Hiding from Halloween

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Halloween. We were squirreled away in the master bedroom watching a movie and having a “picnic”. The whole family. The rest of the house was bathed in darkness. From the street, it looked like no one was home.

“Don’t answer the door if anyone knocks,” I warned the girls. They didn’t quite understand what I was talking about but they nodded anyway.

“Mom, can I please have some more bread?” my four-year old asked. Bread. It never occurred to her that other kids were going from house to house asking for candy or treats. The concept of Halloween is completely foreign to my children.

As I stumbled through the inky blackness to the kitchen, I noticed that the tiny window in the foyer perfectly framed the house across the road. The neighbours who live there have a reputation for being aloof. Like our house, theirs too was bathed in darkness. And suddenly, I wondered if people thought of us the same way they think of them. Do they think we’re unfriendly and unwelcoming?

It bothered me. Because even though we don’t celebrate Halloween, we are still called to love generously and give extravagantly. And isn’t Halloween the perfect opportunity to do this?

I was still wrestling with this when I checked my e-mail several hours later. There, I found a link to a blog post entitled “Open the Door to Halloween”. In it, the author talked about how Halloween is the only day of the year when the neighbours come knocking on our doors en masse. He said that it’s an incredible opportunity to find ways to shower our neighbourhoods with God’s love.

There are many views within the church regarding Halloween. We don’t celebrate it in our home. I’m not comfortable with the history behind it, the gruesome decorations, or the glorification of darkness. But I can’t help but wonder. Even if my family doesn’t dress up and go trick or treating, should we hide from those who do?

Can Halloween be sanctified?

John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

In 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, Paul says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

Our desire is to glorify God and share His love. So we made a decision. Next year, we’re going to switch things up a little. We are going to take full advantage of the opportunity to open our door and our hearts to our neighbours. Rather than bathing our house in darkness, we are going to shine Jesus.

(PS In the comment section below, one incredible mom shares some amazing ideas on how to live this out. Scroll down and have a look.)

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6 thoughts on “Hiding from Halloween

  1. Thanks for this blog!! I have been thinking over my stance on this very topic! This really helps me figure out my own conviction on the matter!

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  2. We went through many adjustments of our own response through the years, beginning just as you did with trying to shield our young sons. Some years once they were old enough to enjoy an activity and were aware from friends that this night should involve some candy we participated in an alternative activity at our own or a friend’s church or joined with another family to go bowling, etc. At first that still meant leaving our home dark. Then once we were in a neighbourhood where we knew more of our neighbours and their kids, we would still go participate elsewhere in an activity but the day before we sent our boys to the homes where we knew the kids lived on our street, armed with full-sized chocolate bars with a note attached letting them know we wouldn’t be home tomorrow, so we wanted to give them a treat today (including our family name and house number in case we had to leave it in mailbox). As the boys got a little older some years we hosted a movie night at our place complete with a giant bowl of treats they all feasted on while we gave out treats at the door. Then we started to consider how we could bridge the-parent-stays-on-sidewalk-and-only-kid-comes-to-door issue. So we moved our treats out to the driveway and made them more interactive. We call out to the parents “Mom, Dad, do you want some….” We gave out hot Bennett’s cider one year, grilled hotdogs another. But the one we have now stuck with for several years is we do hot chocolate. Crockpot full of hot water (and more simmering on stove ready to refill); packages they need to tear open, stir, add a giant marshmallow, figure how to snap the lid on (hint: we also have chocolate milk to add to cool it down a little for young ones so they don’t burn themselves with first sip). You can get a fair amount of conversation in when a family has to pause to make-their-own cup! We get loads of positive feedback, especially when it is cold/wet like last night! In contrast to the homes around us we turn on every light and when our boys were into carving pumpkins we did smiley faces. Here is another blog along this theme of looking at holidays as opportunities to love on and communicate Christ’s Love. http://www.i4j.org/2014/ben-connelly-the-most-wonderful-times-of-the-year/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+i4j+%28i4j.org%29 Love your blogs Mary-Ann!

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    1. That’s amazing! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful ideas! I LOVE the idea of a make-your-own hot chocolate station!!! And thank you for the link to the blog post. What a great perspective. Life is a learning process and I’m really looking forward to changing how we do things going forward. =)

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  3. Love those ideas Bonnie! We have always given out candy and make sure to compliment the kids on how beautiful ext they looked. Totally going to do the hot chocolate next year!

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  4. We don’t celebrate Halloween in our home, but we do participate in the fall activity. We’ve always gone trick or treating with our son and have encouraged fun, clean costumes, an opportunity to visit neighbors and at a very early age, teach him about manners. I’m amazed how many kids still don’t say “thank you” when they receive a treat and how many comments we get when he does. I believe as Christians, we are called to infiltrate, not isolate. We’ve always taught our son to shine his light and to be prepared to defend his faith in the world. The world is on display at Halloween, and we don’t turn off the light just because it is. This year we flung open the garage door, had a bonfire in the driveway, turned up the Christian radio station, and hung out with friends, passed out candy, ate good food, and played games. We came together in fellowship and so many people commented on how warm and inviting it was…our little lighthouse on the block. We didn’t have to use our words, our actions set us apart and I think that speaks volumes. 🙂

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