Inside: These are the ways that our family treats Halloween and the things that we do to have fun. Our personal conviction is that Christians don’t have to run and hide from Halloween.
Halloween is a topic I have largely ignored in my early years of blogging. (I started blogging way back in 2011, so that was a very long time ago!) In an effort to avoid controversy, I kept my fingers stilled and let the others do the typing.
But over the course of my kids’ childhoods (the older ones now being teens!), I’ve grown to enjoy the activities we do in our neighborhood so much that I couldn’t not share with you how our Christian family approaches Halloween.
In fact, despite the way Halloween can divide followers of Jesus, I believe Christians can redeem Halloween.
3 Ways Christians Can Redeem Halloween
1. Use spooky decorations as conversation starters with your kids.
Related: 61 Candy Alternatives for Halloween
I don’t know about you, but it’s impossible for us to exit our driveway without spotting spooky decorations during the month of October.
We live in a subdivision, and there are several yards on our street that pull out the sculls, ghosts, headstones, bats, vampires, etc. as soon as September ends.
It seems that the Halloween yard art now rivals Christmas! I don’t remember it being like this when I was a kid!
Some of the decor is funny and light-hearted like the Stay Puft Marshmellow, and some of it is a little spookier and scarier. My kids know it’s not real and just have fun looking at the decor.
Our girls started asking about the spooky decorations when they were in preschool, and we found it was the perfect open door to talk to them about why our family does not “celebrate” Halloween in a secular sense.
We also use it to talk about how there is real evil and darkness in this world, but Jesus came so that we might have life.
2. Host a fall festival
Because I spent most of my childhood living out in the country, we didn’t really go trick or treating. There were no houses to visit because we didn’t live in a subdivision.
My parents would take us to our church’s annual fall festival each year, which always fell on the same night as Halloween. We would dress up in fun costumes and spend the evening playing games and stuffing our bags with candy.
While I don’t completely disagree with churches hosting fall festivals, I think the mission behind it should be to share Christ’s love as opposed to a place for church people to “hide out.”
I love that that same church I grew up in now hosts an even larger fall festival on the night of Halloween, with carnival-like rides and all!
Instead of drawing in to themselves, they are reaching out to their community and using the night as what is perhaps the one evening of the year where those who might otherwise never enter a church building will come for some fun and games.
3. Stay in your own neighborhood.
Since moving to our subdivision, Halloween has become one of my favorite nights in our neighborhood.
It’s the one night out of the entire year when 200+ families show up on our doorstep!
Instead of turning out the lights and pretending not to hear the doorbell, we’ve decided to make this a night when we can shine the light of Jesus to those who show up.
For us, it’s simple: We stock our fridge with pre-made apple cider, and we keep pouring it into the crock pot until it runs out.
We print out cards with an encouraging verse and/or invitation to our church and have it available to give to the parents as children are getting their candy. Some take it and others don’t, but we usually have a wonderful time full of some great conversations. It’s been a wonderful way to meet some of our neighbors.
I will be honest in that I struggled with how to approach Halloween when I first became a mom. But I believe the previous three suggestions are ways we can all redeem Halloween for Christ.
A game changer in my thinking in this area was the following video from our former pastor, Bobby Conway of the One Minute Apologist.
I ask that you please watch his video before responding to this post:
How does your family approach Halloween? What are some ways in which you think we can redeem Halloween?