Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Should Christian Celebrate Halloween - an Open Forum
When I became a Christian in 1974, no one told me about Halloween, but I had an uneasy feeling about it. I believe it was the Holy Spirit giving me discernment.

Some people say that all of our Christian holidays have pagan roots, to include Christmas. I've studied that claim enough to know that's not altogether true, but Halloween is unique.  

While other holidays may have pagan roots, those roots are forgotten. But Halloween still has an occult theme with witches and scary things being a main feature.

For a few years, I wasn't sure how to handle my uneasy feelings.

I steered away from the demonic elements of the holiday and tried to celebrate it low key. 

When my kids reached early grade school, I hoped to stop the tradition, but I wasn't sure how to break it to our kids, especially our daughter.

Then one afternoon on the playground, one of her little friends asked her if she was going trick or treating and when our daughter said “yes” the little girl asked why she would participate in the “devil’s holiday”? That’s all she needed, so our children quit trick or treating.

But we struggled with how to talk about our decision to unsaved neighbors and how to handle trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.

I'll share more about that in Part 2

And I love to hear your comments. All I ask is that you express yourself without being unkind to those with whom you disagree.
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Should Christian Celebrate Halloween - an Open Forum

42 comments:

  1. What a great exchange! Looking forward to Part 2.

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  2. I know how you feel! My kids are 2, 7 and 9 and we "celebrate" Halloween, but steer clear of anything scary, creepy or gory--which is harder than you can imagine. I wrote about the roots of Halloween and how I put a "Christian" twist on it for my kids on my blog this year too.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. I'm always interested in how different people handle the holiday. Bless you, Gail

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  3. Hi! I'm visiting from The Better Mom link-up. I can totally relate, we're doing Halloween differently this year as well. Glad we're in good company! I hope you'll stop by and read my post here: http://wedoersoftheword.blogspot.com/2012/10/rethinking-halloween.html

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laura. I'll check out your post too. Bless you, Gail

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  4. We're not doing the halloween thing at all, I'm looking forward to the rest of your posts.

    KM Logan from lessonsfromivy.com

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    1. Thanks, KM. I'd like to hear how you handle questions.

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  5. My husband and I were just talking about this very issue and what we want to do with out kids! Thanks for your insight on it! Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for linking up with Mommy Moments:)

    http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/

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  6. We don't "celebrate" Halloween, but we do consider it a great opportunity to meet families in our neighborhood. It is the one night of the year that you will have hundreds of families out and about knocking on people's doors and greeting one another. We don't dress up, and we don't always hand out candy, but we do try to make ourselves available to say hello and introduce ourselves to new people and invite them to our church. Some years we hope to set up a tent in our yard and offer hot drinks and a place to warm up to open up more opportunity for longer conversations. I know some Christians would even view this as too much "celebration" but we have decided we can not pass up the opportunity to use this particular evening to evangelize to our neighbors.

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  7. I think Tyanne illustrates how I feel. It's all about your ATTITUDE. I think it's entirely possible to celebrate Halloween in a way that is wholesome, family friendly, and in clean fun. I don't see how dressing a child up as a hero (police man or firefighter, say) or a helper (doctor, nurse) or another positive role model (carpenter, lawyer) is in any way Satanic. If the focus is on the change in season, getting to know your neighbors, and kids having fun treats like candy or carmel apples then it's not evil. However, if you choose to focus on gore and death and evil spirits and dress up as vampires or zombies or psychopaths, then, yes, it's a celebration of evil. It's all about attitude.

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  8. I love to hear about others who do not celebrate that day. I shared about a conversation I had with my almost 6 year old last month.

    http://babychaser.com/2012/09/talking-to-young-children-about-halloween-from-a-biblical-worldview.html

    Thanks for sharing your story! I look forward to reading the rest!

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    1. I read your story, and appreciate hearing how others have handled the holiday. Thanks, Gail

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  9. We didn't do Halloween with our children. We opted out very early and I don't remember how. I researched and wrote about it quite a number of years ago and published it in a newsletter (you know, back when there were no blogs ;-)

    Thanks, Gail, for linking up on WholeHearted Home this week. I always look forward to your linkups.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Judith. Bless you, Gail

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  10. We struggled in the past with this issue, but have settled on not trick or treating anymore. We do a fun activity at home that of course includes candy.:)

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    1. Thanks for adding to the discussion. Bless you, Gail

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  11. Love this. I just finished a 4 part series today on why we don't celebrate Halloween over on my blog. I would love for you all to check it out as well. jensjourney77.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Jen. I've had opportunity to read some of your posts, and I always appreciate hearing how other Christians have handled the holiday. Bless you, Gail

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  12. Glad you made the decision to stop celebrating Halloween. It is one of those times when we are challenged in our faith...do we go along with the rest of the world simply to appease our kids, the neighbors etc...or do we stand up for what the Lord would want? It is in times like these that our commitment to true Christian principles is revealed. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey, for adding to the discussion. I know I grow by hearing how others handle the holiday. Bless you, Gail

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  13. Thanks for the insight. As a Mom of Elementary aged children I need all the help I can get. Thank you Gail for sharing your wisdom.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I pray God will give you wisdom in deciding how to handle Halloween. Bless you, Gail

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  14. I teach at a Christian School and our parents have a wide range of opinions, so I tell my parents that we won't celebrate in class, rather we'll focus on School work. However our school hosts a fall festival that allows kids to dress up--which is fun! We also play games and enjoy eachother--and open it up to our neighborhood kids. I'll be presenting a Gospel message at a story time duinr the evening too!
    Personally, I don't like getting invested in Halloween, because it is such a mental diversion for kids and families. Soo easy to get distracted from the Lord and his love---I don't need a month of talking about it in class too :-)

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    1. Thanks for adding some aspects of the holiday we non-teachers might overlook. I enjoyed hearing your views. Bless you, Gail

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  15. As a kid we celebrated Halloween. Our costumes we always innocent ones and often based on literary characters (the ones I can remember included Wendy (from Peter Pan, but which all my teachers thought was Laura Ingalls away from my brother and sister who were Peter and Tink), a ballerina and a rodeo clown). We went Trick-or-Treating and also usually participated in church sponsored Fall Festivals as well. My mom had talks with us almost every year about the pagan roots of the holiday and how the spiritual world is real - that we were participating just for the fun of it and not because we were followers of those things. She also used it as an opportunity to address spiritual warfare and tell us how we needn't be scared of such things, because we had Jesus on our side. It worked for our family. I'm not sure it works for every one - but it's a personal decision each family must make based on their own convictions.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your way of handling the holiday. I enjoy hearing how others handle it. Bless you, Gail

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  16. We don't 'celebrate' it, but we are open for kids to knock on our door - we gice them a small bag with sweets and a little evangelistic booklet for kids :)

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  17. We have gone trick or treating in the past, but I've always been uneasy about it. I don't so much mind the kids dressing up, but other kids put on costumes that are awful. I don't want that image burned in my kids minds. I live in the country so noone comes out here trick or treating. The last couple of years we have either gone to our church or my mothers for a little fall festival.

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  18. We have decided not to do halloween, but it is very hard to talk about it with others. I am excited to read part 2! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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  19. I am featuring you tomorrow on WholeHearted Home Wednesday. This post was so good and will be a blessing for others to read.

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  20. As a child my parents allowed us to celebrate halloween. Into adulthood I made a conscious decision to not participate in the parties. This was mostly because of the unnecessary expense of the costume. When I fostered three small children, I looked for every way to put smiles on their stressed faces. I had a HUGE halloween party the first year they were with me. That following Sunday, the Pastor spoke on halloween--enough said, my eyes were opened and I have not celebrated since. I spoke with the children and although they were not happy with my decision, the three slowly agreed to toss out the decor and costumes. We found other activities on halloween night and week. The children, now adults, I do not believe they celebrate halloween. I will ask them this week! I am looking forward to your Part 2.

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  21. I did take my son to the mall when he was 2. Dressed him like Winnie The Pooh. I was a young momma and a growing Christian. I still felt something not quite right about it all. When my son was 3, a godly friend of mine handed me a paper in Bible study about what Halloween really was about. It was well researched and informative. I prayed and talked we my husband. We made the decision to not participate in any way with that holiday. I tried to picture myself with my son, going out with Jesus for Halloween. How would that make Him feel? How would that make me feel? How would my son, "see" Jesus in his life? After all Jesus lives inside our hearts...We haven't missed a thing, by not celebrating that day. Even the church we were going to at that time, had Harvest Festivals. No wicked or scary things. Just games and hayrides. My husband took him to that when he was little and he had no idea of Halloween. All he knew was they were have a good time at church because it was the fall season. As my son grew up...in his teens, he wanted to know more of what it was like to go trick or treating with some friends. Dress up and all. I didn't know he was planning this and he snuck out for about an hour and brought back a pillow case of candy. He had on the most deadliest clown mask I ever seen. I wasn't mad at him. I saw this as a good lesson. A spiritual one. We sat down as a family and talked about his disobedience...but also about what he felt when he went out like that and did this. He saw bad things. It wasn't about the candy and dressing up. That was all he thought about and wanted to do. But he saw fights and things he didn't want to see or thought he would see. He never went out again. We prayed together that night, after his "little adventure." He never ate the candy. He just wanted the experience. But I was disappointed about his choice that night. Although I see, he need a lesson...a life lesson to show him the truth. I was thankful to God that it was not pleasant or fun like he thought after all. He is going on 20 years old now. We are praying God will keep him and guide him in his manhood as well. I don't agree that born again believers should participate in Halloween. It is not a Christian Holiday. It is a Pagan Holiday. That is my opinion. Why subject your children, to demons, scary things, possible poison candy, kidnappers, incredible gorey costumes and decorations???? If we are to be light why participate in the darkness of hellish things? Putting cute things out for decorations or cute costumes on, is not taking away the evil all around them that night. As parents we are accountable for our borrowed children, to God. We tell teach them one way in church and in home and then another out in the world...that just doesn't make any sense. We can't serve 2 masters. We love the one or hate the other. What if it was a day set apart to dress up in your most best and fancy costume to a certain place to get rewards, but first you must do ritual things to get the prizes....Who are we bowing to? Who are we serving? Just saying.

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    1. Thanks, Kim, for sharing your experiences and insights. I appreciate having readers leave comments so others can benefit from things they've learned.
      Gail

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  22. My husband & I were encouraged during our pre-marital counseling to pray and seek God's Word about how/why to participate in holidays, and follow the promptings of the Spirit in accordance with the Word. We both agreed that we didn't feel like we could participate in Halloween. I've been sharing a post I'd written about where we're at in our thoughts, and it has opened the door for some thought-provoking conversations with friends (believers or not!).

    We have friends who use the day to hand out tracts, etc, and we trust that the Lord works through them, because He is more than able!, but we feel that we can better minister to our neighbors year-round in other ways than participating in the festivities.

    Thank you for this blog. Your posts are a blessing :)
    ~Lisha

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    1. Thanks, Lisha, for sharing how you are handling this holiday. I think it's especially profitable that your writing has opened up discussions with others.
      Bless you,
      Gail

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  23. As someone who was involved in the darkness (occult) before I ever met God, I do believe the evil is real. We make sure our home remains a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, just decorating for autumn. But we also allow our children to dress up in innocent costumes, and they and their friends just go to each other's houses for candy. This decision was done with much prayer, and consideration of my history. We really do see the evening as an outreach, especially since we do so much ministry with unchurched kids. It seems that staying away from the scary stuff while not radically avoiding the day has left many, many people feeling comfortable enough to ask what my beliefs are. I have had so many opportunities to witness because we are 'around' but not participating in evil on that day. That being said, I don't think the answer is black and white for everyone. I think if the Spirit causes you to be uncomfortable with it, you shouldn't do it. But if He tells you to dress up like red riding hood because perhaps He knows you'll have a chance to connect with a neighborhood kid that will come knocking on your door, then you should do that too. It's about individual obedience to Him. And realizing that evil is real, though our God is so big we have no reason to fear. :)

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  24. As an adult, I actually had to grow up fast as a minor child. So, I'm grateful and have FEW happy memories from MY actual childhood years. With this in mind, I have a couple of Positive memories and they were on this day, with a certain Uncle & Aunt that chose to include my Broken, abused, traumatic and scarred butt in with their family event on this day. I clearly do NOT practice anything that is connected to demonic, voodoo, etc. however, it was a day like this so many decades ago that continues to mend my spirit towards the horrendous memories and scars from my horrific childhood.

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  25. I dressed up for church events and to go out with family and for work. I ignore the ghoulish and go for the candy. The devil tries to ruin everyday and I can wear a Bible verse or be positive.

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  26. I don't do jack off laterns or decorate for it but I eat candy. I don't so far buy Halloween themed deserts.

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