on halloween.

I've had several people ask me about halloween and how, as a Christian family, we approach it.
The honest answer is that we are still working out the kinks so to speak...but there are some steadfast "rules" for our family, for those who are interested...keep in mind we approach this, as all things in life with Romans 14:5-9 in mind...

As a general rule we don't "celebrate" halloween.  By that I mean we don't do gory, or spooky, or ghoulish or gore.  We don't do anything scary.  And all of that is generally a life rule for us.  We don't watch scary movies or anything like that.  We avoid stores with Halloween displays or the Halloween sections of stores as much as possible.  We don't celebrate the dead.  We rarely even use the word "halloween".  

We have adopted the idea that our kids little minds are going to be filled with somethings...might as well save as much room for good as possible.   As naive as I know that sounds.

We emphasize the time of year...harvest, fall, leaves changing, celebrating God's abundant blessings.  We carve (silly and happy) pumpkins.  We let the kids dress up on this day...as with many other days...this is their first year trick or treating...which honestly will consist of walking up one side of a block and down the other.  And trick or treating this year doesn't mean it's going to happen every year...like I said, we are still working the kinks out... 

And that's it.  Not much more feels OK to us.  And that is how WE approach it.  We aren't saying that this is the way that it should be for everyone...or for every Christian for that matter but that this is what works for our family.  And everything will continue to evolve as we evolve as a family and in our faith. 

For the record, we don't feel like our kids are missing out...or will feel left out...or whatever...will they feel different from their peers? I hope so.  I want them to glow with the light of Christ...I want people to know that they live by Christ's definition of good and not the worlds.

So that's where we stand...and now I'm curious...as a Christian what is your stand on Halloween?


Janel said...

Hi Crystal!

As a Christian child growing up, my parents did what you and Doug are doing. We were not exposed to gory or scary movies, nor were we allowed to see PG or R rated movies. We too celebrated Autumn with the anticipation of Christmas and the celebration of Christ. Our church did harvest type festivals/carnivals. Costumes were encouraged, but in clean fun. No monsters, wiches, etc. No haunted houses either.

I am now 46, and still believe in these ideas. I don't think you can keep children from experiencing what their peers will (to a point)but you certainly can control and educate along the way.

I am loving the "wish I could tell you" series. God is working thru you Crystal. Keep it up!

Laura @ Our House of Joyful Noise said...

It is a tricky time of year, and one I have done so much research on, raising a Catholic family. We've come to focus on the 3 days of 'Hallowtide' : All Hallow's Eve, All Soul's Day, and All Saint's Day. The kids have been taught everything about what these days represent in Christian history and the Catholic church, and what we are to focus on. We have traditions for all 3 days, including mass, and remembering and praying for the souls of those we have lost, and those still living. I despise all of the blood/gore/crude humor stuff of Halloween anyway. But we do have a little fun with kiddie spookiness on "All Hallow's Eve", knowing my kids know what is real, and where all of the 'nonsense' has derived from in history. We have one son with a very severe peanut allergy, so we've generally had to create our own festivities at home, which is fine by us. No one does these things like we do anyway.
This year will be lower key than ever. Sometimes we veer a little off-track, but again, the lessons have been instilled. Two years ago (2008)was probably our best 3 days of Hallowtide. Here are some links of you'd like to get the visual, or steal some ideas.
All Hallow's Eve Part I (formerly All Holy Eve): http://ourhouseofjoyfulnoise.com/Big_Picture/2008/11/04/hallowtide-all-hallows-eve-part-i/
All Hallow's Eve Part II: http://ourhouseofjoyfulnoise.com/Big_Picture/2008/11/06/hallowtide-all-hallows-eve-part-ii/
All Soul's Day: http://ourhouseofjoyfulnoise.com/Big_Picture/2008/11/09/hallowtide-all-souls-day-part-iii/

All Soul's Day of last year, was a pretty powerful experience for us as a family, too:

Can you tell I love this blog? :)
Sorry about all of the links. Just wanted to share with you. Feel free to just keep them for yourself.

Susy said...

That's a touchy one for sure. In our area, many of the churches have alternative "fun night" for the kids, where they dress in biblical or non-scary costumes, play games, get candy, etc. They don't think they're missing a thing.

Mary Elizabeth said...

I'd rather skip it all together! We also don't do anything scarey - just cute fun stuff. Cute , silly looking monster might be the extent of things. We didn't even get pumpkins this year except for the one she got on a field trip.

My husband doesn't even participate. He hates it. Psrtly due to all the children from outside our neighborhood flood the town and most are too old to even be out!

This year is only the 2nd time we have really gone out! We went 2 years ago with a friend from school to her families neighborhood by our school and then to the football game at school. Last year we had brochitis/pneumonia! This year we went to the secretary from school's home for a party that had moonbounces and moonslides!!! The kiddos played, parents talked, we ate and then dressed them in their costumes for a 30 minute hayride around the neighborhood to trick or treat. It was the best!!! The Dads drove us and guarded everyone and the Mom's took pictures of the kiddos having fun and counting candy in the hay.

I actually can say I look forward to the day Maddie is too old to trick or treat!

We do trunk or Treat at church on a Wednesday evening - which I totally love!!! There is a puppet show for the kiddos, hotdog dinner, crafts and hayride - plus treats at everyone's trunk in the parking lot. Whoever thought of this was brillant! :) I feel safe and secure and the children love it so!! It truely is the best part of this crazy season!! :)

Tiffany said...

We don't do anything scary at all. I am not a fan of that stuff and try to avoid yucky stuff by all means necessary! : ) We do take our little ones trick or treating but always dressed as something nice and fun, not scary or weird! : )

We just dwell on fall and harvest type stuff too. We also do the pumpkin thing always with happy faces to celebrate our blessings!

I totally agree with wanting your kids to feel different from their peers. We all should if we are living according to the Word. Thanks for sharing how you handle this holiday with your family. We are doing very similar things here in my home with my family

April@ Natural Nester said...

I was raised under the teaching that Halloween is an evil day and that we shouldn't celebrate it. Besides, we're not satanists! ;) However, last year I heard a podcast and the lady was talking about Halloween. I thought she had a really good point...she said "Christians should not be hiding in their homes on this one day of the year because some people do bad things or celebrate death. We serve the Lord who conquered death, so why are we the ones afraid?" That's paraphrased, of course.

I really thought a lot about that and believe it's true. This year we hosted our first ever costume party (last night...the 29th). It was a blast. We did ask that no one dress up in scary costumes and we didn't emphasize any of the gore/death/etc. you see so much...it was just a fun get together. As our daughter grows we'll just take it a year at a time, listening to Holy Spirit to decide how to approach it, but for this year, that was absolutely right for us.

Megan said...

Our son is just 2, so we'll see how it progresses in our family, but we just say it's a fun day when people get to dress all silly and get candy! But I don't necessarily want to completely shield him from the "scary" things, because I don't want him to be scared of them when he's older. For example, my mom has a plastic pumpkin that has a "scary" face and lights up and plays "ooh ahhh" music. We turned it on for him and laughed and said, "He's so silly!" And my son laughed, too. I just want to approach it all as a really fun day. After all, God wants us to have fun. And like another commenter said, just because other people use it in an evil way doesn't mean we should. Of course, we're not going to sit around watching scary movies or anything like that, but we just try to teach him that it's all silly and fun. :) (Last year he was Superman and this year he was Yoda. So cute.)

Blanca said...

I think how you just explained your thoughts on halloween is great and I think everyone has to do what is best for their family.

I let my kids dress up but I let them play dress up when every they want. We will "trick or treat" next year and see how it goes but I feel like I want to keep them in a safe bubble for as long as possible. They're too young and pure to witness the scary side of halloween. As they grow we'll adapt as a family but I want them to enjoy their childhood as much as possible and just stay little as long as they can.

Thanks for sharing and Happy Fall!

Ky said...

Crystal, I truly love how you are bring up your boys. As I said in a comment previously, I don't get the whole Halloween thing, especially being a christian, but I get that it's hard to not let the kids have something special too.
You are doing this in a very special way...I can't even type what I want to say.
I hope you are getting what I am saying.
I see that you and Doug have put a lot of thought into this and of course with everything you have sort wisdom from God's word. You are special people and I am blessed to learn from you here in blogland.
You always give me something to think about. x

sara @ it's good to be queen said...

that's exactly how we approach it. you expressed it so well!

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