Trick or Treating in our house has brought about many debates. You see, I grew up with a Catholic Dad, and a Mom who didn’t practice any religion. Every year I was always out tick or treating and would even visit a haunted house every year. I remember one year my Dad getting into the costume idea and dressed up as an ape with red glowing eyes. He showed up to one of my Girl Scouting events and surprised all us girls. You should have seen everyone screaming. My husband on the other hand grew up completely the opposite. His parents would take the kids out to eat Halloween night and when they came home would shut off the lights and everyone would go to bed early.
When my husband and I got together Halloween sure was a debate. Honestly, an easy one. Since my childhood, I had become a Christian and understand more of what Halloween has stood for. I knew going forward I would want to do things differently than how I grew up and like wise my hubby wanted things to be different for our kids than what he remembers growing up.
Halloween has a dark past, which can not be denied. The question we asked ourselves when we first got together was, “ What does Halloween mean now?” Answering that one question is how we were able to come to the same page on how we wanted to handle Halloween with our family. The answer to that question for us was simple. Kids view it as a holiday they get to dress up as their favorite hero, or movie character and get LOTS of free candy. What kid doesn’t want free candy, right? Do kids see Halloween as anything more? Maybe a time to visit friends and have a party. In some circles, finding ways to scare others.
For us answering that question showed us what fun kids can have and think Halloween is. Kids aren’t focusing on what Halloween use to be, so why should we. If we were to hide out, aren’t we just letting the day be scary? Are we letting evil win? We were able to think of some things that we would not want for our family to participate in and came up with 5 ground rules we wanted for our family to follow. Over the years we have done many different activities for the kids to have a great time, and all while sticking to our values, thanks to the ground rules. Having these in place has been the best of both worlds for our family. Some Christians may still want to debate this, but for our family and for how we view things, it works for us.
- Costumes must be keep clean. Nothing dark. (i.e. witches out, superman in)
- Decorations are kept simple and more geared toward fall than Halloween. Lots of pumpkins, hay, mums, fake candles to light up the driveway and one spider web.
- Handouts to the kiddos who come to our door are basic candy, some fun little toys and sometimes some handouts about upcoming church events. Nothing spooky.
- Activities are about having fun, not being scared.
- No tricks
So how does Halloween with ground rules look for our family? Good question. As the kids have grown we have done many different things. One year we had a great big party at our house. Lots of fun games for the kids, tons of food and great company. Our friends came dressed up (following our ground rules). More recently we have had a few friends over for a dinner of appetizers, followed by some early trick or treating and then rented a movie we all watched together while enjoying an overload of candy.
The idea is to plan some fun times for your family, all while keeping values in check. Don’t focus on the past of what Halloween was, but to focus on what we are making it now. Now it is a day to celebrate family, friends and fun, and that is how we plan on keeping it.
I’m sure you have heard the debates around Halloween, if you are in any Christian circles. How do you stand on this debate? Comment below and let us know.