I just watched an interesting YouTube at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. It’s on the origins and history of Halloween, (most of which I’m familiar with) and then argues against Christians participating in the traditions.
I always have such a dilemma this time of year, more so as my kids get older and are more aware of the holiday. Should it be something Christians take part in?
I grew up in a fairly secular home, and did the trick-or-treat thing. My mom fondly remembered getting the best end of the deal as a Catholic – November 1 is All Saint’s Day, and always a day off of school for the parochial students, so they got to stay up extra-late raking in the goodies.
As a parent, we’ve ignored the holiday altogether, save for explaining the sudden appearance of hellish decor at the grocery stores.
We’ve also gone to church-sponsored halloween-alternative Bible-maze things.
We’ve gone to smaller (our main church) Harvest (read: Candy and Cake Walk) Parties.
We’ve stayed home with root-beer floats and played games.
We’ve never sanctioned ‘evil’ or scary costumes – this was most easily done at our small church harvest party, where it wasn’t advertised to the whole town, and we parents used collective discretion. No witches, goblins, vampires and the like. Raggedy Ann, princesses, etc.
Theologically, I’ve had both ends of the spectrum imposed upon me. And I don’t mean that to impugn anyone else. I’ve just never found my own peace with the subject.
Children love to dress up, and the idea of a holiday with that specific tradition, well, that’s a hard one to abandon, unless you have another day or time to enjoy the costume aspect (maybe that’s what we need to do). I’ve not had trouble staying away from the trick-or-treat tradition, since I’m not big on candy nor the whole idea of begging/entitlement. Worse, is the history: Give me a treat (your money) or I’ll play a trick (burn your house down). :]
The comparative analogy mentioned in the YouTube video (the Nazi salute) is compelling.
What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate it with all the cultural traditions, abandon it completely, or some pseudo-version that is less offensive to your faith?