we'd go home.
A few years later my in-laws church started doing a Harvest Festival. They had blow up rides, and carnaval games and face painting, and all other sorts of fun to do with the family activities. So...we dressed the kids up in their (always) very friendly costumes, and did that. The kids had fun. They got a ton of toys and candy and cookies they didn't need, but it was fun.
Last year, after my in-laws Harvest Festival we went to their house for a bit. Before long the kids were asking if they cold PRETTY PLEASE just go around the block to trick-or-treat with Grandma? I was in a good mood. We were having a good night. So I thought, why not? We made the rounds and came back home with a ton of candy. The kids thought that was the best thing ever--going door to door and getting free candy!
Now we are at this year. My kids once again have their "nice" costumes. The in-laws aren't having the festival at their church this year, so we'll be going to visit Grandma and Grandpa to show off costumes. And maybe there will be a round of trick or treating in their neighborhood. And maybe another round in our neighborhood too.
And you know what? I think it's going to be okay.
Halloween will NEVER be my favorite day. I don't like it at all. I will never have a paper witch or mean-faced jack-lantern in my house. You will never see orange lights here! I'm in constant conflict about whether I'm just being a grinch, or if there is true justification to ignore what is NOW a pretty innoculous holiday. The truth is, I'm not carving a pumpkin because I believe it will keep souls away from my front door. We're not dressing up to keep gouls away. The kids are just having fun getting candy and going to harvest themed parties.
This sounds like justification to those of you who have decided to completely ignore the holiday. I understand that. I could very easily go back to completely ignoring it myself, honestly. But I have chosen to let this one go, to a certain point. We'll dress up. We'll visit people we know. We'll visit our neighbors who have already told our children to BE SURE to stop by their house (these are the kinds in neighbors that would give our kids a whole basket of goodies because they love them so much). The kids will have a good time. And mommy will be on constant watch for anything evil waiting to pop out of the bushes. I'm only half joking there. WE DON'T DO SCARY!
Here are a few articles on the top of "To Halloween or Not to Halloween" that I thought were prety good.
Can Christians Celebrate Halloween: http://www.carm.org/questions/other-questions/where-did-halloween-come-can-christian-celebrate-it
What About Halloween? http://answers.org/holidays/halloween.html