I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween. I hate all of the scary TV ads, movie previews, and creepy decorations. I love the colors (orange! It’s my favorite color!), the candy (hello Fun Size!), and the costumes. The tricks; every year when I lived in Germany the fountains of the villages our bus route drove through were full of soap suds from tricks done the night before. The treats; nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!! There’s one question I have though…
Because I profess to believe in Christ this holiday has always felt like one I should like in hiding. It’s not because of anything that I’ve heard in a church, rather, it’s the voices of the disapproving that seem to speak louder in my head. Is it because I feel guilty? Not necessarily. To be honest I’m quite the people-pleaser and being a military kid I’ve figured out how to fit into different social settings quickly. After all, I had to in order to survive moving schools every two to three years.
Christianity vs. Halloween: Yes, there’s a dark side to Halloween. I choose to ignore it. There’s a dark side to anything when you look close enough at it. We live in a broken world, a sinful world, and as much as I would like to hide my face from it there is evil in this world. I have two options:
I can remove my children from ever having to see the dark side of the world; hoping, instead, that they’ll naturally shy away from it when they’re grown. Maybe they will because they’ve stayed away from it their entire life? Maybe they’ll rebel at the chance of freedom? Who knows?
I can guide them through life, allowing them to see the dark sides, but teaching them the Way and the Truth. When they’re grown the outcome will be the same as it would if I had sheltered them. They will either stay true to the course, only, I hope it would be because of knowledge and belief rather than fear of the unknown. Or they’ll rebel at the chance of freedom, deciding instead to take a different path.
For our family, we choose the latter and this is why we do participate in Halloween. Rather than live in fear, anxiously hoping that protecting our children from the evil that’s present in this world will be enough, my husband and I choose to prepare them. It’s our duty as parents to help them become capable adults, fully informed and ready to live in the world. We do live in this world and while our faith calls us to not be of it we do have to still exist in it. If there’s one thing that I have learned in 31 years of life it’s that you have no control over anything. Try as I may to control and dictate outcomes, it never happens. I am not in control nor will I ever be in control. God is sovereign; the control is His. Trusting in Him to protect my children while I prepare them to live in a corrupt world is all that I can do. It’s all I must do.
Plus, Halloween is a fun holiday. Some of my best childhood memories are from planning my Halloween costume starting in August to seeing it to fulfillment on October 31st. Will I dress my children up in witch costumes or ghosts? No, I won’t and that’s because of my own personal belief. I will also discourage them from choosing costumes that are murderous, malicious looking, too sexy or showcase that evil that is present in this world. I will, however, encourage them to think of a fun costume, something that reflects that childhood innocence that is often lost at such an early age. That is how we’ll celebrate…oh and candy, lots and lots of candy!!
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Whether you love Halloween for the simple fun or you love a good scare I sincerely hope this Halloween has brought fun memories to you and your kiddos! Happy Halloween!!
Do you celebrate? Why or why not?
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As the creator of the lifestyle blog and book, Me Before Mom, Bert supports millennial moms facing the challenges and changes of motherhood. Me Before Mom is an online community that offers support through real life stories, encouraging advice, and answers to questions about how a woman maintains herself during this self-sacrificial time of parenthood. Stories from Bert Anderson have helped women across the globe through the Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, and on the Harry show. Whether weathering the first year of motherhood or walking through the later stages of motherhood, Bert has helped many continue to find herself while still in the throes of motherhood. Purchase your copy of Me Before Mom: Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First today!
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Erin K. · January 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm
We are a devout family as well and I have thought about my kids celebrating Halloween. Like you, it was never because I had heard that our religion forbade it but because others have shown a disapproving eye. But I love Halloween and just like everything else in life you have to be able to guide your children in the right direction. Let them experience things but be there to show them the truth and how to live.
Hope · October 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm
We do not. To me, the church and it’s people should be totally separate from the world in every way possible. Living IN the world and not OF it. We try very hard for every holiday to put an emphasis on God. The world does an excellent job of bombarding our kids with garbage…..we have to be separate from that. We celebrate the Fall Season with pumpkins, hayrides, the harvest and just he pure beauty that takes place in our season at this time but no costumes or anything scary. I think one of the biggest ways our church and it’s people have failed is trying to immolate Pagan Holidays but with a Christian twist…..not biblical at all.
FirstTimeMom MN · October 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm
Thanks for your response! I totally see where you’re coming from and really appreciate your opinion. There are some things I’d rather separate myself from the world that I feel would make more of an impact than abstaining from a holiday or a holiday tradition.
Tracy · October 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm
Halloween(All Hallows Eve/All Saints Eve) actually started out as a Christian (in the general term)Holiday to remember the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.We too celebrate it w/o giving into the harshness of the version many celebrate today. I don’t think there is a wrong or right, just a personal preference.
FirstTimeMom MN · October 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm
Nicole · October 17, 2014 at 7:01 am
I agree with your article, the church I grew up in had costume parties and handed out candy, trunk or treat style. You can bring the light of Jesus into everything, we put tracts in our candy bags to hand out along with treats! Thanks for sharing!
Theresa Hover · December 25, 2014 at 12:25 am
My husband’s family never celebrated Halloween, but I loved Halloween as a child! When we have children, I think we will have to find a compromise, and I love the thoughtful way your family has gone about it.
Kayleigh Rose · September 29, 2017 at 10:40 am
This is a controversial topic so good for you to write a post on it! I’m also Christian but choose to participate in Halloween, with similar stipulations as you. If we were attending a church that had an actual fun alternative for kids on Halloween night, we’d consider that too, but I actually like how you get to meet your neighbours and go door to door trick or treating. Because in this day and age, when else can you randomly knock on your neighbours’ doors and do something that involves your whole community? As my kids get older though we will be having conversations with them about why we refrain from certain practices or costumes during Halloween though.
Bert @ First Time Mom MN · September 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm
That’s a great point.
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