First day of school

I grew up in a loving, conservative Christian home. We had family devotions, prayer times, and went to church several times a week. My parents lived the faith they taught us; believing God came as naturally as breathing. However, we never questioned Halloween. Like most churches, ours hosted Halloween parties. We dressed in creepy costumes and watched movies like “Drink the Blood of Dracula,” and played scary games.  
I attended a Christian college that sponsored a haunted house. Bloody victims lurked behind doors; ghosts and vampires jumped out to the screaming delight of all. And even though they were not for me, many of my friends watched thriller movies as part of the fun.
My favorite part of Halloween was dressing in costume. When our first daughter got old enough for trick or treating, I dressed her like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, complete with glittery red shoes. I created a teapot costume for her the next year, with the lyrics of “I’m a little teapot” printed on the front. We showed her how to “pour” from her spout and she was adorable. It seemed like innocent fun.
            However, my appreciation for Halloween came to a screeching halt in 1992 when our church showed the movie Halloween: Trick or Treat? I learned the history behind Halloween and present day practices of occult followers. I realized our purchase of candy and costumes for this “innocent” celebration actually supports the evil it fronts. For the first time, I asked myself “why” we participated in this.
            “Because it’s fun” wasn’t a satisfying answer. There are a lot of “fun” things followers of Christ choose not to do, because they dishonor God and harm our spirits. It’s fun to have sex before marriage. It’s fun to get drunk and party. It’s fun to make lots of money and spend it on whatever you want. It’s fun to sleep in on Sunday instead of going to church. But there are consequences.
            I started doing research and realized every theme of Halloween directly opposes what I believe. The glorification of death, fear, darkness, witchcraft, and greed were not what I want to teach my children. So we turned away from Halloween and created our own modern version of All Saints’ Day. We filled the month of October with songs, books, and movies about faith and courage. And we hosted an All Saints’ Day party every November first – on the Christian holiday that actually came before Halloween took over.*

At last year’s All Saints’ Party

            Generations of believers failed to ask “Why are we celebrating Halloween?” So the darkness grew increasingly bold. The children who believe it’s all harmless fun, grow up devouring books and games about magic. They idolize werewolves and vampires as romantic heroes. Occult practices in our society – witchcraft, Ouija boards, tarot cards, palm reading, crystals – are now openly promoted as normal and harmless – even beneficial.  
            Maybe it’s time for more Christians to ask “Why?” Why do churches and individuals who strive to know Christ, and live lives set apart and holy for Him, celebrate a holiday that promotes darkness and evil powers in the name of “fun?”I applaud the parents who choose to leave a greater legacy than the status quo for their children – a freshly examined faith that makes every day count.
            In my next post, you can read their stories, what their children have to say about Halloween,

The competition is fierce!

and what their families are doing for fun this fall instead.

*For ideas on how you and your family can have a fun-filled, God-honoring season, I invite you to read my book Taking Back October. It’s full of ideas for decorating, parties, music, movies, books, and games. Available at:

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