I don't mind being weird. In fact, I prefer it. If weird has gotten us to where we are right now, I'd do it all over again the same way. One of the weird things we did...better yet, did NOT do, was celebrate Halloween with our kids. Our kids didn’t dress up. They didn’t go trick-or-treating. No Halloween parties. And, no handing out candy to other cute little kiddies who often rang our doorbell while we were inside watching movies and eating popcorn.
At some point, we even stopped taking the kids to church events that mimicked Halloween, but without the name. It just seemed to us that trick-or-treating at the church festival in costume was the same as trick-or-treating door-to-door. And, it didn’t matter if the kids were dressed up like a princess or like a witch, the origins of the pagan holiday remain the same.
Now, we were sensitive to the fact that our kids might feel deprived, so we made sure to do something fun at home that night while sharing some of their favorite snacks, and yes, a little candy too. But, not too much! We were also that family that frowned upon sugary snacks for our kids. And, I’d do that all over again, too, because none of our six little boys had trouble sitting still and paying attention in the classroom.
When I was a kid, I remember trick-or-treating just a couple of times. And as a young adult, I can remember dressing up just once for a Halloween party. I was a black cat and my fiancé was a white mummy. We still laugh about how his costume kept unraveling all night, and by the end of the night, he was just a regular guy with a hat. Back then, we were young, and just doing what everyone else does. Harmless, right?
But later, in the process of becoming believers, we learned the origins of this holiday that once was just a night of candy but now is a full blown extravaganza. It's interesting...even prophetic...that this holiday has become bigger than Easter and runs a close second to Christmas, both traditionally Christian holidays. Although, upon further research, even that is debatable.
Thirty years ago, when I embraced Christianity as a way of life, I had this urge to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak...the Biblical from the traditional. The religion I grew up in was based on the Bible, but there were so many layers of tradition on top of that. And, I felt stifled instead of free. Confused instead of encouraged. Judged instead of loved.
I found myself on this quest for authenticity which led me to devouring everything I could about the origins of many religious and non-religious practices most of us participate in without question. I started peeling away the layers like an onion until I could find the real Jesus. When I did, I learned to love Him so much that I didn’t want to do anything that might come close to offending Him.
After learning that Halloween originated as a pagan practice which glamorizes dark spiritual influences, we decided not to expose our children to it. That was an easy layer to peel away and dispose of, and so we did. We’ve also taught them never to dabble in the occult by getting their fortunes told, palms or tea leaves read, playing Ouija board games, or anything resembling those seemingly harmless, yet spiritually dangerous practices.
I believe there is a spirit realm that’s just as real as the physical, even though we cannot see it with our physical eyes. I also believe the love, peace, joy, and protection that has always surrounded us is due to the fact that we didn't open our doors to the darkness in that realm. Some may see this viewpoint as weird, and that’s okay. Weird has worked out for us, in more ways than one.
I’d never tell anyone outside of my own family what to do or not to do, but if you’d like to learn the truth about Halloween, all it takes nowadays is a Google search. Happy hunting.