Ask Elizabeth: Have you always celebrated Halloween? Growing up I didn’t and I am just now thinking more about why some Christians do and others don’t. I would love your perspective!
Lately I too have seen several post and shares about Christians celebrating Halloween! It is something to think & pray about and discover your “why” for why you do or don’t! Some Christians feel very passionate that it is a holiday we should avoid because of dark roots & pagan practices while others host Trunk-Or- Treat in their Church parking lots to create a fun & safe place for kids to go trick-or-treating. It’s honestly one of those things that I feel is so much up to personal conviction – like drinking alcohol, the types of media we choose to consume, and where we send our kids to school. I’ve heard the term “Christian Liberty” to describe these non-essential issues and I would encourage you to read Romans 14-15:6 to learn more about this Biblical perspective and how celebrating or not celebrating Halloween would fall into this umbrella.
This post isn’t to convince any Christian who feels uncomfortable with Halloween/ doesn’t celebrate it to change their minds. I’m proud of them for living by their convictions and making the choices they think are best for their family! We are all going to parent differently and that is okay. I’m also not here to point fingers “at the other side” – Peter reminds us to “have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8) While I do believe as Christians we are going to disagree on a lot of things, it is important that we have unity in mind for the most important things – the Gospel truths. And then respect, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind when it comes to all the other things.
Just as I love reading why some Christians are convicted not to celebrate Halloween, I wanted to share why my family does.
Why we Celebrate Halloween…
To Be a Light
As believers we are called to be the light bringers and ambassadors bringing hope & Good News to a dark world. Matthew 5:13-15 tells us we are the light to this world. This holiday may be very dark (and the state of our world in general) but I believe that is all the more reason to be the neighbors that greet the trick-or-treaters (all of them regardless of the quality of their costume, their age, their size, their attitude) with a lit poach, good candy, and a warm heart. You do not have your neighbors coming to your door everyday to meet you – they only do this once, why miss the chance to truly love your neighbors?
I also think it is a great “excuse” to reach out and invite a neighbor to trick-or-treat with you or attend a festival at your church or ring their doorbell to give them Halloween Cookies and catch up face-to-face. I don’t think we ever need a reason to reach out to the people around us but I do think it is more of an ice breaker for both sides when you have a reason like a holiday!
To Redeem the Holiday
Just because darkness is prevalent does not mean that it should win. If we run away from the holiday, will only the scary houses, the gore inspired costumes, and creepy movie marathons be left? I don’t want that. I want to keep the joy of dressing up like our favorite things – princesses, firefighters, super heroes, favorite book characters, and animals alive. I want smiling pumpkins to decorate the homes that give out full sized candy bars and make everyone’s “best houses to go to” list. I want happy crafts, memories to make, and joy-filled people to help inspire kids and create safe places to celebrate Halloween.
To Have Fun
Lastly, as a lover of holidays and all the reasons to celebrate and throw a party, I love the fun opportunities and memories Halloween creates for our family. Family Costumes, holiday crafts, and trick-or-treating are some of my favorite October memories year after year!
I did also want to point out that simply celebrating the holiday doesn’t mean we celebrate the same way. We celebrate Christmas but we don’t do Santa (see this post here on that), we celebrate Valentine’s Day but we do a family night not a date night, and we rarely stay up to midnight on New Years Eve! On Halloween we do not glorify the darkness. We don’t do scary costumes or horror movies or graveyards in our front lawn. We have a bright porch light with a giant bowl of candy and smiling jack-o-lanterns! All our “spooky” Halloween crafts have smiles and everything is a bit more Disneyfied (like Mickey’s not-so-scary Halloween Party!) Growing up we celebrated very similarly and I remember my parents saying no to certain parties, movies, and costumes. We will say the same thing to our girls if they ask about some of those darker Halloween things. Saying yes to costumes and trick-or-treating is not saying yes to everything that happens in the name of Halloween.
And that is why we celebrate Halloween. PS: Here are a bunch of photos of us making “Spooky” Halloween Cookies to deliver to all our neighbors. Hilde’s idea 100% – how could I say no?!?