Once upon a time in a land of Halloween innocence, little ghosts, goblins, and other scary creatures wandered about their neighborhoods seeking candies and fun. For little guys, it could be frightening. For the older kids, it was a great opportunity for a little mischief and a rip-roaring sugar high.
Not all Halloween experiences were good.
One of our neighbors, dressed as a terrible witch, set up a cauldron by her front door, played scary music, and stirred bubbling liquid in the pot. She scared big people. The little ones had nightmares for weeks.
One of my relatives, another witch look-alike, jumped from behind a bush causing a child to fall off her porch and break a leg. Halloween didn’t turn out to be fun for that family or my aunt.
Where has the innocence gone?
Halloween has lost it’s charm. First, we worried because the celebration’s origins were tainted with paganism. Then we had a few scares of child-molesters roaming at the same time the children were roaming. Next, we had issues with the candy. Either it was adding to a nation-wide problem with childhood obesity or creating sugar-induced ADHD. Then, malicious people messed with the candy, so that it was unsafe. We still worry about danger from costumes catching on fire or children running in front of a car.
What is the answer?
So what are Christian parents to do? Do we try to keep the holiday as it once was – children in scary costumes trying to go safely door to door begging candy? Do we ignore the pagan origins or explain them to our children? Do we call it a Fall Festival and enjoy community fun (indoors) minus the tradition? Do we still wear costumes? If so, should we restrict the costumes to “good” characters? Or, should we just hunker down and pretend Halloween doesn’t exist?
A question for you:
I want to hear from you. How have you adapted your Halloweens to make them safe, fun, and in line with what you are teaching your children?