Christians and Halloween! I clearly remember the first time, as a Christian, I had to confront the issue of Halloween and my faith. Because I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, I went trick-or-treating as a child and my favorite costume was one my mother made for me – a witch costume! It was fun, I got candy, and my friends thought the costume was great. But now, with my own children, things had changed and my peers and Christian community indicated to me that Halloween was an evil holiday that our family should not participate in. My husband and I both struggled with it but took the advice of those more experienced than we were.
We began to change and grow and so did the local churches. There were Harvest events at various churches and my children could dress up as Hobos or superheroes and go there to get candy and play games. As they grew older, we also allowed them to go out in our neighborhoods with all their friends and gather candy! Our views had changed.
For a time, we had friends who believed that Christians shouldn’t have televisions in their homes and closely guarded their children, even asking friends to shut off the TV when their children came to visit. My husband and I considered that and prayed about it. Our decision was to keep the television but to monitor what we watched and talk to our children about why we didn’t watch certain things. Christians have opposite views about many aspects of life and we need to allow for that.
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The Debate on Christians vs Halloween
I know that many Christians still struggle with the contradictions of Halloween and there are strong feelings both for and against. Some believe that, by participating, we give the impression we condone the evil and ugly side of Halloween. I particularly dislike all of the horror movies which are released at this time of year and won’t watch them. Others believe that all the fear about Halloween is greatly overblown and we can instruct our children if they have questions. The truth is, unless we tell them, most children today know nothing of the Druids and the beliefs that overtook All Saints Day (All Hallows Eve) hundreds of years ago. Most of our kids just view it as a massively awesome time to dress up in costumes and get candy!
My church puts on a Trunk-or-Treat every year and it’s extremely popular. Many local churches do. It draws people from nearby neighborhoods by providing a safe place for their children to have fun and that is our goal. At the same time, we play Christian music, have food available and handouts with Christian material for them. We even have a contest for the best “Trunk” and all who come get to vote.
At the end of the day, it isn't about Pagan traditions, monsters, or evil. It is about enjoying family time together and showing hospitality to others in the community. It is about loving on others just as Jesus first loved us. And it is about each individual family doing what they feel is right for their own family.
Do What Is Best For Your Family
I am not going to tell you whether or not you should participate in Halloween. I am going to tell you that fear should not be the tipping point for hiding from Halloween. I will also tell you, that you need to make your own decision based on your values, conscience, and prayer. Then, you should live it out without judging others. If you choose not to participate, you have no right to judge those who do. And, they have no right to judge you. We must all do what we believe is best for us and our families in God’s eyes.
Don't speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God's law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12 NLT
Always Reflect Jesus
While I could spend a great deal of time talking about the Christian history of Halloween, others can spend even more words telling you about the evils. Halloween is a name given to a particular date on the calendar. It is a marketing tool that brings millions of dollars to retailers. What you do with October 31st is the same thing you should do with every other day on the calendar – live it in the way you believe reflects Jesus to the world around you and do not condemn how others choose to live on October 31st or any day.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
Engage Your Children in Meaningful Conversation
Have a conversation with your children based on their age. As my sons got older, they had absolutely no interest in the Christian origins of Halloween or what the Druids believed. They didn’t ask about being witches or warlocks. Their focus was on fun, friends, and candy. Perhaps your kids will be interested in the history of the holiday. Share your concerns with them and ask them what their feelings and ideas are about Halloween. A 4-year-old probably won’t have too many different opinions! However, an 8-year-old will, and you need to hear and discuss them.
How do You Treat Other “Commercial” Holidays?
Really, it’s the same with Christmas and Easter. Our children are exposed to so many opinions and ideas at very young ages, which makes it even more important for you to discuss each holiday openly. At Easter, the primary visual is a Bunny Rabbit and eggs. At Christmas, it’s the tree, Santa and presents. These are the images in media and in public discussion. We need to redeem every holiday in our own homes. Not from fear, but from faith. Our children need to see us standing for what we believe without condemning others.
At Easter, my church has a helicopter egg drop! We stuff thousands of plastic eggs with candy and invite the community to come. Kids love helicopters. We are not focusing on the helicopter and the eggs as being the reason for Easter. We invite the families to the activities we have during church. So, people who don’t normally come to church, bring their kids for all the fun (and Jesus resurrection) and top the day off watching thousands and thousands of plastic eggs drop to the ground with candy for all.
For Christmas, our kids believed in Santa Claus. They knew the difference between Jesus and Santa. Santa’s only role was to deliver presents. We didn’t focus on him, we just had fun. They knew without any doubt that the true meaning of Christmas was the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Santa’s role in Christmas always ended when they finally found out he wasn’t real. His influence in their lives was short-lived because of our example.
Celebrate Every Day for Jesus
So, you see, each holiday has to be addressed just as each day does. The need to have ongoing conversations with our children about faith, values, and lifestyle is unending and of vital importance. Their choices as adults might vary from ours but we will have done all we can to keep Jesus at the forefront of their minds and hearts throughout their lives. We need to do it today, around Halloween, Christmas and Easter, and all the days in between. Encourage, uplift, speak the Word and enjoy your time with your children.
Whatever your beliefs are, I applaud you and encourage to live them out. November 1st will arrive, and we still need to love each other as Jesus commanded! Whatever you do for every holiday and every other day, do it from faith and love, communicating a joyful heart to your family.
We would LOVE to hear some things you and your family do on this one day of the year! Leave us a comment below and let us know!
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**We use verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.