|photo credit: m@teo via photopin cc|
The melodramatic anti-Halloween posts from Christians are surfacing again. Somebody please pass me a barf bag.
While I understand the passions of my fellow Christians and respect their pursuit of holiness, I’m not joining in this awkward crusade. There’s no need for any more detailed historical research or dramatic Biblical analysis. I’m simply calling for a healthy dose of common sense. Please.
With that said, here’s 6 reasons Christians need to stop hating Halloween:
- What’s wrong with free candy? As a guy supporting a family on a tight budget, I love free stuff. I also love making my kids happy whenever possible. Since they love candy, and my neighbors are passing it out for free, why in the world would I refuse to take it? That’s just weird. It also happens to look strange to non-believers when we deny free candy to kids. Don’t we look odd enough to them already?
- Halloween has pagan roots. So what? Lots of people have researched the roots of Halloween. I’ve never bothered to learn that information, because I simply don’t care. In fact, I’d guess that most people in America have no idea where Halloween comes from, and don’t care either. Have you ever met anyone who whimsically performs satanic rituals on October 31st? Me neither. In the end, it doesn’t matter what Halloween used to be. All that matters is what it is today. Basically, it’s “Free Candy For My Kids Day”. I’m going to celebrate that holiday enthusiastically.
- Since when is connecting with your neighbors a bad thing? We’ve grown really close to a few of our neighbors. One of them is single, in her 60’s and doesn’t have any children. She often tells me how much she loves my kids, and finds great joy in giving them gifts. Recently, she called me to say she wants my kids to go to her house last on Halloween. Why? Because she bought them so much candy they’ll need help “dragging it home”. Now, imagine if I told her, “I’m sorry. I can’t accept your gifts for my children. It’s Halloween, and we don’t believe in that evil holiday.” Rude? Yes. Confusing message to send my neighbor? Absolutely. That’s why I’d never do something so ridiculous. My kids will accept her generous gifts in their cute costumes with joy and gratitude. We’ll also visit our other neighbors and gladly take normal levels of free candy from them.
- My kids play dress-up all year long. What’s so bad about wearing those costumes outside on October 31st? My son has a box full of costumes. He absolutely loves dressing-up as a ninja and a wide variety of other characters. He does this pretty much every day. My daughters do the same thing. They also love showing other people their costumes. Therefore, it would make absolutely no sense for me to tell them that they can’t dress-up in those same costumes just because it’s October 31st. I’d rather not confuse them by squelching their joy just because it’s “pagan” Halloween. Whatever that means.
- Stop kidding yourself. “Trunk-or-Treat” isn’t any different. From an efficiency standpoint, “Trunk-or-Treat” is a great idea. Rather than having to walk the distance between houses, you only have to walk the distance between cars to get free candy. Other than that, it’s really no different than “Trick-or-Treating”. For both activities, you wear a costume and collect free candy from people. One is certainly no more holy than the other (unless of course you think that a church parking lot is somehow more sanctified than other walking surfaces). Ultimately, “Trunk-or-Treat” actually prevents you from interacting with your neighbors. Isn’t that a bad thing for Christians?
- Passing out Gospel tracts without candy is rude, annoying and embarrassing. Some Christians protest Halloween by passing out Gospel tracts instead of candy. While intentions may be good, you’re not sending a helpful message. Kids don’t want to read on Halloween. They want free candy. More than likely, your tract will end-up in the garbage. And they’ll whisper about how weird you are as they walk away from your door. So, if you’re going to pass out Gospel tracts on Halloween, you’d better give out candy along with the Gospel tract. Even better – pass out really good candy with it. There’s no reason to create the perception that Christians are weird and cheap.
It’s time for Christians to dial back the intensity against Halloween, and apply a little common sense. Let your kids dress-up in fun costumes. Visit your neighbors. Accept free candy. Have fun. And stop making such a big deal out of something that just doesn’t matter.