We don’t do Halloween

We don’t do Santa either. Or the Easter Bunny. Or the Tooth Fairy. I know, we can’t be American can we.

“What are you going to be for Halloween little girl?”
           “Uh, we don’t do Halloween.”
Crickets….(just like when people ask Reagan what grade she’s in. She says, “I’m in a mix of 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I’m homeschooled.” People don’t really know how to respond.)

People are thinking, “OH, you’re one of those families…”

This is by no means a post meant to slam those of you who do Halloween. If I had to guess, all of you reading this participate in it. I understand that Halloween can be tempered down for the little kids, just like Santa can be worked into Christmas with Jesus; we have just decided to do neither. (I’ve never figured out how the Easter Bunny can be worked into a holiday which celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus though. Easter is not about spring.)

God convicts each person and each family of different things. I think this helps us to learn grace and love for our fellow man. He has convicted us personally that to participate in Halloween is to participate in things that don’t honor God at all. He may not have convicted you about this. That’s fine. Halloween isn’t a salvation issue. But for us, to glorify witches, ghosts, wizards, dead things, etc. just screams against what God is about: Life and Love.

Historically on the 31st of October we have turned off all our lights and traipsed around the house in the dark, whispering because kids still come up and ring your doorbell even when the lights are off. Lately we have taken to getting out of the house so we’re at least not bothered by the doorbell and not held prisoner in our own house.

Here’s what we’re doing this year. Our church puts on a Fall Festival for kids and we’re going to be volunteering at that. We thought this Festival was just for the kids for our church, a church of around 300. We. were. wrong. The Fall Festival has grown throughout the years and this year they expect about 6,000 people to move through the Montgomery Coliseum. It’s an outreach event to be able to talk to the families of Montgomery while they’re having fun in a safe environment. I’m pretty excited about it. These kids will be hearing the Good News instead of being inundated with images that aren’t right at all. They’re still going to be scoring insane amounts of candy, but that’s an issue for their parents.

So, don’t hate because we don’t participate. There’s always silence following our statement of “we don’t do Halloween.” What in the world for? We’re doing the work of the Kingdom on a night that has become a night to celebrate the king of the air.

Oh, and if you’re not horrified beyond belief submit your best post this week to be linked up at:

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24 thoughts on “We don’t do Halloween

  1. You know, I have always been mystified by the love of Halloween in this country. I grew up in a pagan household (my mother was Wiccan) so we celebrated Halloween (aka, Samhain in a big way. We also celebrated the Ostara (the Spring Equinox) instead of Easter. That holiday in the pagan world was all about fertility and I think that is where the bunny comes in 🙂 The other big holiday in the pagan world was Yule. We had a Christmas tree while I was growing up, but at some point my mother put her foot down and forced us all to make Yule logs instead.

    My mother used to get riled up and lecture me on how the Christians had taken all the Pagan holidays and used them for their own purposes. Yule was her favorite to lecture me on. Birth of the Son??? Noooo… Birth of the Sun!!!! (ie, the days are getting longer again as of December 21st, lol).

    These days I don’t find myself to be very religious at all, but I LOVE to celebrate, so I’ll celebrate any holiday that comes my way! I have yule logs piled up around my Christmas tree. Cinco de Mayo? Why not!? Boxing day? Uhhh… ok, that one, too. I don’t discriminate – I love them all.

    I suppose I ought to figure out how I’m going to deal with Holidays and the my family as they grow up.

  2. We don’t do halloween either. Or Santa or the Easter bunny. To me, halloween is the antithesis of Christianity and why we would celebrate and decorate with witches and goblins, even in fun, escapes me… I don’t have a problem with little kids dressing up – I even bought my youngest a costume this year (a fireman outfit) for his birthday, but it will be for dress up and not for trick or treating on the 31st. I’m so glad to hear how you believe and I applaud you for standing up and standing out… God bless!!

  3. we obviously don’t do halloween here, they don’t celebrate it but the missionary families do a fall festival that is full of games for the kids and they dress up.

    I have to say as i was reading this that all i could think about was how you dont celebrate these fictional things but you do midgets living in houses…. ha ha. 😉

  4. ladyfi says:

    We are having a Halloween party at friends this year.. we do Christmas and Easter too. Because we love to celebrate.

    It’s totally OK if you don’t want to do those things, of course. We don’t eat meat – others do. Live and let live, I say! After all, it is our diversity and different-ness that makes life so interesting.

    I’m not horrified – I’ve already posted you my Best Post.

  5. Good stuff here. Last week I blogged about what we do that’s different. I think people need to be reminded that there is a lot of true evil associated with Halloween, and I totally wish it were not even a part of mainstream culture. But since it is, we try to take advantage of the fact that it is the one day that people come to us for whatever we have to offer them, and make sure we let them know God offers them his love in Christ.

  6. It’s OK if you don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s good that you have an activity that you’ve found to support instead of lurking in the dark with the lights off.

    We do though. Love to have the little kids come up in their costumes. It was always such a fun time at my house.

    I don’t go for all the blood and gore that it has come to be associated with in the past few decades, but there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned scare.

  7. different strokes, bruh. sorry people react with awkwardity. my older sister (maybe you remember danyelle?), who should totally read this blog like i told her to, has values similar to yours (though she’s still okay with halloween and santa, as far as i know). i’ll try to remember not to be weird when next she tells me the latest and greatest thing she’s doing or not doing.

  8. I wrote about my mixed feelings for Halloween last Friday. I love a good costume party – but I just hate the scary stuff. No religious reasons – I just don’t see what could possibly be fun about gore and terror.

  9. We do Halloween, but I know several Christians that don’t. (my sister included) I would never judge you for that. We don’t do the Easter Bunny, and we definitely don’t do Santa. I was raised without Santa and I have no desire to stick him in to our Christmas celebrations now.

    I remember reading about the origin of Halloween and how Christians first started celebrating it.

    Here’s a excerpt:
    “Similarly, on All Hallows’ Eve (Hallow-Even – Hallow-E’en – Halloween), the custom arose of mocking the demonic realm by dressing children in costumes. Because the power of Satan has been broken once and for all, our children can mock him by dressing up like ghosts, goblins, and witches. The fact that we can dress our children this way shows our supreme confidence in the utter defeat of Satan by Jesus Christ – we have NO FEAR!”

    And the entire article here:
    http://ancienttruthmodernsound.com/whats-so-wrong-with-halloween

    I found it an interesting read. Having said all of that, it’s definitely up to all of us to decide what is right for our families and I can’t imagine anyone giving you a hard time for not celebrating it. Enjoy your Harvest Festival!

  10. Debbie says:

    I loathe halloween. I have never liked it, and I don’t understand why it is has almost become a national holiday at school. My kids are very fearful of spooky and dark things so much that we are unable to go to any craft store from Sept through the day after Halloween. Having said that, I do let them dress up in non-threatening costumes and trick or treat. I have passed out tracts in years past, but I cannot close the door and turn the light off. I just can’t. I have open my home to so many of these kids over the years that I just feel like I am slamming the door in their faces if I do that. Our decor is only harvest..no spooky…no scary. I do know where you are coming from believe me…And I am not scared off from your choice. As you said, the Lord convicts differently on different things.

  11. It’s a shame that Halloween is associated with demonic or anti-Christian beliefs, because that’s not what it’s really about at all.

    My sister-in-law and her family, who live in Ireland, have been celebrating this entire week. In fact, it’s a holiday for all the school children and a time to honor and celebrate those who’re deceased. It’s also a time to celebrate the second half of the year, Samhain, and the relationship between life and death. The church is actually what created the holiday for the blessed dead – All Saint’s Day.

    Like I said, it’s a shame we can’t celebrate it for what it truly means. It’s not meant to be a gory night.

  12. 🙂 Hey!

    I love the idea of dressing up.. that is my real joy for Halloween… oh and the candy. But today is also my mother’s birthday so I will be celebrating that tonight I think (depends on if my dad will be taking her out or not)

    Anyway, your Fall festival sounds like great fun! When I was a kid we always did whatever the church/school (christian school) was doing as a way of getting the good with out the icky.

    Happy thoughts,
    –K

  13. I don’t judge – you should celebrate what you feel right about in your family. We have always done Halloween, and Santa, and Easter. However, we have mixed religious views in our household. I have always believed that religion is something that one must decide on their own to truly have faith in. So we have exposed our kids to many views and taken them to many different services and let them decide where they feel they fit in. I don’t necessarily agree with their choices, but that’s ok. And their views may change – just as it wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to accept Jesus Christ into my life.

    On Halloween, the chapel here on base had Hallelujah night as an “alternative” to typical Halloween activities. That’s how it was advertised. Pretty much it was a Halloween fest without the gore. They had prizes for best Biblical costume. I think it’s really just become about celebrating time together.

    Hugs,
    Jami

  14. Quite a few people in my church don’t do Halloween. I do. I grew up in a strict-ish family and so did Kevin, and we came away feeling resentful and deprived. (Kevin wasn’t even allowed to go to Prom.) So we are more lax than other Christian families around us and want Elizabeth to have the best of both “worlds”.

    Halloween is tricky. I decorate with more “fall” stuff, nothing scary. Elizabeth dresses up, we hand out candy, and I explain it as a fun holiday. She’s 3 — dress up and candy are great! 🙂 When she’s older, I’ll have to tell her what it means to OTHER people, and tell her the whole history of it. Then it will probably get messy.

    Your church’s idea is great! We had a harvest party in mid-October, but if there was anything scheduled for Halloween it was Youth Group related. That sucks for all the kids too young for youth group – and leaves all those parents sitting at home in the dark. A church wide function would have been a lot of fun.

    Long story short, I love your take on the holiday, and I bet your kids did too!

  15. We are big halloweinies, too. My kids dress up, but have always attended the fall festival at our church. They have never trick or treated and probably never will. Not that I think those who do are wrong, it’s just not the right thing for my family. Actually, I just blogged about this. Hope you had a great turn out at your event!!

  16. rae says:

    Well, you sure stirred the pot with this blog entry! It appears to be as excitingly contraversial as say, the coming election.

    I was raised in a Southern Baptist Minister’s Home. He was my Dad. Mom was the minister’s wife. A good one at that. We did all the festivities. I remember my first Halloween: I was Casper, the Friendly Ghost. Dad was a dead butler. As he came out of the bathroom with his face blue and beard white, I was terrified. I remember seeing him and screaming. I also remember going out and about trickertreating and seeing a boy from church who was dressed up as one of those little sand people who collect droids in Star Wars. His eyes sparkled red. Totally weird, but great costume.

    I don’t know what Halloween is about. I don’t know that people who say they know, know. I found that in the city, we went door to door candy shopping. I have found that in the country, that is impossible. So the country folk go to town, the historic downtowns, and go store to store candy shopping. There is usually a costume contest of some kind by some random civic body and instead of having fifty kids wandering around a neighborhood, there are 5000 people in a downtown that holds 50, for four hours.

    Then there are the churches who conveniently schedule their “fall festivals” serruptiously around Halloween. (Crap) Although, I went to a fall festival at the Avondale First Baptist Church and won third place for third graders, which was a pound of M&M’s. Can you say crazy? I was a witch. (Still am at times)

    I have just learned as an adult that there is something in the Catholic and Episcolpal and Luthern Churches called All Saints Day. It is appropriately not in the Baptist Church as we don’t have Saints. It seems that if a church would have a “fall festival,” it would be on this All Saints Day. We did that this year. Made sense to me.

    I don’t know that I associated Halloween with faith as a child. It was a time of dressing up, getting candy and having fun. Faith was about going to church on Sundays, Wednesdays, sometimes Thursdays and Saturdays. It was about mission trips to take the message of Christ to others; about church lock-ins to learn more about Christ in our own lives; church choirs for worship of Him; handbells to accent the worship; about studying the Bible in Sunday School; helping someone too old in the church to clean up their yard, bring them a meal or just spend time with them; celebrating Christ on a beach in another town in fellowship with others…Why would halloween have anything to do with my faith? my faith was based on love, faith and hope, not silliness and make believe. I was taught to know the difference because sometimes in life, it would be hard to know the difference. I needed to know what was real and what was fancied. I was taught.

    Now I want to blog…

  17. I loved reading this post and all the comments. Lis Garrett has summed up the traditional origins perfectly. It also saddens me that ‘Halloween’ has got lost in the world of commercialization and miscommunication over the years. The true meaning and association with the seasons is so much more poignant.

    I love the sound of your church event and love what you’re doing – so much more appealing.

    In previous year’s I’ve never done anything for ‘Halloween’ – as a child growing up in England it wasn’t a big event (though I hear it is now). We celebrated the Harvest Festival and All Saints Day in our church though.

    I’m now a parent to young children, living in the Southern Hemisphere – where they insist on ‘doing’ Halloween on 31 October – though it’s at totally the wrong time of year! This year, with my oldest child now five, I was really thrown into a whole dilemma of what to do.

    Next year, I’m running away to the country and celebrating Spring!

    Loved your post! Sarah x

  18. The “what grade are you in” trips me up a lot when I ask the kids at church. I ask because I need to know what group they go into, but sometimes they’ll tell me what grade they are in for math or reading or whatever.

    You’ll probably not be surprised that I don’t do Halloween either. I do help out at our church’s Party on the Block which is a blast. I love that we can open up our doors (we have it at the church) to show our neighbors that we’re friendly and we can share the gospel with them, too.

  19. I think everything is in how you present it. I don’t begrudge anyone for wanting or not wanting to celebrate/partake in these holidays, you have to do what works for you and your family and that’s all that matters.

  20. We don’t do any of those holidays either. We researched the roots of the holidays, and we don’t want to participate in anything that goes contrary to what God commands us to stay away from in the Bible.
    It is hard at times when people think you’re abusing your children by not participating. But our kids know why, and it bothers their conscience too. We give them presents throughout the year, so yes they do get presents (directed at people who think we are against gifts)…we do have parties and get togethers and things like this. Just not celebrating those holidays.
    I could go on and on, but I’m going to go read your previous comments.
    🙂

  21. I think fall festivals if held October 31st is a little risky. Do to my vBulletin insane imgination at age 3 dad told me and siblings at age 3 about true saint Nicholas and how it transformed into tradition of Santa. Bsing oldest I forced him into that one I have no clue if he orginally wanted us to believe in Santa. We where told some kids believe in santa so don’t ruin it for them cause me and my full sister where big mouths. We where offred chance to pretend if wanted to some yrs we did. Though when I was 4 and 5 I snickered at packages marked Santa I knew it was aunts doing. It was so harx not to t e ll older cousin Santa wasn’t real joke is on my aunt he told mewwhen he was 8 he never believed in Santa it just didn’t make sence how fat man could fit down a chimney and he played along to make his mom happy, I had to learn how wrong halloween was the hard way and it didn’t fully sink in till adulthood. Easter bunny was pure insanty my cousin, I andcmy younger siblings by age 2 comprehend a bunny can’t lay eggs and we still got easter baskets anyway. Just how family did it. For easter egg hunts we knew ssomeone in family hid easter eggs for others to find. I was more of treasure hunt for spring no one ever brought up easter bunny except when we wherd going to see guy in costume for goofy pictures. Seriously we saw it as joke to one day when sister wore one of my t-shirts inside out as a dress. She had her shorts on under it because we wher that rambuctious and I wore my outfit inside out. Our cousin refused to go that far but yr before we convincex him to wear the pink bunny ears. Sis and I hated pink at that age she liked Red and dk blue. I liked that yr purple and orange always liked purple never liked pink.

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