Halloween is a holiday I feel like I’ve only been able to embrace since becoming middle-aged. Because we did NOT celebrate The Devil’s Holiday growing up – no, no.
The first time I remember going trick-or-treating was when I was maybe 10, and I talked my mom into letting me go with a neighbor friend, Sue Leach, because we were going to “Trick-or-Treat for Unicef” to raise money for third world countries. Of course, we took our candy bags “just in case.” We were dressed the same – as black cats (which was a little scary-ish but also…just an animal, so Mom allowed it), and it was sooooo fun (and a little frightening at the Fugates because I was convinced their mom was a witch!).
Our family celebrated Halloween in “Christian-approved” ways. We got to dress up every year for school, we played a game of finding candy around the house like Easter eggs, and of course we went to the Halloween Harvest Festivals (by the way, that’s fooling nobody) at the church. So there was SOME fun around Halloween, but nothing scary was allowed. I had to be a princess, doll, nurse or Biblical character – nothing satanic like a witch, ghost (not even the Holy Ghost) or superhero (unless it was Jesus).
So now, because I was so deprived as a child, I think I go overboard. I dress up every year, and I decorate for Halloween as much or maybe more than I do for Christmas. I have witches and ghosts and severed hands and all things “of the devil.” I even have a haunted basement, people! What is wrong with me??
My recent costumes
And it’s not like I “learned from that experience” and made my parenting so much different. Nope, I did all that shiz too. Sorry kids! But my daughter, who should have followed in my footsteps of becoming obsessed with Halloween and dressing up? No, my grandson’s costume for two years in a row is a sheet with 2 eyeholes – how did I fail?
Our next door neighbor, Lucy, who’s 4, also loves everything Halloween, or everything “spooky” as she calls it. She frequently comes over and wants to see if I have put out anything new – “Do you have any new skelekens?” she asks, and while she’s scared of the basement, she still wants to go down there every time she visits. Yep, I can relate.
I love thriller and horror movies for the same reason. Not cheap horror movies where everyone gets killed for no reason at all, but the “Saw” series? Yes, please. American Horror Story, Psycho, and everything Stephen King – I can’t get enough! Mind-bending suspense and scariness that makes me clutch all my pearls.
But truly, the scariest part about Halloween? The candy! Snickers, Almond Joy and Butterfingers – get thee behind me, Satan!! The amounts of sugar we consume during the week of Halloween is truly frightening. That’s what Christians should be against, since I’m guessing there’s more in the Bible about gluttony than about Halloween-ish things, like: “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony” (Proverbs 23:2). And in Job, one of the characteristics of a person from whom God has withdrawn a blessing is that “his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh.” Holy Biblical Literalist Hypocrites, Batman – I bet you never had to memorize those verses in Sunday School!
If you’re not yet spiritually mature in the area of Halloween and all things scary, I’m not sure how I can help you, but I’ll pray that you can overcome your fears or hangups or whatever is causing you to reject God’s Shekinah Glory that is Halloween.
But seriously, for freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery that says Halloween and demonic things like trick-or-treating are devil-worshipping, Satan-channeling evil activities that will send us straight to hell. (I think that’s from The Message.)
A friend of mine told me that she used to tell her kids that they couldn’t trick-or-treat at the Christians’ and the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ houses because they believe all the make-believe stuff is real. That makes me giggle, but I’m sorry, is that really what we want the rest of the world to think? Be IN the world but not of it.
Now, just for kicks and giggles, here’s a hilarious video I found from a Christian comedian casting out demons in a costume shop! Still laughing.