Today is Halloween.
We will be taking our kiddos out this evening and trick or treating, and the longer we do it, the more convinced I am that it is the right thing for our family. I’m not saying it is the right thing for every family. I know there are a lot of strong opinions in the church about this day, and that there are some places where the celebration of Halloween has some decidedly evil elements.
If you live in an area where there is a lot of pagan celebration of Halloween or maybe where it’s not safe for kids to be out after dark, maybe your church could be a witness to your community by offering kids a safe place to come and spend their evening. But for us, that’s not our reality.
The first four years we lived in this neighborhood, we were at a church event in Springfield. The longer we did it, the more we noticed that our event was mostly attracting people from our church and other nearby churches; we were not reaching the lost.
Two years ago, we were home, for the first time ever in this house, on Halloween. And let me tell you, our neighborhood does Halloween right. Families are everywhere. Most houses hand out candy. Several people deck out their whole garage, and some sit on their driveway around a fire pit, giving out not just candy, but cider or cocoa or popcorn. It’s a big deal around here and I cannot believe we missed it all those years.
We are excited to take our kids out and meet our neighbors. We have met more of our neighbors in the past year that we had in the previous five, thanks to our cat (who has a tendency to wander). Now most of the people know us (or at least him), and I’m excited to have that as a way to start a conversation.
I am convinced that there are people in our neighborhood who need Jesus–and what better day than today to be light and salt?
Here are some other great thoughts on celebrating today with Christ and community in mind:
On a lighter note, I love making special food for special days. A couple of years ago, I made these cute hot dogs for Halloween, and when I showed them to the boys, Garrett took one look and said, “They’re baby Jesus hot dogs!” We just gotten to the nativity story in our Bible storybook, and while his comment made me laugh, that’s what happens when we make our homes a place that honors Christ all year long. Halloween comes and goes, but Jesus is central to our home every single day. I’m glad that his innocent little mind has a better frame of reference for recognizing baby Jesus than a mummy.
And while we’re on the topic of Halloween recipes, I’m all about swiping the kids’ candy and using it up in treats that have a little more to recommend to them than sitting around and snacking on handfuls of sugar. Here are some ways I’m planning to use up all that chocolate:
Orange-Scented Chocolate Chunk Scones from Homemade with Love (these are our favorite!!)
Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars from Paleo Sweets and Treats
Faux Cookie Dough Dip (do you think I can convince my kids to eat this? I hope so!)
However you decide to celebrate tonight, from my family to yours – Happy Halloween!