On Halloween

Confession: This time of year, I cannot go to the store without feeling ashamed for humanity.

I don’t get it. I consider Americans (the ones I meet in my small city) to be humane, civil, and compassionate. What possesses us, that this one month of the year we otherwise-sane human beings suddenly find gore and devilry cutesy?

In the simplest and most innocent of cooking magazines, I find recipes for items that are intended to look like wormy brain, drizzled blood, and severed fingers. Any other time of year, this would be cause for public outcry.

And what’s in the stores is even worse.

Do people shut off their brains every October?

I would love to find a Christian way of responding to Halloween, something that lies between “ignore it out of existence” and “enter right into it, but with the spirit of Jesus.”

One of my single friends talks about the darkness/ spiritual heaviness of spending Halloween alone. I’m considering hosting a night with friends on October 31—especially those who would otherwise be alone: a quiet evening of warmth and joy, with cider and books and games and prayer.

But maybe Jesus’ people should be out in the town that night.

Retiring to our houses and shutting the doors may be more safe than Good. I want to keep our children innocent. But shouldn’t seasoned warriors be abroad?

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11 years ago

I am listening.
I “developed” an extreme dislike for anything Halloween flavored when I worked at Hillcrest. There were 2 particular ladies (One lucid, one not so much) that made the day, and days surrounding it, horrific. The things they “saw” and said and how they acted… Even a sweet puppy costume sent the lucid one crazy for about 12 hours. Literally.

Cathy M
11 years ago

Love your idea of having friends over, but yes, maybe we should be out prayer walking.
I make sure my porch light is off that night because of the year we forgot and some horribly dressed children were standing at my door and freaked my kiddos out. BUT maybe now that they are older, I should leave my light on and bless them with something that shows Jesus to them.
Thanks for giving me something to think about.

LaDonna Nice
11 years ago

So a couple of years we handed out candy to children along with invitations to Bible club in our area. I know another lady that got children’s tracts and sent them along with the candy. Now that we have children, who are older\younger, I’m not sure how I feel about that. One thing especially I struggle with is when Christians just join in with the Holiday dressing like witches and scaring little ones…really?

Janelle Glick
11 years ago

I’m VERY interested in this discussion. We’ve lived in the city for four years – so far, my “statement of faith and practice:)” has been to open the door when the doorbell rings on Halloween night. To not open it is to hide away in my home, like you mentioned, Shari. I let the children standing outside say “Trick or Treat”, and then I say “Hi!” in an extra “I’m glad to see you”tone, and then I say (also very pleasantly), “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but we don’t celebrate Halloween”. So far, every child and parent has very pleasantly said, “Oh, ok” and they leave as we all happily wish eachother a good night.

I don’t know if this is middle of the road enough for you, Shari, but that’s what we’ve been doing. We keep our light off too, but there always some who try anyway. Our close neighbors just flat asked us if we hand out treats… we said no, and they don’t come to our door.

I am interested in the other ideas coming through in these responses though. We’ve taken the face-to-face route because in our opinion it is most respectful to the people at our door, and if anyone would want to talk about why we don’t celebrate it, we could then discuss it in person too.

11 years ago

This has been on my mind too. Before I had children, I handed out homemade cookies thinking it was a way for me to show love even though I disapprove of Halloween. Now, I know my children would be frightened by many of the costumes.

I’d love to meet with others in prayer on Halloween night. Hmm, guess I’d better do more than talk.

11 years ago

I’m listening and learning. I have gone around and around on this issue as it relates to our neighborhood. My desire is to be graciously clear with those around me that I do not participate in or celebrate Halloween. I’m still not sure exactly that means for me, but I love some of the ideas I am gleaning from you and your comment-ers.

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