Each year many parents debate about celebrating Halloween. I remember when my sons (Zac & Wes) were small and we were young parents facing this decision. Do we stand against this and refuse to participate or do we participate and leave behind all the scary costumes? Do we discuss our Christian beliefs before Trick or Treating? And questions just kept coming.
In those days we chose not to participate but we were all sad since dressing up and eating candy is so much fun. Halloween alternative ideas were new and we hadn’t considered anything like this yet. Our school didn’t have a carnival either. There was no safe place to take small kids especially in a Christian environment.
Halloween — Now
It really didn’t take long to realize we could be a huge blessing to our town by hosting a Fall Festival at the church. It is a lot of work but the town saw us meet a need. We hosted several kinds of alternatives: the carnival type, open house to Trick or Treat every SS classroom, Trunk or Treat in the parking lot and now Light the Night. We are taking a mash up of all the above ideas and putting it in neighborhoods of our church members. Please search “Light the Night” on the navigation bar (above) to learn more about it.
Facts About Halloween
- More than 50 million Americans celebrate Halloween each year.
- Halloween is second only to Christmas for holiday decorating. An estimated 50 percent of Americans decorate for Halloween.
- An estimated 90 percent of all families with children ages twelve and younger will participate in trick-or-treating or costume parties.
- Halloween has now evolved into the third most popular holiday party occasion for adults. (Christmas and New Year’s Eve are first and second.)
- An estimated $400 million is spent on Halloween each year. Most is spent on candy and costumes. About $60 million is earmarked for decorating and entertaining.
- Halloween is the eighth largest seasonal card-sending occasion in America.
Responding to Halloween
Some people are convinced that if we just ignore Halloween, it will disappear. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that Halloween is here to stay. And, burying our heads in the sand won’t make it go away. So, use this secular holiday when families gather to your advantage. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”
Ephesians 5:15-16 says: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because days are evil.” Halloween is another opportunity for Christians to share their faith. Participating in an alternative is not the same as celebrating the holiday.
Remember to use the Bible as your filter for what takes place at the alternative. The worst thing you could do is present an alternative event that is just like every other Halloween event in town. Don’t see how closely you can copy the world. Instead, make your event appealing but different. Whatever you do, remember the principle found in l Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Our desire should be to please God in everything we do. How we respond to Halloween is no exception. We can provide for children a fun and safe alternative to Halloween and still glorify God. Let’s be creative as we “turn on the light” of God’s Word and overcome “evil with good” on October 31.
How important do you feel it is to develop family traditions and keep a Christian perspective at Halloween?