I never grew up celebrating Halloween-unless it was at a church "harvest festival."
I only remember one time that I actually just episode thing other than a Bible character and it was Minnie Mouse. I think that was the first and last time. I always learned that Halloween had roots in superstition and devil worship. I am remember one VHS tape that I watched growing up. It was about the origins of Halloween and how daemonic it was. It had reenactors and everything. I was five.
So as I grew older of course we never celebrated Halloween or trick or treating. Every Halloween we would just close our door, turn off the light and go out to eat as a family This was until I became a parent. My husband started to work as a youth minister in 2013, our church didn't have any kind of harvest festival or trunk or treat. Our church was of the old school that kids still walked around the neighborhoods.
Our church was never in the game of "replacing Halloween" like most churches. They were never really into "alternative fun," like I've grown up seeing. They just celebrated Halloween. Wow, this was totally new for me. By the time that my daughter was five years old I needed to make a decision about how we were going to celebrate Halloween. Yes we did the trunk or treat at the church but no it was not on Halloween. We didn't run and hide from Halloween. We embraced it, knowing that kids from all over the neighborhood we're going to come to our house. It could be an open door for us to be a light in our neighborhood or to even share the gospel.
And that's exactly what we did. We set up a fire pit in the front yard with free S'mores and marshmallows. I walked around with the kids beforehand told all of the kids that we had free Smore's.
We had over 50 people come to the house.
We didn't preach to them or tell them Halloween was an evil holiday. We just served them. And in all of their candy bags they received a life book. For those I don't know what a life book is it's from an organization that gives out free gospel of John booklets for youth groups and nonprofits. It makes it really easy to understand the Bible and has lots of side notes of testimonies from teens. You can get hundreds of FREE copies here: http://thelifebook.com/
But besides all of that, we wanted our yard to be a safe place that people can come and we could meet our neighbors. Many of whom we have never seen before. Who knows what doors we would open up just by embracing Halloween and not running and hiding from it.
It might start something new in the neighborhood. For all the 200 plus homes, most of the kids were seen across the street in the "nice" neighborhood where they gave out "full size" candy bars.
Watch out "nice neighborhood," you might have some competition from us here on the "wrong side" of the tracks.
As a side note, I heard some of the kids say that they want a bounce house next year. I don't know about all that. But maybe.
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