The Halloween Dilemma

Halloween presents an interesting dilemma for us as a Christian family. Here in the U.S., as soon as the school supply sales are over, the stores pull out the Halloween paraphernalia – decorations, costumes, pumpkins, and of course, candy. It’s impossible to simply ignore it. We’ve tried, didn’t work.

Halloween 2007 - My 3 year old's improvised costumeWhen our oldest was small, we made the decision to ignore Halloween. And that worked for a while, but when our daughter was three she took matters into her own hands – digging into her dress up box and pulling pieces to together, so she could have a costume like all the other kids. After all, dressing up and imaginative play was something we encouraged; and she wanted to join in. 

So we re-evaluated. How do we honor what the bible says about avoiding witchcraft and the occult and still allow our children to find their place in this classic American cultural event? While Halloween has it’s roots as a Celtic festival, we Americans have over time adopted it as our own and woven it into our culture.

As a family, we’ve chosen to emphasize the more wholesome parts of Halloween, forbid the gruesome and occult references, and use the time to build our ties as a family and with friends. And use the time to discuss our beliefs in the context of the culture. 

Now that it is October, my world is full of kids thinking of Halloween and how they can participate in the holiday without violating the rules. For my daughters it means designing and sewing costumes. For my sons, it’s a time to balance what they are attracted to (the scary) with what we allow.

And for my husband and I, it’s a time to discuss with the kids more about what Halloween is about and help the kids come to their own conclusions and beliefs. For we believe, its important for the kids to “own” their beliefs, to come to their own conclusions, based on not just what we believe but also their own research and their own convictions.

Over the next few weeks, I may share more about how we, as a Christian family, are preparing for and studying Halloween this year. Please feel free to share in the comments your own ideas on how you’ve dealt with the Halloween dilemma in your own family.

…Shannon

Other Halloween-related Articles

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One Response to The Halloween Dilemma

  1. Pingback: Living Life at Home » Homemade Halloween Costumes – A Learning Experience

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