Ok. Here I go! What is the deal with Halloween?
I have always loved Halloween. I get totally into dressing up. My family has always dressed in theme. For example, a circus theme, shark attack, farmer, cowboys and Indians, robots, peter pan... I love to get super creative and plan out the costumes. My mom is an incredible seamstress, and she has made all of our costumes. She even made a great shark costume for the boys from scratch. Amazing!
My husband has been a great sport in my Halloween madness. I made him wear an Elvis costume one year! Ever since we were pregnant with our first, we have dressed up together. (BTW, we were the baker and the bun in the oven).
Since we have had kids, we started hosting a Halloween party at our house. Costumes are a MUST. The kids go trick or treating, while the grown up sit by the fire eating chili. It is always fun! Some years I have created games and crafts for the kids, best costume awards and creative sweet treats. Safe family fun!
This year is a little different. This year I have felt a little more convicted. I have scaled back. I did not put out all of our decorations, I did not go over board with our costumes. I even bought some of our costumes this year, which I hardly EVER do.
Why is this year different? This Halloween I have been trying to figure out the "WHY" behind the costumes, candy and decorations. Why has Halloween been so much apart of our Fall celebrations? Is it biblical? Would Jesus dress up in a costume and go trick or treating? What is the harm in participating in the great candy hunt? Does it make me less "Godly" if I enjoy putting on a costume?
So I reflected...
Our kids have a place in the playroom devoted to dressing up. They love to wear fireman's hat, Spiderman, pirate clothes, and space suits. Sometimes they put on all of the costumes at once. They play super heroes, and "save the day". In August they go around the house hunting bad guys to save the princess. In July my boys can be found in their pirate hats steering their ship. In January they are running around wearing capes. Not just on October 31st.
Why does October 31 have such an impact on what they wear, when they are playing dress up through out the year. October 31 is just another fun day to dress up, I mean come on, even the grown ups participate. What kid wouldn't love it?
As for me and my family, after careful prayer and conversations, my husband and I have decided to continue to celebrate. We like the playfulness that Halloween brings. We enjoy creating new memories with our boys. We like to participate in dressing up with our kids. We do however, limit what they can wear and keep each costume modest and age appropriate. We do not allow our boys to wear masks. We do not allow them to wear scary or violent costumes. We talk to them about the things that they may see on Halloween, the scary, scandalous, and inappropriate.
I have researched the origins of Halloween, I have seen through history where groups have turned it into a pagan celebration. It was originally practiced as a day to prepare for the cold, dark winter months. (Have you researched the origins of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze? What about Christmas trees? Google it.) We have decided that for our family the way we celebrate Halloween does not alter our relationship with Christ. We surround ourselves with friends that have our same beliefs, and we teach our children to live a life that is glorifying to God.
So, to answer my question. Would Jesus dress up for Halloween? I'm still not sure, but, probably not... But Jesus did hang out with the undesirables, the lepers, and the mentally ill. Did His example on how to love change lives? Yes! Can we be His example every where? Yes! Even wearing costumes....
Disclaimer....I know for some of you Halloween is a hot topic. These are decisions my family has made. Every year, we may have to stop and reflect again. I am not defending Halloween. I am simply suggesting that you evaluate for your family the "why" of Halloween.