It is that time of year. The time my Facebook feed is full of people arguing about if we (Christians) should let our kids trick-or-treat and/or otherwise participate in the coming festivities. Can we please stop fighting about Halloween?
I am going to tell you what my family does and why but first let me just make one thing clear:
THIS IS NOT A SALVATION ISSUE!
Respected Christian people make different decisions about this:
- Some believe we should have nothing to do with Halloween at all.
- Some don’t trick-or-treat but do hand out candy or other items (if you hand out tracks PLEASE give candy with them-otherwise you just look obnoxious).
- Some attend an “alternative” celebration of some sort (trunk-or-treat, fall festival).
- Some fully participate in the Trick-or-Treating and any other activities going on.
There are a wide variety of reasons for any of these decisions and all of them have been published in various articles and blog posts all over the internet. I encourage you to make a conscientious decision about this and then to respect those who have made a different decision. Respect doesn’t mean you have to agree by the way, it also doesn’t mean you can’t express your opinion but can we do it kindly?
I have seen Christians criticize other Christians for participating at all and I’ve seen them criticizing others for not participating. I’ve even heard a pastor say that we MUST participate so that we don’t turn people off by being stand-offish. I can understand wanting to take advantage of an opportunity to interact with your neighbors and spread joy but criticizing those who have a conviction not to participate is going a bit far. We cannot let things like this pull the body apart!
Fall festival type events, especially those that allow only “nice” costumes can be a good choice for those who want to participate but are also concerned about scary or dark side of the day.
How to decide:
Pray some more.
Figure out what the Holy Spirit is leading you to do about this holiday. There are many choices on if or how to participate.
The biggest point I want to make is that there may not be ONE right answer to this issue. People who do participate and people who do not may both have very good reasons for their choices. I see so much arguing, shaming and belittling each other’s choices on this and it needs to stop.
We have done it all. We trick-or-treated a couple years with my oldest but she was never very fond of it. We have done the festivals and we have handed out candy. We have also done nothing or had a quiet evening with friends.
Now, my family does not trick-or-treat. Last year we handed out candy but I’m not sure we will this year because some of the characters that showed up were quite gruesome. We don’t participate because I do not want my kids to have scary images ingrained in their heads. Because I do not feel like fear is something we should seek out. Because the Bible tells us to dwell on what is good and right. We also do not participate because my kids have food allergies and it is just too hard to keep them from eating something they should not-for this reason we also skip fall festivals and similar activities even if they are free from scary props and costumes.
What do you do about Halloween? Share in the comments.