Growing up, my mother was always weary of Halloween, but she did find her own happy medium and still allowed us kids to participate in the festivities on some level. For example: we could dress up but not dress up in anything scary; we could trick or treat, but only at houses where we knew the residents; we could carve pumpkins but only in happy/funny faces, etc. So, basically, we got to join in on all the light-hearted parts of Halloween but she was careful to eliminate anything deemed harmful to our good, Christian upbringing or potentially harmful to our well-being. This always worked out well for us and I never felt cheated out of Halloween nor did I ever feel like a heathen child. I believe this middle-of-the-road approach is fairly common in Christian households across the nation, but is it the right way to go?
Honestly, I do not have an answer for you. My church currently has a “No Halloween” policy and many in our congregation believe that Halloween activities should be absolutely avoided because they are based upon ancient pagan practices. This type of thinking has led to the birth of the “Fall Festival” at many churches and the “Reformation Day Festival” at many reformed-minded churches. For a while, I prescribed to this belief, based upon some articles I had read and the secondhand information I was given by others; however, during the last couple of years I have taken a fairly apathetic approach to the whole thing and have not had a particular stance. When you don’t have children who are begging for jack-o-lanterns and Halloween costumes, it’s easy to just forget the whole issue.
Today I read this article and now I am once again mulling over the situation. Fortunately, at this point, I don’t have to decide because I don’t have children awaiting a verdict and consequent explanation, so I’ve got the time to consider the options. Let me know what you think.