What’s Not to Love about Halloween?

What’s not to Love about Halloween?

Quite a bit actually.  Any love affair I ever had with Halloween was short-lived.  There’s nothing like having your husband out on business with your only car, a bazillion youths (not small children) showing up at your door with pillow cases and no costumes, having run out of candy you purchased (naively thinking it would last you 3 Halloweens and then some), then giving out–as a last resort–the candy your own children had received earlier that evening with promises of repayment the following day, having nothing left after that and no way of leaving the house with no transportation, closing the door, turning off the light and having angry teens pounding on your door shouting, “We know you’re in there!” while your children sat wide-eyed.  Then, there’s the joy of waking up in the middle of the night to a couple of gunshots down the street as a high school girl was murdered with her jilted boyfriend committing suicide on the lawn a half-dozen doors away, and then coming down in the morning to human feces smeared all over the screen door of your nice suburban home.  Happy Halloween.

It’s taken me years to move beyond that. 

Perhaps you won’t judge me too harshly for thinking

that there is very little redemptive going on at Halloween.

Let’s see:

  • We teach kids to enjoy what is dark and scary instead of what is good and beautiful.
  • We promote death and murder and blood and violence over being creative, cute, and clever (not cleaver–that belongs in the former clause).
  • We encourage greed by letting older children grab handfuls of candy out of fear of retaliation meaning that any little kids dressed up as fairies or football players won’t find any left if their parents haven’t taken them out before dark. 
  • We encourage extortion by the very phrase “Trick or Treat!” and as my screen door can testify, there are consequences for non-compliance with Halloween protocol.
  • We cannot even put a paper bag over our neighbor’s homes so our own kids don’t have the crap scared out of them with zombies hanging by ropes in neighbors’ trees or decapitated corpses laying in their yards.  What ever happened to decorating with mums, corn shocks, and an artistic display of pumpkins?
  • We teach kids to laugh at death and to minimize the grim reality, but as the high school girl’s family can tell you, it’s not funny at all.  Not one bit.  I would imagine that the boy’s family doesn’t like Halloween’s ugly reminder either.
  • We teach kids to pretend they’re someone that they’re not and to wear masks.  Pretending can be fun and imaginative, but being a fake is not a good life lesson, is it?

So how do we make Halloween redemptive? 

I’ve struggled with this over the years and have decided to encourage what is good. 

I will be the change I’d like to see in others on this awkward holiday. 


  • Unlike the woman who is handing out notes about childhood obesity, those who hand out tracts, or following the lead of the Duck Tape commercials and giving tape to kids, I will give out candy that I’d like for my kids to have received.
  • I will come out of the door and greet the kids on my porch at eye-level and be a winsome witness for Jesus to the kids’ parents as well.
  • I will play Christian music on my stereo that will be loud enough to be good background music.
  • I will set apart my home by not putting any gruesome or death-related decorations in my yard.
  • I will let it be known I’m a Christ-follower by saying “God bless you!” or “Jesus loves you!”
  • I will make the most of the opportunity to be known as a Christian and in doing so, overcome the distasteful aspects of Halloween.


Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.


Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on October 31, 2013

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