just a few more hours & it will all be over…

Halloween, that is.

***Disclaimer:  I KNOW some will read this & feel “judged”.  Please don’t.  I do not intend in any way to judge you & your actions.  ***

Every October I start the month all excited that (slightly) cooler temps are on the horizon.  Every October I end the month thankful that it’s O-V-E-R.

You see, we don’t “do” Halloween.

I actually have pretty strong feelings about Halloween & the celebration of it.  EVEN if it’s just “fun”.  This is the first time I’m going to try to elaborate.  I know there will be some disagreements, and just to head off any ugliness, I will say up front that I DON’T think the issue of trick-or-treating is a “make or break” issue in Christianity.  With that said…

Confession:  I’m a wuss.

I HATE conflict.

Especially conflict when people’s emotions can start to flare quickly.

The past few years I’ve used my son as my anti-Halloween shield.  I know, I’m a wuss.  But it was sooooo easy!  When a child has a severe allergy to peanuts, it basically cuts out 90% of the candy said child might get in a trick-or-treating experience.  I’ve used this as a reason to not do it.  And, in all honesty, it is a legitimate reason. It’s also been an easy way to fend off the deeper questions about our non-involvement in Halloween.  I just brush it off using his allergy as our reason to not participate.

Today as I thought about it more, I realized that I don’t want him thinking the three kids miss all of the so-called fun because of him.  That’s a lot of burden for a little guy, ya know?

So, here’s my first, and somewhat lame attempt to explain my thoughts.

Bottom line:  October 31st is used by those who worship Satan as a big to-do.  Some of the creepier decorations on my suburban street give credence to this fact.  I mean, what part of a skeleton coming up out of the ground is glorifying God?  Answer?  None.

Our American culture has made the day light-hearted.  Cute costumes, lots of sugar.  What’s not to love, right?

This is where personal conviction steps in for me.

You see, I think that by participating in the fun, Christians are making light of a day that is dark.  We are called to shine our light (Christ) in the darkness, but for me, that doesn’t mean participating in something that has it’s root in evil.  In this case, I think my light is brighter when held against the darkness… which means, standing out and, in this case, not participating.

“It’s just fun,” you may say.

“The kids just like dressing up,” you may argue.

To me, those are just excuses.

Maybe it’s true that the kids just think it’s fun & games.  Maybe that’s what you think too.  I think that one of Satan’s greatest advantages on this day is that so many Christ-followers have succumbed to the “it’s just fun” mentality.

So, what to do?

I don’t want our house to be the dark, “bah-humbug” house.  I don’t want to insult non-believing neighbors by refusing to acknowledge what they think is fun.  I do want people to feel loved.  I want them to know that we care about them, even if we don’t really know them.  Last year, we handed out candy and chatted with kids.  Actually, my kids handed the candy out.  They had a lot of fun.

This year, we’ve made a pumpkin with a face that has lollipop “hair”.

We’re going out to eat  a nice family dinner.  The pumpkin will sit outside.  For right now, this year, this is the best way I know to be “in the world”, but definitely not “of it”.  More than anything, I want my kids to love others.  But, I also want them to know when it’s okay to draw a line, and sometimes lines do need to be drawn.

If I could, I would completely skip this day.  I really would.

Anyone else out there have thoughts?  I really am curious about how other Christ-followers handle this day.

6 Comments on “just a few more hours & it will all be over…”

  1. You already know how we feel but I wanted to add that, like you, we’re so ready for it to be over! Which I hate because I really, really love October and the changing leaves and all things pumpkiny…

  2. I know! I love pumpkins & leaves & all thing fall-ish too! I do wish it didn’t get all mixed up with the skeletons & spiderwebs & the such…

  3. I completely agree with everything you’re saying. I hate, hate, HATE Halloween and have for many years. We faced quite a dilemma when Blake became old enough to understand the concept of trick or treating, and quite honestly, we folded. We decided to allow our kids to dress up and trick or treat. But every year, I cringe as I drive around our neighborhood and see the horrific decorations which come to a climax on Halloween night. I am amazed at the adults that dress up to scare the kids that come to their doors and make bloody, disgusting displays to hand out candy. For my anti-conflict self, I am actually quite thankful that when we move, trick or treating will not really be possible in our neighborhood, making us go to fall festivals instead. I have no doubt that we will be able to turn this into a spiritual lesson at that point, but we honestly should have handled this head on long before. I think we just wanted our kids to enjoy the “innocent” fun part of it, but I just don’t know how much longer we can look at it that way. Thanks for the reminder and for being a small voice to magnify the conviction of the Holy Spirit in me.

  4. I actually talked to another friend about this yesterday. This whole week has been a doozy, and my thoughts on Halloween definitely contributed. She encouraged her kids that we are to run from evil. So, when she & her two were out with some non-believing friends, her kids took that to heart! When the little one was scared of something, he literally turned and ran back to her where she reminded him of Jesus’ love for him. That encouraged me. This CAN be done… I think I’ll just have to start praying about HOW it’s to be done much sooner, rather than trying to just ignore it until it’s over.

  5. Pingback: Halloween thoughts, take 2 | From Life Into Likeness...

  6. Pingback: my annual Halloween post… and it’s not what you would expect! |

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