While some Christians celebrate Halloween in more traditional ways, others prefer to use Halloween alternatives to avoid celebrating a holiday that has pagan connotations. It is sometimes difficult to explain to a child why he cannot participate in something many of his friends do; however, you can create an alternative that is fun for everyone involved.
Just because some Halloween costumes depict things in which you do not believe doesn't mean you can't dress up at all. If you are attending a Halloween party, going out trick-or-treating or going to an alternative party, choose costumes that depict Biblical characters instead, such as Noah, King David or Mary. You may not be able to find them in the stores, but you can make them yourself. A white beard and flowing robe with a rope belt will turn you into one of several Biblical characters.
Instead of celebrating Halloween, throw a harvest party to celebrate the bounty of food harvested in the fall. If you want people to dress up, include instructions on the invitation to dress in something that reflects the Bible rather than Halloween. At the harvest party, guests can play games, receive candy and enjoy refreshments. Hire someone to do face painting, a magic show or balloon animals for the children in attendance at the party.
For Lutherans, Reformation Day falls on the same day as Halloween. This observance celebrates the day on which Martin Luther posted the 95 theses on the wall of the Wittenburg Church in Germany and thus started the reformation of the church. Celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther by singing the hymns he wrote, reading from his writings and dressing up as characters from his life, such as Martin Luther himself or his wife, Katherine. Decorate the door with a replica of the 95 theses and display Luther's seal.
Even if you do not celebrate Halloween in traditional ways, make the day and evening about your family. Taking the focus off of what your children are missing helps them to realize that everyone celebrates things in a different way. Go out to a movie and dinner instead of sitting home and watching the trick-or-treaters go by. Walk in the park where you will be away from the festivities, but will enjoy the nature that God provided. If you want to decorate for the holiday, carve pumpkins and bake the pumpkin seeds for a special treat. When you carve your pumpkins, use Christian-friendly shapes, such as a dove, a cross or the Christian fish symbol. Visiting local farms on Halloween may also be a good alternative because many of the other families will be out trick-or-treating, leaving the farms less crowded for you and your family.
Spread the Love
Instill in your children the desire to help others and show them how good it feels to give back instead of taking. Collect food together and donate it to a local food bank for families in need. You can also go door-to-door as a family and hand out candy or fliers with Bible verses printed on them. This shows your children how to witness to others while allowing them to participate in the traditions. If you don't want to go door-to-door, fill a bowl with candy on which you have taped Bible verses and place it on your porch for the trick-or-treaters.
One of the concerns that some parents have about trick-or-treating is the safety of the candy. While you can take the candy to local events that scan it for metal or foreign objects, some people are just not comfortable receiving candy from strangers. Some churches offer trick-or-treating alternatives that allow children to dress up and receive candy from other members of the church. These events are often set up in the church parking lot and members of the church hand out candy to the children from their cars. Other churches hold fall festivals with food, items for sale and games for members of the church.
- The Hem of His Garment: Four Fun Christian Halloween Alternatives
- Grant's Graceland: Halloween Alternatives
- Fishers of Kids: Harvest Party
- Kyria; 5 Fun Halloween Alternatives; Trina Schaetz; 2001
- Childrens Ministry; Five Halloween Alternatives; Sue Lennartson
- All About God: What Are Some Christian Halloween Ideas?
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