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Christian Living

3 Reasons to Embrace Halloween

Photo by Patrick Giblin via Flickr (Creative Commons)

3 reasons why I think every Christian should embrace Halloween as a cultural phenomenon beyond personal convictions that you are endorsing evil.

  1. Don’t punish your kids for your convictions. We don’t let our kids dress up as demons or witches… but we do allow them to wear costumes because it’s fun. But to keep them at home, locked in the basement while you watch some cheesy Christian movie instead of getting bucket loads of candy tonight… that’s just mean. We are called to bring light into darkness not hide from darkness. (Ephesians 5:8-14) You can take your kids to your neighbors houses, keep them safe, and show them that being a Christian isn’t about hiding from the world.
  2. Be hospitable. I know plenty of people live in rural areas and don’t get trick-or-treaters. So you folks are exempt… for a night. But if you are like me and hundreds of kids will be walking by your house looking for a few pieces of yummy candy don’t be the jerk on your block. Head out to the store right now and get yourself a couple bags of candy. Titus 1:8 pretty much makes it clear that anyone in leadership at their church must be hospitable. Turn your light on, answer the door, and be hospitable. Even if you can’t be home tonight, leave out a bowl and turn the light on. People know what to do! (Yes, just let people steal your candy!)
  3. Don’t be afraid! I think a lot of this anti-Halloween stuff is based on terrible theology. The Bible tells us to resist the devil. Peter tells us to “resist him” which indicates a struggle. (1 Peter 5:8-9) But the Bible doesn’t tell Christians to hide from evil. Look at the example of Paul as he went to various towns. He encountered evil in all its forms and chose to bring Christ there.

My kids are excited about Halloween. Megan is dressing up like a tiger and Paul is dressing up like a mad scientist. This year, I will be handing out candy and pleasantries with neighbors while Kristen (Baby Tres is in the belly, he is wearing a placenta costume, kind of gross but that’s what he wanted. Weirdo.) take the kids around the neighborhood.

Maybe I’ll get in trouble for saying this? But I think Halloween is my favorite holiday.

ht to Todd and my original post from 2007.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

4 replies on “3 Reasons to Embrace Halloween”

Halloween is my favorite holiday, too. It’s one of the only holidays that still awesome, fun traditions and yet lacks the rigid expectations. Yes, I suppose as a kid you are expected to somehow acquire a ton of candy, but what kid is frustrated about that? And you can get it trick-or-treating, at a carnival, at a party or even at the store (yes, I’ve spent one or two Halloweens in rural Missouri with only my siblings putting on my own Halloween). That’s the great thing about Halloween. It eschews inhibition into channeled creativity. And there’s candy. And you don’t have to fight over which in-laws to spend it with. And you don’t have to go out for an expensive dinner. Halloween is the best.

I can’t say it’s my favorite holiday, but I do enjoy it. I took my kids around when they were young, and now I pass out the candy. I really look forward to seeing all the excited kids come to the door in all their cute, funny, and sometimes gross costumes. I even love seeing the high school kids come. I mean they need candy too. We also hold a dinner at our house, for families who live out in the country (or anyone really) before they go out trick or treating in our sub. Nothing fancy, just a way to make it easier on the parents. There is one more thing I would add to your don’ts. If you MUST hand out a tract, please, please, please be generous with the candy along with it.

My dislike for Halloween has nothing to do with what I was taught in church. It has to do with what I was taught out of church. I feel it’s a dark holiday. However, having said that, I do believe as Christians we are to take our light to the darkness. However, there needs to be a line drawn somewhere.
I remember a family that used to set up a hot beverage station for the families that trick-or-treated and the dad engaging the passers by in conversation and actually showing love on the community. I believe that to be a good example of bringing light to darkness. More people should follow that example.

Yeah Adam, I have to say I like Hallowen but I think I like Thanksgiving best. I am not going to let pagans from a few hundred years ago define how I spend my day. This is the day the Lord had made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

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