I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween. I hate all of the scary TV ads, movie previews, and creepy decorations. I love the colors (orange! It’s my favorite color!), the candy (hello Fun Size!), and the costumes. The tricks; every year when I lived in Germany the fountains of the villages our bus route drove through were full of soap suds from tricks done the night before. The treats; nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!! There’s one question I have though…

Can a Christian participate in Halloween?

Because I profess to believe in Christ this holiday has always felt like one I should like in hiding. It’s not because of anything that I’ve heard in a church, rather, it’s the voices of the disapproving that seem to speak louder in my head. Is it because I feel guilty? Not necessarily. To be honest I’m quite the people-pleaser and being a military kid I’ve figured out how to fit into different social settings quickly. After all, I had to in order to survive moving schools every two to three years.

Christianity vs. Halloween: Yes, there’s a dark side to Halloween. I choose to ignore it. There’s a dark side to anything when you look close enough at it. We live in a broken world, a sinful world, and as much as I would like to hide my face from it there is evil in this world. I have two options:

  1. I can remove my children from ever having to see the dark side of the world; hoping, instead, that they’ll naturally shy away from it when they’re grown. Maybe they will because they’ve stayed away from it their entire life? Maybe they’ll rebel at the chance of freedom? Who knows?
  2. I can guide them through life, allowing them to see the dark sides, but teaching them the Way and the Truth. When they’re grown the outcome will be the same as it would if I had sheltered them. They will either stay true to the course, only, I hope it would be because of knowledge and belief rather than fear of the unknown. Or they’ll rebel at the chance of freedom, deciding instead to take a different path.
For our family, we choose the latter and this is why we do participate in Halloween. Rather than live in fear, anxiously hoping that protecting our children from the evil that’s present in this world will be enough, my husband and I choose to prepare them. It’s our duty as parents to help them become capable adults, fully informed and ready to live in the world. We do live in this world and while our faith calls us to not be of it we do have to still exist in it. If there’s one thing that I have learned in 31 years of life it’s that you have no control over anything. Try as I may to control and dictate outcomes, it never happens. I am not in control nor will I ever be in control. God is sovereign; the control is His. Trusting in Him to protect my children while I prepare them to live in a corrupt world is all that I can do. It’s all I must do.

Plus, Halloween is a fun holiday. Some of my best childhood memories are from planning my Halloween costume starting in August to seeing it to fulfillment on October 31st. Will I dress my children up in witch costumes or ghosts? No, I won’t and that’s because of my own personal belief. I will also discourage them from choosing costumes that are murderous, malicious looking, too sexy or showcase that evil that is present in this world. I will, however, encourage them to think of a fun costume, something that reflects that childhood innocence that is often lost at such an early age. That is how we’ll celebrate…oh and candy, lots and lots of candy!!

Whether you love Halloween for the simple fun or you love a good scare I sincerely hope this Halloween has brought fun memories to you and your kiddos! Happy Halloween!!

Do you celebrate? Why or why not?

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Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.

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