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October 11, 2011

Halloween: Is it just about tricks and treats?

We have chosen as a family not to celebrate Halloween. Not only does this mean not dressing up and going door to door with our kids, but we have also chosen not to attend any other functions that are an alternative to Halloween. And here are our reasons why.

1. We feel that Halloween is not a day that is honoring to God. It doesn't take much to see all the evil and darkness that centers around Halloween. Just go into any department store around Halloween.....the signs are everywhere. And it seems to get worse every year. So bad in fact that I hate to take my kids shopping with me this time of year. There are many "spiritual" explanations to when/why Halloween started. Forgive me for being so blunt here, but I don't really care how it started! Why? Because what we see of the celebration of Halloween today is nothing like how they say it started. So why would we want to participate in something that leans so much towards elevating evil and so far away from honoring God? God says in Romans 12:9 "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." When as parents we allow our kids to participate in something that so clearly elevates evil, what kind of a message are we sending to them? I think it's a mixed message. Abhor (detest/hate) is not a weak word....I don't think God put that word in there by accident. It's a definite strong command. For an interesting read on how the jack o' lantern came about go here. You may be surprised!

2. We don't believe that we have to offer something to appease the fact that we choose not to celebrate something like Halloween. If we choose not to do something because we want to honor God, we do not need to substitute something fun to take its place. This is not reality of the Christian life. There are going to be many times in our children's lives that they will have to make choices, hard choices that will not have a "fun" alternative. We need to teach our kids that there will be some things that they will not be able to participate in and that their only (and best) reward will be in pleasing their Heavenly Father. That should always be our goal, and that's the goal that what we should be teaching our children. As parents I think we, too many times, feel sorry for our children and the fact that they have to "miss out" on stuff because they are Christians and so we offer something in the place of it all to make them feel better. I believe this is totally unneccessary and even harmful for our children. 1 John 2:15-17 says, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." Pretty clear, don't you think? Would you put Halloween in the category of what is in the world or what is of the Father?

3. How about cultivating the spirit of giving? This isn't quite what I see in Halloween, going door to door and begging for treats!!!! Not that it's wrong for our kids to have candy or to receive things, but this seems like a bit of the oppostite attitude of giving to me! I know society expects it...and doesn't even mind it...I realize that completely, but again, what is it saying to our children? Our kids are like little sponges!!! They soak up the positive and the negative things that happen around them. Don't think that this doesn't affect them!!! It does!!! And if you really want your kids to experience a bucket full of candy....go out and buy it (I recommend after Halloween since the candy goes on sale :) and give it to them, without them having to beg for it!!!

Please know that I don't mean to offend or point fingers to anyone for the way they choose to participate in Halloween, rather I would challenge you to think about what your participation should be, if any. Instead of just doing something because that's the way you've always done it, or because that's how others do it, search God's Word, line up your participation in Halloween to it, pray for God to shed His light on this and if you still feel comfortable celebrating or participating in the holiday, at least you can say you have searched scripture and have thought it through. We have a huge responsiblity as parents that goes beyond caring for our children's physical needs, we are training their hearts....it's a big deal!!!! Therefore everything we choose to let them do, or not to do should be done with great prayer and thought and it needs to line up with the Word of God. What an awesome responsibility, what an amazing privelage....just look at what God has entrusted you with....WOW....let's not take it lightly!!!

For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12


Anonymous said...

Great post! Love it, Eve

Clarissa said...

I totally agree!

Elisa said...

Great post! Gives me much to think about...we don't celebrate halloween but we have done "fall"parties..umm?? makes me think...thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Great post; this is how we raised our children as well. I would disagree, however, with buying candy on sale after Hallowe'en. I simply don't support the sale of any related promotion at that time, and children learn a valuable lesson in that, too. Just make sure you affirm them regularly and treat them in many different ways. Thanks again...this really is such an important stand to take!

Carol said...

I totally hear you, but this is what our family has chosen to do for Halloween each year...

While we agree that we do not want to celebrate Halloween, we also asked ourselves, how can we take what the enemy means for evil, and use it for good? And, living in a small community, it is such an opportunity to build relationships, as typically people are in a real friendly mood on that one evening...

So - this is what we have chosen to do. Each year I bake up heaps and heaps of cookies, and then make up lots of plates of them, each with a note saying something like "God bless you! From the Ratzlaffs" And then, we all go door to door, and instead of saying "trick or treat", we say "treat for you!" It's such fun to see the surprised expressions when they see hands reaching out to give, instead of to take! Now, our children do still end up receiving candy... initially we tried not accepting any, but we found that people really wanted to give, and so (much to our children's disappointment :) ) we allow them to receive as well.
Then, we rush into Moose Jaw, where our whole family (exc for me and the youngest) join in our church's huge food drive. It has turned out to be the best possible night of the year to go door to door collecting donations for the food bank, since people are already in the mind-set of giving! It is well advertised ahead of time, and bags are delivered to every mailbox in Moose Jaw ahead of time. Hundreds of volunteers join together to go to every door in Moose Jaw collecting, and then sorting back at the church, etc. The amount of food collected that one night, equals or exceeds the entire amount the food bank gets the whole rest of the year! It has totally changed the way the food bank operates! They are absolutely thrilled with the food drive! And our children absolutely LOVE being apart of something SO much bigger than themselves, and feeling like they are a part of making a difference and helping people!

I stay at home, so that I can bless the children who come to our door. We are to be a generous people, and so while I don't agree with the holiday, I still view it as an opportunity to bless! I usually include (along with the candy) one of the Focus on the Family, Adventure in Odyssey CD's they make up for Halloween... who knows how God might want to use that in some child's life?

So - all that to say, while I agree that we should not celebrate things of the world, as the world does, I would just like to encourage each one to think/pray about whether or not there is a way to turn something evil, into something good... something which our God seems to be awfully fond of doing. :)

Anonymous said...

I see what you mean and good job but you should not deprive your kids of the fun if you dont celebrate for a religus reason that is okay but you should let your kids dress up as nonevil things and give each other candy so they recieve the candy without the begging and pleading they also get to give and share as a family . . . I am an 11 year old by the way i was not trying to judge you i am sorry if you felt i did you wrong in any way and i apologize also plz dont judge me ,i do not have a religon so this may be a bias argument but i do respect your desions to teach your kids but plz consider my idea thank you