It is nearly impossible to avoid the hype of Halloween these days. Likely because of its focus on free candy many retailers and other child-friendly places, including schools, encourage children to get in on the fun.
While it’s hard to see the harm of putting on a costume, what our kids learn from us about the holiday is more important. And our silence can speak volumes.
Whether or not you allow your kids to participate in the festivities, it is important they understand the origins of the day and its tie to Christianity.
The word Halloween is a twist from its Christian origins of All Hallows Eve, which is celebrated the day before All Hallows Day/All Saints Day on November 1. That day was a Christian celebration of those who had passed away.
Yet, as the faith spread believers ran into a conflict with a Celtic tradition on November 1. For the Celts, it was a day when the souls of the dead would return to the world of the living.
As a compromise, and an effort to draw in more people into the church, Christians attempted to combine both traditions with a focus on the All Saints Day concept.
Approach with Caution
Despite the light-hearted events that we usually see around Halloween, those who follow occult traditions like Wicca take Halloween very seriously. They see it as a day to honor their lords and to engage with the dark side of the spiritual world. Therefore, we need to very cautious and clear what we teach our children so they do not get confused and led astray.
In fact, many have expressed concern that kids are being indoctrinated into the occult thanks to the widespread celebration of Halloween. It is important that our kids do not make the mistake of considering occult practices on par with any Halloween trick or treating games.
To celebrate or not to celebrate
The tradition of dressing kids up and taking them door to door to ask their neighbors for candy has been subsiding due to safety issues. This has prompted many other organizations and places – like shopping centres and churches – to host their own events and parties.
Some big name Christians, like actor Kirk Cameron, have indicated there is no harm in celebrating the day.
Cameron has said that Christians should hold the biggest party for Halloween because of its history and connection to All Saints Day. He also noted that the costumes, including the ones of Satan, witches and other evil characters, make fun of the figures rather than honor them.
“Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ,” Cameron told The Christian Post in 2014.
Adding the Christian flavor to Halloween
There are some good other ways to tie the holiday to Christianity including prayers or handing out tracts for kids.
You can say a prayer (PDF) together as a family for a blessing on your night out. Or a prayer while carving a Jack-o-Lantern, which can help kids tie the occasion to their Christian faith. Alternatively, you can choose to tell your kids this story, which will also reinforce the Christian faith and origins of Halloween.
For those looking to plan their own Christian Halloween event, World Vision’s UK branch has launched Pumpkin Heroes in an effort to bring out the Christian roots of the holiday. They also offer a free guide to planning, preparing and hosting the event.
While the decision to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween has largely been left up to individual families, it will be impossible to shield our children from the occasion. Therefore, whatever traditions your family carries out on October 31 be sure you don’t avoid talking with them about the day and its Christian history. By properly equipping them with wisdom we will be raising Godly children.