October 31 tradition


After years of angst about Halloween—how to avoid it, connect with townspeople through it, inoculate it, renounce it, blah blah blah, what was I so worked up about?—we’ve finally found a family tradition that we love.

On the thirty-first of October, we welcome friends who might otherwise be alone that night—mostly the unmarried women we love the most, sometimes a wife whose husband is working. When we invite them ahead of time, we don’t call it a Halloween party or a non-Halloween party. We say “Come over Monday night for hot drinks and puzzles and games.”


We plan fun snacks like soft pretzels or caramel apples or spiced cider or hot chocolate—often something we can make together—and we fill our house with light and warmth and Jesus.

We get out ginormous puzzles and work till we finish them.


Our children talk too much in the glow of all that adult attention, and sometimes my snacks are a bit floppy, like the year the caramel ran off the apples, but we enjoy them together—snacks, children, flops, all of the above—and we soak in the laughter and light.

It’s a tradition I can live with.


Search “Halloween” on this blog if you want to find three previous posts on the subject when my friend Janelle and I were brainstorming back in 2012. I don’t have the heart to add the links right now.

The beautiful mug pictured above was created by White Hill Pottery, the puzzle was created by Anthony Kleem, and everything else was created by Jesus.

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7 years ago

I like it! Our children can’t wait till Halloween either!!! As my 5 year-old son said, “it’s God’s holiday because we love Jesus!!!” We usually spend Halloween evening preparing to celebrate Jesus Birthday… Christmas!!!

7 years ago

Sounds like a fun, doable tradition.

I’m sad for the hard things you’re facing recently. May God feel near to you today.

7 years ago

You’re always full of fantastic ideas!

I was just thinking yesterday afternoon how grateful I am to experience such warmth and light and joy this season especially compared to the fear and darkness that so rampant in the world.

As always I love to see my besties collaborate….a writer and a potter. How do I rate to get to associate with you two!!?!

7 years ago

Hello Shari, My name is Anthony Kleem I am the artist of the puzzle you put together. The painting was made by Jesus also, for HE is the true artist of life and HE gave me the talent to share. Thanks for sharing.
Anthony Kleem

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