This debate seems to come up every year, and some seem to be very passionate about it. Should Christians participate in Halloween?
Abolitionists cite Halloween’s pagan origins, and its preoccupation with witchcraft as reasons why Christians should not participate.
Advocates of the holiday claim that whatever Halloween's origins were, they are irrelevant (or aren’t as bad as people say). How could a kid dressing up as Superman and receiving candy be wrong? What is so satanic about a child putting on a costume and receiving a Baby Ruth candy bar, or perhaps some Starbursts, or maybe—if you’re lucky—one of those coconut-filled Almond Joy bars which make your mouth want shrivel up and die the moment you take a bite? This is all just innocent fun.
Personally, I have never liked Halloween. I have never been a fan of dressing up. I remember in public school, we would have a Halloween party/parade where we would all walk around the school in our costumes for all of the parents to see us. In fourth grade, I had made up my mind not to go Trick-Or-Treating, and so had no costume.
It was rather awkward walking around, single-file, the only non-costumed-kid among a crowd of princesses and Grim Reapers. Peer pressure working it's unholy magic, I was beginning to doubt whether or not I had made the right choice when one of my classmates asked me if my costume was meant to be the “Kid-Next-Door”. “Yeah, that’s what it is,” I agreed, feeling a bit better about my decision not to wear a costume. People will just think I’m the kid next door! Whatever that means…
Speaking of awkward, I can only think of few more awkward things I've experienced than being an Elementary school kid and having to hand-out candy to high schoolers. They were always the loudest ones coming up to the door, traveling in their packs, but they would always get quiet for some reason when I handed them the candy. Perhaps they sensed the awkwardness too.
I don’t know what it was. The whole Halloween thing always seemed bizarre to me, even from a young age.
Asking strangers for candy? I thought taking candy from strangers was bad? But it's not if you have a costume on? On top of that, I wasn’t a candy-obsessed kid. Halloween seemed like too much of a hassle for my introverted self just to get some candy that may or may not be any good. Plus, we always had candy left over from what we handed out, and it was always better than any of the candy I got from strangers. Why not just sit at home and munch on the good stuff while everyone else runs around in silly costumes just to end up with disgusting Almond Joys? My young peers thought I was missing out when I thought I was capitalizing.
But that was just me. Perhaps you have fond memories of Halloween (or maybe you still Trick-Or-Treat?). My younger siblings don’t seem to share my outlook on Halloween.
Every year, I propose we start a new tradition. I have come up with several very good ideas (in my opinion) but I’m always outvoted. I think my best proposal was a tradition which started with the placing of an empty bowl out on the front step, along with a sign that says, “take one.”
Perhaps this was my emotionally scarred Halloween childhood coming out. I remember several times trudging up to a house as a boy, carrying the weight of my costume and Almond-Joy-laden, pumpkin-shaped bucket of candy, only to find an empty candy bowl with a sign stating “take one.” Obviously, somebody had taken more than one. At that age, it was hard for me to imagine such fiends existed. What kind of kid would take all the candy when the sign clearly said take one? ONE!
Well, in my proposal, this new generation was going to have to pay for the sins of their older siblings.
But, this is Halloween after all. What is more frightening to a kid on Halloween than an empty bowl of candy? Don’t judge me. I think I was being very loyal to the Halloween theme with my proposal.
In addition to this empty bowl with a sign politely instructing to only take one piece, we would turn all of the lights off in our house, and play hide-and-seek in the dark, with flashlights. To the outside world, they would just see a dark house with spooky beams of light flashing this way and that way. Very festive I thought.
Alas, it seems SOME people (whom I love) are stuck in their ways and prefer to stick to tradition. We never got to try out my amendment to the Halloween holiday.
My sentiments aside, is Halloween something Christians should participate in?