Categories
Culture

How to trade halloween candy

OK, so this didn’t quite work for this weeks YouTube You Can Use, but its dang funny.

Question: How many days go by before you start stealing your kids candy while they sleep? 

Categories
Christian Living

10 Horrible Halloween Treat Ideas

If you care about being Good News in Your Neighborhood, Halloween is one of the easiest days on the calendar to get out and meet a lot of people. Since 2005, I’ve written a number of posts encouraging fellow Christians to embrace Halloween as an opportunity to meet your neighbors.

So I won’t rehash why we celebrate Halloween or re-share some of the things we’ve done in the past to practice hospitality.

But I do want to say that not every idea is a good idea. And not every treat idea is a good treat idea. Every year my kids come home from trick-or-treating and lay out all of their candy on the floor. As they carefully examine each treat some of them get labeled as “junk.” (Something healthy. Or even a dime store toy.) Giving out “junk” is the biggest insult you can give a kind on Halloween night. Don’t be that guy.

Here’s a list of 10 really horrible Halloween treat ideas NOT to try this year.

  1. Ketchup packets – Cheap, and you probably have a drawer full of them already. But I not a treat that’ll make a 6 year old happy.
  2. Bacon bits – Bacon is always a welcome addition. And bacon bits would be awesome with a snack sized Snickers. But little ziplocks of bacon bits would be gross.
  3.  Beef jerky – Jerky would look amazing to give away. In the dark it might look like poop, and kids would think that was funny, but an assortment of cured meats would be a bit too creepy.
  4.  KFC wet naps – Probably useful, especially if their face paint starts to run, but just don’t do this one. It’s really odd.
  5. Roll of electrical tape – I know its tempting to go through your garage to find random items to pawn off on kids. While a roll of tape would be a good bargain, most kids won’t know what to do with it.
  6. Sample size toothpaste – I get it. You work at a dental office and you get it for free. And why not encourage kids to brush their teeth after eating all of that candy. But no, really weird. Unless it looks like blood. Blood is cool on Halloween.
  7. Plastic spoon – Nothing says, “I hate you” quite like a random bit of disposable cutlery. Just don’t do this. Megan (11) said this would be the dumbest thing ever.
  8. Band aids – Really weird and gross. Say no to the adhesive bandage.
  9. A pickle – I love pickles. Probably more than I love bacon. But can you imagine the look on kids faces when you dropped a dripping wet pickle in their bag?
  10. Canned food item – Hold off on unloading that unwanted can of stewed chutney until Novembers canned food drive, OK?

Question: What would be the worst costume you could wear if you wanted to become Good News in Your Neighborhood?

Categories
Christian Living Good News

5 Ways to Be Good News in Your Neighborhood on Halloween

Christians have a weird history with celebrating Halloween. Not growing up in the church I was appalled when I heard church people refer to it as “Devil’s night” and say things like, “Of course we don’t celebrate Halloween.” It’s as if we’re talking about two different holidays. There’s the one that actually happens and the one that you’re afraid is happening. Like all things– fear is irrational. 

The whole anti-Halloween concept is built on a theology of fear. Be reminded that in Ephesians 5 Paul instructs Christians to be light in dark places!

Many churches offer alternatives such as harvest parties, hell houses, or trunk-or-treating. Those things aren’t bad, but they aren’t good news in your neighborhood

Here’s my suggestion: Skip the Christian alternatives altogether and embrace Halloween for what it is. It’s a night when hundreds of families will wander around your neighborhood, smiling and enjoying one another, and giving candy to children.

Think strategically: For those who are anti-Halloween I have this challenge. One night a year one hundred families want to come to your door and say hello. Are you going to greet them? Or are you going to turn off your light and pretend they don’t exist?

Don’t be “that guy” on your block. Embrace Halloween as an opportunity to be good news in your neighborhood.

5 Ways You Can Be Good News in Your Neighborhood on Halloween

  1. Sit on the front porch. One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the front porch all night and talk to people as they come by. Resist the temptation to go inside between visitors. Trust me on this. You’ll like what happens. You’ll make great small talk with parents AND every time I’ve done it my neighbors see me and do the same. We have great little conversations porch-to-porch conversations between visitors.
  2. Make it a game. Set up a simple game in your front yard to give trick-or-treaters the opportunity to win the big candy bar. It could be as simple as a bean bag toss or throwing a football to knock something down. Make it simple, kids want to hit every house on your block, but this will make a great impression.
  3. Host a warming station on your block. We’ve done this one bunches of times– it’s ALWAYS a blast. We had close to 1000 trick-or-treaters at our house in Michigan and doing this cost me, maybe, $75. Set up a little tent in your driveway or front yard and serve coffee, hot cocoa, and apple cider. It’s a great break to the routine and easy to invite your small group or someone who doesn’t have trick-or-treaters to help with. Do it 2-3 years in a row and you’ll get known as the house that does that tent thing. Really want to make some friends? Offer parents a little Kahula or Bailey’s for their hot drink!
  4. Do something fun and not-so-scary. There are people in our neighborhood who go all out. They build tunnels over the sidewalk and scare the tar out of children. You can have fun like that and just make it fun. Rent a bounce house and play some music. Be weird and decorate your house for Christmas. Dress up like the easter bunny and have an easter egg hunt every 15 minutes. Just because you don’t want to get into the whole devil/ghosts/zombie thing doesn’t mean you can’t be creative to have some fun with the hundreds of kids who will come up your walk.
  5. Cover every house. I live on a block that has some elderly folks. Consequently, we have kind of a bummer block because many of them aren’t mobile enough to hand out candy. It would be great to rally a few people and make sure every porch light is on and there is candy at every house. Warning: You may need to actually talk to your neighbors to pull this one off. (Which is more scary than Halloween itself, right?)

What are other ways you can embrace Halloween as a way to be Good News in your neighborhood?