19 Oct 2017
There was a time when I used to hide in my kitchen at the back of the house, with the lights out, for the whole of Halloween evening. I wasn’t afraid of ghosts, ghouls or zombies. I was just unwilling to open my door to strange children. They were strange both because I didn’t know them and because they had fake blood dripping from their false, plastic teeth. I’m not quite sure if I was afraid of what they might do to me or just the social awkwardness of trying to make polite conversation with a 6 year old monster. The modern trend seems to be for a mother to accompany the assorted gaggle of darkness. I think that makes it more awkward. I now have to remember to smile at an adult who is often in tight fitting black lycra and spooky make-up, which gives the confusing appearance of a post-apocalyptic gym bunny.
It doesn’t need to be like this.
Be delighted that the children in our communities want to knock on neighbours' doors and smile. Just for one evening, we fleetingly have the happy, warm, hospitable neighbourhoods that we crave. We can give sweets to children, pause for a moment of happy banter and send them on their way feeling pleased to have knocked on our door.
• Take the time to carve a Jack-o'-lantern. Put it out in a visible place, as this seems to have become the code for, “Trick-or-treat’ers are welcome here”.
• Stock up on sweets and chocolate. I’ve never dared to ask for ‘trick’.
• Take a moment to order 30 tracts from the Good Book Company. They’re age-appropriate, gentle and end up with Jesus Christ. Thrust them into the hands, buckets and fangs of anyone who will take one.
• Congratulate the children on their costumes. Thank them for coming. Don’t forget to smile!
As a bare minimum they will leave your house saying, “Why do Christians have to bang on about Jesus? But at least they’re generous and happy.” I’d venture out of the dark gloom of my kitchen for that.
We highly recommend the following tracts:
For 4-11's: The story of Jesus walking on water that made his disciples scream, “It’s a ghost”.
For 7-11's: An explanation of Jesus as the Light of the world with puzzles.
For teenagers: An engaging exploration into fear, phobias and Christ’s power over them.
Knowing how to respond to Halloween can be a challenge when our kids get invited to parties and people knock on our door. What should we do about it as Jesus’s followers? Check out our helpful video that equips us to think Biblically about Halloween and honour Christ in this season; we do not need to overreact or be afraid.
For more blogs about holidays click here
For blogs especially for parents click here