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?
I just wanted to thank you for coming by my blog and leaving such sweet comments! Sorry about the roach and spider post…I guess I shouldn’t mention the LIZARD in my Living Room today, then?
the Lettered Cottage
I've thought about this too…& like you I think about both sides.
I'm come to the conclusion that we can't change what was done in history-what matters most to the Lord is what we do today. WE are not pagan worshippers nor are we members of a cult. We do not do any violent things, we are celebrating the fall harvest.
EVERYTHING can be turned around & made into something bad. It's all about perspective. Christmas is religious for us, but people could also say that you shouldn't lie to your children about a strange man “breaking into” your house to give you things-& watching you all the time is pretty disturbing too…
(ps. we celebrate both holidays)
i tend to think christians overreact about some things, this issue being one of them. i don’t have any wise words all of the sudden (maybe never) but we dress up and go to festivals around in our community and enjoy the season with everyone else.
Amy B says
I actually wrote a post about this but I won’t be posting it until later this week. I don’t even consider the spiritual aspect of Halloween anymore and yes, we used to participate.
For me it is more of a parenting issue. I finally realized that I don’t let my kids watch scary movies so why would I allow them to see the images in real life? My boys had nightmares for weeks after some of the things they saw on that one night and it was real – not on a movie – so it took lots of prayer and comforting to get them over it.
Then there is the girls who use the holiday as an excuse to bare all. Again, I don’t let the boys look at material that could cause them to lust so why would I expose them to it in real life?
The boys do like to dress up so I do purchase costumes for them every year when they go on clearance after Halloween. We carve pumpkins too – no harm in that. Our church also hosts a Harvest Night so we get to attend that and take the attention off of what they think they are missing.
That’s how I see if from a nonspiritual point of view.