I grew up in a Christian home and loved dressing up to go trick or treating every year. In high school I went to church Halloween parties where we watched such inspiring fare as “Drink the Blood of Dracula.” I attended a Christian college where we had a school sponsored haunted house. When I became a parent, I delightedly dressed our daughter up as Dorothy from Oz and I’m a Little Teapot, and made costumes for us to wear as well.

However, in 1992 they showed Halloween: Trick or Treat? at my church and it all came to a screeching halt. I was horrified to find out what this “innocent” little celebration was all about. How could I, as a committed Christian participate in something that is so opposite of everything I believe?

As any recovering addict will tell you, whenever you take something away that has been a big part of your life, you need to replace it with something to fill the void. When I found out that there was actually a Christian holiday on November 1st called All Saints Day, I did a little research and decided it was the perfect thing to take Halloween’s place.

All Saints Day actually came first. The Church fathers originally declared it a holiday to honor all Christians martyred for their faith. But why not make it a day of thanksgiving for all saints (believers) past and present? Because our Christian ancestors lived faithfully for God, they made it possible for us to hear the message of Christ and go to heaven. Now that’s something to celebrate! (See “What is a Saint?” blog for the biblical definition of saints.)

If you’re fed up with the world’s cheap imitation for a party and your heart yearns for the best God has for you, here’s some ideas on how to reclaim the season for Holy Partying!

* Boycott Halloween. Have dress up parties for birthdays, New Years, Valentines, and other holidays not connected with Halloween. Get together with Christian friends for a movie, games, or Bible study.
* Talk it up. I have been amazed how open and interested people have been to hear about All Saints Day: at the grocery store; in my daughter’s first grade classroom.
* Get excited about Christian history. Spend the month of October reading and watching biographies of inspiring people of faith. (See “Just How Much Do You Really Know” blog.)
* Pitch the cobwebs and tombstones. Decorate the house for fall and highlight with red and white – the symbolic colors for courage and faith.
* Fast and Pray. Pray against the evil that seeks to devour our nation. Pray for the innocent lured or born into the occult, and those tortured and killed as offerings to Satan (yes, this is really still happening!). Fight for what is good with the same fervency our enemies use against us.
* Do not fear. When learning about the occult, it is easy to focus more on darkness than light. Remember, Satan has already lost the war.
* Sing and play music with lyrics about courage and faith. Look in the hymnbook under All Saints Day and listen to what’s on the radio. It’s inspiring stuff!
* Throw an All Saints Day party on November 1 and make it the climax of the season (Game idea: Who’s Who in Christian History).
* Have a feast! (I’ll bet you already thought of that.) No party is complete without good food.

Many blessings on you and your household as you seek to lift up the name of Christ in this season overrun with Satanic influences. Whatever you and your family decide to do, stand boldly for Christ and, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).