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.