I am on the fence about Halloween.
I’ve always celebrated Halloween.
My kids have always celebrated Halloween.
I take great pride in selecting my candy for Halloween.
But now, I’m questioning Halloween.
Over the past two years I’ve noticed a shift in the Christian community towards “fall festivals” instead of Halloween. But I’ve never really known anyone personally that put a ban on it.
I know that there are members of our society that take great pleasure in doing all sorts of questionable things on this day and a few who view it as a holy day for their mystical worship. But since we didn’t participate in those things, I really didn’t worry about it.
Then recently I saw this post sort of detailing the history of Halloween from a Christian perspective and I started to ponder the whole concept of Halloween. I also did some research on the internet and came across this Ancient History of Halloween from the History Channel as well as this History of the Jack O’Lantern.
I don’t know what to do.
I want to do the right thing.
But what is the right thing?
I don’t know.
After reading the History Channel’s version of the History of the Jack O’Lantern I have to say I don’t see anything wrong with carving a pumpkin. It’s crafty, fun, and apparently it’s origins come from an attempt to frighten away ‘stingy Jack’ —-an urban legend of sorts. Now do I think that our Jack O’Lanterns will scare away ‘Stingy Jack’ or evil spirits? No. I don’t even believe in ‘Stingy Jack’ and neither do my children. Part of me feels that this is not any differant than if someone started worshipping pencils—- I wouldn’t stop using pencils in my homeschool because they have distorted its meaning.
While I’m questioning Halloween and pondering its significance (or lack of) I must admit, I’m still leaning towards allowing my children to participate in some of the customs.
Our costumes have been purchased (2 super heroes, a mermaid and a princess) and following October 31st they will end up in the dress up box where they will continue to be worn with glee. We won’t be home for Halloween this year. Instead we have tickets to Mickey’s Not Too Scary Halloween Party and plan on visiting family in Orlando. I know my children will enjoy seeing the Disney Characters in their own Halloween costumes and trick or treating through Main Street. And I cannot wait to see my little ones dressed up in their costumes, take a few pictures, and make a scrapbook page of it all.
I know they can dress up any day of the week—but there is something nostalgic about my own childhood Halloweens that I want to experience again through my children’s eyes and have them experience.
Each family has a chance to make their own traditions and adapt them to their own beliefs. I respect my friends who choose not to allow their children to participate in Halloween as well as those who do. I respect the churches who want to put on Fall Festivals for the children and take the focus off of costumes and carved pumpkins.
While I don’t know what next year will bring for my family I do know that this year I want to spend this time learning about Bats and Spiders, making mini pumpkins, making pumpkin dip together and watching them trade candy with each other and then raiding their Halloween bags after they go to sleep!
Can Halloween be what you make it regardless of what it might have meant a long time ago? Or are we kidding ourselves? What does your family do (or not do) on October 31st? Do you think Christian’s can celebrate Halloween?