Halloween at our home

This week is our Classical Conversations group's fall break, and we are taking a break at home as well. What this means is no school work beyond reviewing the first six weeks of CC memory work, followed by a recitation towards the end of the week. Basically, Ava, Wyatt, and I will test each other to see how much we are retaining.  Should be interesting!  Of course, there will also be reading going on, and all manner of practice in frosting application for Cake Decorating 4H.

intense concentration? check!

game face? check!

We will also be making our preparations for Halloween. I have been challenged this year to make whatever we do on or near that suspicious holiday at the end of October to be purposeful and Christ-centered.  I've been wrestling through some old history and new opinions, and praying through what our family might do so that we can "insulate, but not isolate our children."

One article I really liked is on the What's in the Bible blog, titled Halloween: the Meaning, History, and the Christian Response.  A few quotes:

"Jesus says in Revelation 21:5, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Certainly, all things includes Halloween.  But how?"
"If we are quick to reject Halloween altogether, we might miss a couple of things.  First, the assumption tends to be that it’s evil, demonic, worldly.  Jesus did say after all that we should live in the world, and not of it, right? . . . If we can look at Halloween not as a ‘us versus them’, but that we are all sinful in need of grace, maybe we can look at this holiday with more compassion and grace, rather than judgment."
"If we are quick to accept Halloween as it is currently practiced, we might fail to care and love our neighbors.  “It’s about the fun and the candy,” so we put a bowl of cheap candy in front of our door and go help our kids bring in the loot!  How can we be the light of the world even amidst the jack-o-lanterns?  We can engage our community.  Christians can practice hospitality – have the best candy so that your house will be the house people come to, and linger!  Get creative – have spiced cider and pumpkin bread for the adults so that you can engage your neighbors in conversation, have a pre trick-or-treat dinner where you can talk about what Halloween means to them.  Go to your neighbors’ houses and get to know them. Be prayerful and present – ask the Spirit to lead you and give you wisdom."

This last paragraph struck a chord with me, and is the general angle our family will take this year, because for the Mr. and me, it comes down to this: Do we want our children remembering Halloween as a time when we drew lines and separated ourselves from our neighbors?  Or do we want them remembering their parents out in front of their house showing real, tangible love to people we drive by all the time?  Which one actually shows the Love we claim to believe in?
(By the way, I totally had to look up the proper usage of the pronoun "me" in that paragraph.  Google saves the day again.)

We'll claim this week and next for some activities inspired by Halloween, but rooted in the truth of Jesus's life.  The Pumpkin Patch Parable* is a great book to lead off with.  When we finally get around to carving pumpkins, I'll slip in a little conversation about Jesus shining in us like the light shining inside the pumpkin, or maybe a bit of an object lesson on how being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.  Hmm, probably not on the last one, but do visit this site for a beautiful example of a pumpkin missionary.

There are several awesome sets of ideas over at Raising Deep Roots, everything from turning your child's skeleton costume into a scriptural lesson to demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit with glow sticks and blacklights.  There will definitely be some glowing going on over here.  Along the same lines, when we finally get around to carving pumpkins, we will talk about how Jesus shines through us to others
The kids will choose costumes (which, if I'm really clever, won't cost anything), but they already know some things won't fly.  I'm not going to make them dress up as Jesus or Mary, but we also won't have any ghosts, witches, or anything else undead because I take to heart all the verses that encourage us to think on things that are lovely and pure.  We will take the kids trick or treating, and I will prevail upon them to say something other than "Trick or Treat," although I haven't figured out what yet.  Call me a chicken if you will, but going door to door saying, "Jesus loves you - now please give us candy!" doesn't seem like the best move for building relationships among our neighbors.  When the kids are older, perhaps I can convince them to go "trick or treating" and hand out some kind of small gift instead of expecting one, but for now, I won't break their sugar-lusting hearts.
What's in the Bible has a Costumes and Candy Pack with little cards with a code for a free video.  My kids LOVE the What's in the Bible with Buck Denver dvds, so we will attach these stickers or tags to whatever candy I reconcile myself to.

In that same What's in the Bible packet, there is an activity page for All Saint's Day (November 1), which we will do.  Actually, I'm printing it right now.  Celebrating people (ancient and modern alike) who have given/are giving their lives in service to God is exactly the kind of thing I can get behind.  I also think our conversations around All Saint's Day will lead my kids to think about the connection between beliefs and actions.

In the name of full disclosure, I should also tell you the Candy Fairy visits our house.  I make it really obvious so the kids know it's me, but I think Wyatt still wonders. . .  Oh, does the Candy Fairy not come to your house?  Too bad, because she has an insatiable appetite for candy, which conveniently does not make her sick at all, and she deals in trade.  If little children leave ALL their candy out for her sometime in the week following Halloween, she will visit and leave behind a sugar free gift.  Word has it this year she will be leaving behind the Buck Denver asks. . . Why do we call it Christmas? dvd at our house, but you did not hear that from me.*

My Day-Of plan is to take the kids out early-ish, then be back to set up a table with the required candy bowl, but also a big pot of hot cider.  If I'm really on top of it, I'll have some kind of baked something or other for the adults.  Or maybe apples and caramel.  I love this idea of moving our fire pit and chairs out front and building a toasty fire, but we'll see.  Whatever we do, all of it will be served up with a huge helping of silent prayer.

I'm trying to aim small.  Just something that the kids will be able to participate in, and hopefully neighbors will remember and say, "wasn't that unusual and kind?"  And maybe, just maybe, when they look at their kids' candy later and realize we stuck the modern equivalent of a tract in there, they will remember us and not egg our house, but actually go take a look at the free video instead.

*Note:  This post contains affiliate links, which means (at no extra cost to you) I may receive a portion of any purchase you make via links within.


  1. Danielle,

    I love your heart for trying to do what you can to redeem Halloween! The pumpkin parable is great! We love it too. I"m so pleased our Redeeming Halloween posts at RaisingDeepRoots have blessed you! Stay tuned because this week we'll posting a new lesson on the popular Halloween theme of bats and using a batty theme to teach kids about listening for God's voice! Blessings on you!

    1. Hi Susie, so glad you stopped by. Your blog has been a big inspiration to me this year. I will definitely take a look at your new lessons. I get so excited over object lessons that teach about God in such a tangible way.

  2. Hi Danielle, I loved reading this post. While I disagree with celebrating the holiday I do agree that we need to be a loving neighbor and friend. What better way than to show the love of Christ in the midst of darkness! :) I shared your post on a post my sister put on facebook about this very topic. Have a wonderful week! :)


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