We dressed up in cute little costumes and went around the neighborhood collecting large amounts of candy.
The candy lasted for over a month.
I remember my little pumpkin candy collector that one year was replaced by a pillowcase. The pillowcase held more room for candy.
My parents kept me away from the scary side of Halloween.
We never went to haunted houses or scary events.
We didn’t want horror movies or do scary things.
When I went away from college, Halloween was no longer part of my life. After all, my friends and I were too busy studying and hanging out to think about a kid holiday like Halloween.
Often these were black cats. I was horrified and went searching for black cats each October to rescue them. No one dressed up on Halloween.
Besides, the horrific pentagram scene we would see the day after, Halloween was just a distant childhood memory.
I assumed that when I had my own children, I would dress them up and take them trick-or-treating. After I was married, Mike and I passed out candy to neighborhood children on Halloween, often enclosing little tracts to share the Gospel with them.
And, parents, who had years before, sent their children off were now encouraged to go with them. As a result of these scares, or so I thought, churches began offering Halloween alternatives. Children would dress up, play games, and gather candy from large bowls around the fellowship hall.
As a youth pastor, my husband planned and headed up many of these events in our church. We had fun and played silly games.
As we were discovering the dark side of Halloween, Halloween became more and more popular in America. Suddenly the stores weren’t just filled with candy, they were filled with creepy decorations. I would brush by skeletons and spider web decorations while I shopped for groceries. Creepy costumes never were attractive to me, but to walk through stores decorated for Halloween and see neighbors turn their lawns into graveyards gave me a start. I didn’t like the darkness of the decorations. Maybe I just like things to be bright and happy. I’m not scared of spiders, but brushing against spider webs, even though they are just a decoration, does bother me.
We decided to find out more about this holiday. As we did, we realized that we didn’t want to participate as a family in celebrating Halloween. At the same time, we didn’t want to be Scrooges, so we passed out candy and Gospel tracts with our children. Soon, however, they asked us questions like: “If we think Halloween is bad, why are we passing out candy?” or “Why can’t we go out trick-or-treating?” They were confused by our behavior and so, to be honest, was I.
If you would like to learn more about our celebrations at the end of October, check out our book, Celebrate our Christian Heroes (Instead of Halloween). You can purchase it at PayHip or at Currclick.
God Bless You--Today and Always!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)