There are posts and posts and posts all over the blogosphere about how Christians should handle Halloween…
…like this one about why Christians should love Halloween,
…this one about redeeming Halloween,
…and this one about kissing Halloween goodbye.
Not that I ascribe to any of these completely, they all point out interesting things to think about when deciding whether or not to celebrate a day that glorifies something that I’m not such a fan of (evil). Trick or treat? Didn’t do it growing up. We went to harvest parties. Or even Halloween parties but the ones with bobbing for apples and other silly games. Unfortunately, the only Halloween I specifically remember was the first Halloween we were married: we went to a Halloween party (which was more than fun in itself), I had
one way too many spiked jello orange slices (they’re delicious without the alcohol!), and I had the worst hangover of my life (I’ve had 3 – not necessarily proud of that fact – but that’s the honest truth).
History aside, I’ve not really much cared in the past about the motivations behind why people celebrate Halloween. Now that we have a kiddo, however, I am thinking more and more about how to teach her about the different traditions that people choose to celebrate throughout the year (i.e. are we doing Santa or not?).
So what about Halloween?
Well, not such a big deal this year considering she’s 14 months old. But I understand why some Christians totally boycott it, some embrace it, and others are in between. The heart of the matter, though, is how you portray that to others.
Could I have printed off Bible verses and taped them to the candy I gave out. Yep, could have.
Could I have sought out a harvest party to take Serafina to instead of having her help me answer the door? Sure, I could have done that instead.
Could I have done one of the many suggestions that the bloggers above describe? Totally.
But the heart of the matter, and the opportunity to get to know one’s community, is not addressed anywhere in these discussions.
Do you know what I learned tonight? That one of my alley neighbors has an 8 month old. She even told me her address because we got to talking about our kiddos while an older one of hers was busy rifling through our basket to find just the right piece of candy. What other opportunity would I have had to engage in conversation with her?
Yes, I understand that this is a demonic holiday. Let’s face it: we live in a demonic world. As Christians, we need to be aware that we are always under spiritual attack – not just on Halloween – because the evil one does not want us to succeed (though we know we will…can I get an amen?!?!?). You can argue all day that the battle is more heated on this designated day. But what we can’t overlook is the opportunity to be a light in the darkness*, a kind neighbor in our rude and harsh world, and a giver in our me-me-me-take-take-take society. I’m gonna let Serafina, and any other kiddos we are blessed with, dress up. But I’ll also let them dress up the rest of the year too. Trick or treating? I don’t have to decide that yet. But you know there’ll be a bowl of candy at my house.
P.S. Check out this cute video of us answering the door and the neighborly good tidings Serafina spread…
*My blogger friend Lindsay Lea has a great story at the end of this post about an unintended way she was a light in the darkness a few Halloween’s ago.