That time is upon us.
The days are growing darker sooner. The humid, warm air of summer has given way to the crisp breeze of fall. The smell of fireplaces and decaying leaves permeates our neighborhoods and our minds turn to one of the best times of the year.
We’re entering the season of holidays, and Halloween is up next.
When you think about Halloween, you’re usually in one of three camps.
You either love it, hate it, or you’re indifferent to it.
Sometimes that correlates to our family and personal histories and whether or not we grew up in a culturally restrictive household—often in the name of Christian morals.
Should Christians Be Scared of Halloween?
I grew up with changing perspective on Halloween.
Early on, I remember the turning off the lights in the front of the house so there would be no mistaking we were not participating. Very clearly, we were the house on the block that didn’t have candy for kids, didn’t have any decorations, and didn’t believe in the holiday at all, really. We did attend a fall-themed event our church hosted the same week as Halloween, except there was no mention of Halloween and all its haunting spirituality—just candy, pumpkins, costumes, and harvesttime decor.
I grew up thinking Halloween was an evil holiday that Christians had no business even speaking about, let alone observing.
But at some point during my childhood, probably just before I was nearly too old for it, my family’s staunch refusal to acknowledge Halloween dissolved enough for us to go trick-or-treating. We even put some candy on the front porch with the lights on. I dressed in green camouflage and face paint one year, in football pads and jersey another.
Was my family compromising our Christian heritage by visiting our neighbors, asking for candy, and bidding Halloween greetings? I don’t think we were. We were making Halloween something we did, not for the holiday’s sake (or any sort of devilish celebration), but for our family and friends’ enjoyment of something together.
Halloween Is What You Make It
I’m not sure whether it’s just that I’m more sentimental about changing seasons as an adult or I’m becoming a little more attuned to the cycles of nature. I’m enjoying more of the rhythm of changing temperatures and changing colors in the forests and mountains and valleys. Rather than letting each season pass by, I want to do memorable things during the seasons and get the most out of them, like taking trips to the beach during the summer or hosting a bonfire in the backyard as autumn descends on our cool evenings.
In that way, I think Halloween is something we can enjoy as part of the fall season.
It is what you make it.
Some Christians consider Halloween an inherently evil thing, while some consider it an acceptable holiday to observe.
Maybe we need to be less afraid of ghosts and the murky roots of Halloween and more concerned about the opportunity to make something of a seasonal turning point. Connect with your friends and neighbors. Enjoy some treats, food, and drink that matches the fall season. Time passes and things change, but we can revel in the moments we stop to look at our surroundings and the people who mean a lot to us. And yes, we can dress up like Marcus Mumford or Han Solo for good measure (my last two costumes).
The most important question is not whether you will observe Halloween, but how and why you celebrate it.
Still can’t determine if celebrating Halloween is wrong? Decide for yourself.
Do you celebrate Halloween? Why or why not?