The other day I was driving my kids home from a Halloween activity at their school and I glanced in my rearview mirror to see a chef, a giant “tube man”, and a box of donuts.
I love being a mom! is the exact thought that popped in my head as a smile stretched across my face. My kids have always enjoyed dressing up and make-believe. There aren’t many opportunities to wear costumes out in public, but every year on October 31st the kids have a chance to choose a fun or silly character to transform into. When I am grocery shopping I often catch a glimpse of one the kids names in faded sharpie somewhere on my reusable shopping bags from when someone claimed that bag to collect candy in.
And yet the other day when one of Ezie’s teachers asked if there was anyone who doesn’t celebrate Halloween Ezie raised his hand. For the record I think the teacher was about to play a halloween themed game and didn’t want to step on any toes… maybe. Also, for the record Ezie was the only kid in class who doesn’t celebrate Halloween. So how can we not celebrate Halloween, but choose to participate in Halloween activities!? Aren’t we sending conflicting messages to our children? Isn’t that a little wishy washy? It’s like we want to have our cake, or candy in this case, and eat it too.
Before I dive into my justification, or explanation, or whatever you want to call it, let me start by saying this is our personal choice as a family. I’m not a theologian and I am definitely not trying to sway anyone any direction. I have friends in the faith who have kids and do absolutely no Halloween activities at all due to their convictions. I admire that. I also have Christian friends that claim Halloween as their favorite Holiday and go all out with the gore and fear. I’m not going to lie, that confuses me, but I still love them. Our family’s stance confuses some people too. So I understand. I’m an enneagram nine. I don’t get shaken up by ghost or goblins, but I am terrified of offending anyone.
Anyway, here is how it works in our family and we’ve been parents for 15 years now. We have taught our kids the foundations of the Bible from day one. When it comes to the darkness that takes over on Halloween it is something that I personally don’t enjoy. I look forward to when October is over. J and I got married on November 4th because I love fall but hate Halloween and didn’t want to be married in October. November 4th was the first Saturday that was available. Now it’s our anniversary. True story.
The first Halloween that rolled around when we were new parents wasn’t much of a decision because he was too little to go trick or treating. However we were invited to a costume party by some of our church friends and dressed him up right off the bat.
The next year we hosted a costume party for our young adults ministry group and dressed up again.
The following year he was old enough to walk around our neighborhood and all of our neighbors just loved seeing him as an adorable little dinosaur.
Then we had two kids and the costumes continued.
We always made sure they knew our goal is to glorify God in all we do be it costumes, music, movies etc. We are a light in the darkness.
As more and more Halloweens passed and our family grew we had more opportunities to talk about what the Bible teaches us about witchcraft, evil spirits, darkness, and fear. We believe that Jesus overcame hell and the grave. He came that we could have LIFE and have it abundantly. So when we pass by our neighbor’s house that goes all out every October with really over the top creepy things, including a skeleton holding a skeleton baby in a bloody blanket, I pray as I drive by.
The kids know that they want to be something joyful when they dress up. They believe and can articulate why death, fear, pain, and darkness is in direct opposition to the life, hope, healing, and light that we stand for as believers. We are not perfect parents or people. We are hypocrites in too many ways. However, I am grateful to know that when it comes to this “spooky” season, which was always something I dreaded, we have been able to use it as an opportunity to teach truth to our kids. We love getting together with our friends, we love costumes, and we love fall so much. We are like the Jewish family who celebrates Hanukkah but they allow their kids to see Santa or go to Christmas parties.
So if you’ve ever wondered why some Christians don’t celebrate Halloween, or if you’ve ever wondered how a Christian could, now you have a little inside scoop, for one family at least.
1 Corinthians 15:58
“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”