Thursday, December 8, 2011

What About Halloween?

I know, it is almost Christmas, so why would I bring up Halloween? This is old news!

A couple of days ago I wrote the blog post, "Christmas, Presents, Lights and All That Matters." Where I highlighted my favorite Christmas traditions and why they are meaningful to me. If you read that post, you will remember I mentioned that for a year I struggled with the Christmas tree and refused to have one because of some of the history that surrounds the Christmas tree (and really, the day we celebrate Jesus' birth). As I wrote that, Halloween came to mind---but I put it off my mind, and continued on with my Christmas theme.

To my surprise, one of the comments mentioned Halloween, and a friend of mine e-mailed me and asked for my thoughts on Halloween. Obviously, I am not the only Christian that has questioned the celebration of Halloween.

I will start by saying, that I am not sure how I feel about Halloween. With the girls in school, I knew I had to make a choice, at least for this year.This was the first year we did trick or treating, every year before now I avoided it!

I do believe that evil takes place during Halloween. I know that there are groups that celebrate this day as a spiritual holiday. We are told, in scripture, that our battle in this world takes part in the spiritual realm: there is good and there is evil, there are angels and there are demons. There is something very dark about this day. Just a search on google and you will see what I am talking about. Form that standpoint, I want nothing to do with Halloween, absolutely nothing!

So what about trick and treating or dressing up? Is it just a fun tradition that has nothing to do, and is separated from the "dark side"?

There are many churches that provide "Harvest Parties" and "Trunk and Treat" gatherings as an alternative for children. This is where I ask, alternative to what? Alternative to going from house to house asking for candy? An alternative to "not participate" in Halloween? Ultimately, isn't that also a way of participating in that day? So, is a church sponsored event that happens on Halloween different from having fun with your neighbors asking for candy? it makes no sense to me!

This year, our girls really wanted to go trick or treating. I had to ask myself, would there be any way in which our actions could be interpreted as evil? No. Do I think there are scary costumes that represent evil? Yes, absolutely, we stay away from those. In fact, there were a couple of houses that we skipped altogether because, well, they were scary.

The girls came home excited, and we really did have a wonderful family time. It was fun to see our neighbors and meet some other kids in our neighborhood and their families. It really was an innocent tradition.

So I would love to hear from you. What do you think about Halloween? Do you think it is all bad? Do you participate? Do you do church activities on that day? How did you come up with this decision?

Linked to:
Thought Provoking Thursday
Proverbs 31
Reflections of His Grace
Sister to Sister


  1. Tom Nesler3:29 PM

    As always, very thought provoking article.

    My question is: What is purpose of Halloween? Christmas used to be a pagan holiday but it has been redeemed by commemorating Jesus' birth. We can choose to emphasize the pagan side or the Christian side. Sometimes we go overboard on one side or the other but basically, we have a good reason to celebrate christmas.

    Halloween, OTOH has never been redeemed by Christian overtones. It was a Wiccan prelude to November 1st which is All Saints Day. I have no problem with people trick or treating (although I do have a problem with all the candy!...:-) ) and the costumes (but I hate the horror emphasis).

    Each family has to decide what to promote and what to avoid. If you want to dress up and go to a party, go to a church harvest Party. IMO Leave the darkness and go to the light.

  2. well Ellen you know Mexico, at least where we live we are very near to US and we like to live and copy what americans do, so halloween was a very strong tradition when I was kid I went to trick or treat several times, we went dressed as ghosts and witches to school, but our 'catholic church' began saying that halloween was evil, and that we should not celebrate it and it wasnt from our culture, so they began promoting our culture, so this came with making strong the tradion of 'el dia de los muertos' wich i have to agree that is totally evil

    Im christian now, my church is also against halloween, saying is dark and evil and etc, even i began thinking about that, this year began really thinking about it and I think is like alcohol or dancing, it depends with the intention you do it with your heart, I dont mean we should celebrate halloween, but I do believe that wont send you to hell, you know whay i mean? i think evil is around us every day of the year and trying to attack us constantly its not one day thing.

    so we should not worry to much about halloween, we should worry about how is our relationship with God, every day, every moment, so Evil doesnt take part of our lives.

    by the way we wont go trick or treat since really isnt popular in my neighboardhood, but ill be thinking maybe next year in Eva's preschool i would send her for the custome party :)

  3. Well we weren't Christians when we started having kids so we celebrated Halloween. Once we became Christians we continued to trick or treat because I didn't want my kids to associate becoming a Christian with taking their fun away. We have done lots of "Fall Festivals" at various churches and had a blast. We've also done trick or treating through the neighborhood. We have lots of good discussion about what is appropriate at Halloween and what isn't (costume choice, etc.) and we have a good time.

  4. Hi Ellen:

    First of all, thank you for linking up at Reflections of His Grace for the Grace Cafe today.

    I never had children, so I'm not sure what I would have done about Halloween. As a child, I always went trick or treating and I was raised in a Christian home. I see nothing wrong with a little harmless fun, but there is a lot of evil surrounding Halloween and a lot of evil things happen on that night. But then again, evil is around us and we can't "hole up" and not be a light to the world.


  5. Hi Ellen, thanks for linking up with Sister to Sister! I love your site and have enjoyed reading about you and your family today. I felt a kindredness as I read your bio and posts. I'm married to a pastor as well. There are Stumbo's in our denomination. Are you C&MA as well? Also I have an affection for people with down syndrome. In our last church I met a young woman with down syndrome that absolutely changed me. The experience so effected me that in the novel I'm working on I'm writing about a mother having a daughter with ds and how that effects her. Actually I would like to adopt a little girl with down syndrome one day. We'll see what God has in mind. Anyhow, it was great 'meeting' you. I'll be back to visit for sure!

  6. i think halloween is a fun holiday for kids i do not think its good nor evil its just a fun time

  7. Thanks for visiting me today: ) I celebrated Halloween when I was little and continue to do so with my kids. I went to Catholic school and we had the costumes, parades, and parties...and we also celebrate All Souls Day with mass. I've never allowed myself to give it too much though, really. We trick or treat around our neighborhood and don;t make a big deal about it. Both my kids are happier passing out candy so we never go to far, nor do we spend a lot on costumes--they aren't that in to dress up either. I don't see it as bad thing--just my opinion: )

  8. Ellen, we're in Lillian Alabama currently, though we've served in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming. I'm familiar with John Stumbo's amazing testimony shared at Council this year and there were a couple of Stumbo brothers at Toccoa when my husband and I were there but I don't know any of them personally, your name just rang a bell! I love how lives in ministry intersect. I'm interested in information about the baby boy you mentioned. Could you tell me his age and how to find out more about his situation and the process we would go through? The words in your comment on my blog jumped off the page at me and I can't ignore that.

  9. My personal opinion is that parents set a better example for children by allowing them to participate in the fun innocuous cultural traditions like trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins than raising them to believe the holiday is all about evil and is to be avoided at all costs.


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