Growing up, Halloween stood at the beginning of the two months of activities associated with the last two months of the year from Halloween through New Year’s Day. My family didn’t have a lot of money, but my Mom and Dad always made sure I had a costume and took me trick or treating in our neighborhood. Surprised sometimes by the people I didn’t know lived in my neighborhood, it was a fun time that gave me a warm sense of community.
When our kids were very young, they each had their opportunities to trick or treat as well. But, as I took my Christian faith more and more seriously, I stumbled into the undercurrent of suspicion surrounding Halloween and for years, I no longer allowed them to participate but instead attended Trunk and Treat or Harvest Festivals. Yet, as I learned more about our Christian celebrations and the Christian associations of Halloween, I re-thought my objection and in their teens, our kids started once again to participate, mostly going as a group of friends to each other’s neighborhoods.
Oh, I know all the objections that go beyond the religious, too, those about candy and obesity, candy and safety, the entire lot. And I have had or thought about all of them. Perhaps, though, it’s time to think about it in a new way. Today I read perhaps the best blog on the topic I have read at http://debradeanmurphy.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/all-hallows-eve-hospitality/. Take a moment to read it and let me know your thoughts about Halloween and the various objections to it. I don’t know where you’ll be on Halloween night, but I have decided I’ll be at home, welcoming the kids of our neighborhood whose costumes I can’t wait to see and whose faces will light up at every house where they are welcomed. Didn’t Jesus say a little something about welcoming children and strangers?