I love fall in Indiana! It is probably my favorite season, but I am one of those weird women who enjoys all four seasons. So while I adore fall colors, raking leaves and crunching through them with my girls, one thing I do not enjoy about this season is the inevitable discussion on halloween. I have found over the years that fellow Christians are the most opinionated about this topic and are not afraid to speak up if they are doing something you don't or vice versa. I love how some of my friends have tackled this day in their homes. One friend has renamed it calling it "HallowHim" and hosts a festival for her children's friends at their home. They do dress up but with no scary outfits. They play Christian music, have a dvd playing, games, candy. All to grab back a night that was intended for evil.
We choose to not participate in the halloween typical festivities for various reasons which are between us and God, however, I can tell you this...a long time ago, a dear friend of mine and I were discussing the fact that we did not want to keep taking away these childhood activities without replacing it with something equally fun for the kids. We feared our kids would resent that one day. Putting our heads together, we came up with the heart behind Halloween was greed..."how much candy can I get" or at least it was for us as kids. So the opposite heart would be to give. So we brainstormed ways to give on this day. What we came up with was renamed "Dress up Cookie Night" by the kids. The kids all help us bake cookies the week up to halloween and we put them in baggies with a scripture greeting on the baggie. We let the kids dress up in outfits we have in our own dress up boxes before heading to the area nursing homes. We pass out cookies to the tenants who are forgotten much of the year. So what was intended to focus on getting and on children, we managed to flip for just the opposite...focus on the elderly getting. Our kids love this tradition! They can't wait for it and plan their outfits well in advance each year even at the ages they are now.
I guess I am posting this not to shine a spotlight on our family's tradition but on the fact, as Christians, we have choices. Each family has to decide how they want to handle these days. That decision should be between them and God and not be based on feeling inadequate, judged or pressured into doing it the way another family does. If we make sisters and brothers in Christ feel judged, how in the world do we think we make the non-Christians feel? One thing I know for sure, no matter how you decide to handle this day, this day will never be won back for Christ as long as we are judging others way of celebrating it or not.
P.S. We started this in 2002 before digital cameras entered our home...I am so trying to figure out a way to upload those precious pictures as they are just way too cute!