“Mom, there is one holiday I wish we could just skip all together.”
“What holiday is that?”
With spiders and webs all around, floating ghosts, ghoulish looking faces popping up all over the neighborhood, I can see why my daughter would rather skip Halloween. Stores have scary images scattered about, and dark monsters to greet you at the cash registers.
We’ve been going to our church’s “Trunk or Treat” program for years because it provides a fun place to go which is mostly devoid of dark images (or course a spooky looking teen with ketchup blood is usually still found in the crowd).
The upside of Halloween is dressing up in costume and collecting candy. The downside is the darkness and spookiness of the holiday, especially for young kids.
So, how can you talk about Halloween with your kids if they ask what it is all about?
I lean on my friend Angie Mosteller who researches holidays and their meanings on her website Celebrating Holidays. On her Halloween page, Angie explains how the name Halloween is Christian in origin; it’s a blending of the words All Hallows and Even or E’en, referring to the evening before All Saints’ Day which is November 1. All Saints’ Day was formally established by the church in 835 AD to remember the lives of holy men and women who had died.
It’s understandable that through the years, nonbelievers would portray a holiday for the dead with darkness, mystery, fear, and superstition. If you don’t know God, death is a terrible thing. Spooky cemeteries and Thriller playing in the background. But if you know God, death is a beautiful time of transitioning from earth to heaven.
You can talk to your children about the difference between a dark celebration of Halloween (maybe a scary house or image that they saw) and a bright cheerful spot (like a smiling pumpkin or car decorated in your child’s favorite movie theme).
The way you approach death largely depends on the way you approach life.
If you know Jesus as your Savior, there is nothing to fear. Light always wins against darkness. Bring on the cute and tune out the creepy.
But when you don’t know Christ and you are dead spiritually, then the darkness and spookiness of the holiday is appropriate. Without Christ, we are dead in sin and that is spooky.
Talking with your children in this way will help them see Halloween in a different light.
Where there is Jesus, there is light.
Without Jesus, there is death.
And when they bite into that favorite candy bar tonight, you can remind them:
Knowing Jesus is very sweet.
The only scary thing for us adults is the getting on the scale after this week!