Christians debate over whether to celebrate Halloween or not. I was raised in a family that did not celebrate it, and I grew up going to church functions instead. I only remember donning a costume twice: When I was four I was Daffy Duck and went trick-or-treating (the only time). When I was about eleven our church had a Biblical character costume contest. I was Miriam with baby Moses (a bald cabbage patch doll in a basket). In contrast, my husband grew up in a family that made elaborate costumes each year and he went trick-or-treating every year. We talked about it after we got married, and he said he understood why I was not raised to celebrate, but that he also saw it as only a social custom and fun.
The first few years that we were married we lived in apartments, so it really was not that big of an issue. We either were away from home at the time or we turned off our lights and watched a movie. Then we bought our house. When we moved in it was almost Christmas, so the neighbors were all indoors for the winter and we did not really meet any of them. The ones we did see were rather stand off-ish and did not seem eager to interact. I even had one house where they would pointedly avoid any eye contact…looking everywhere except at us. The next fall I talked with Benjamin about it again and said maybe we should hand out candy as a way of being “neighborly”. So, we handed out candy, but not very many kids showed up.
Things changed this past summer when we had huge storm and power outage that lasted a week. Neighbors were outside talking to one another and helping each other clean up the mess from all of the downed trees. We actually got to know all of the neighbors near to us. Then I baked my chocolate chip cookies, and took plates to all of the neighbors who helped us, along with a thank you note. Since all of that took place, our neighbors are much friendlier.
This year, again, we handed out candy and mini microwave popcorn bags to the neighborhood kids, and had quite a lot of them. We actually ran out of the popcorn, and almost ran out of the candy. We saw fairy princeses, pirates, some escaped convicts (both the black-and-white-striped variety and the orange jumpsuit variety), batman, and batgirl, among others. The children I saw were wide eyed and excited. This was their opportunity to knock on a neighbor’s door and get candy for it. These kids were not thinking, did not even have a clue, about the holiday’s pagan origins.
My SIL and BIL came by and brought my neice and nephew (he was Yoda this year).
I am not turning my back on the way I was raised or my convictions, but I guess I have learned to separate the modern social customs from the pagan origins of the holiday. I am still not sure what we will do when we have children. My husband says he celebrated it and he turned out to be a strong Christian, as well as his sister. But, we will pray about it and cross that bridge when we come to it.