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Do you participate in Halloween?


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  #1  
October 31st, 2006, 08:05 AM
joyfulmommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My husband and I are not on the same page on this subject. He believes that Halloween is a pagen holiday that we as Christians should not participate in at all. I on the other hand, think that the day could be kept clean and fun if we choose costumes and activities that are "nice." For instance, this year we plan to attend a church fall carnival. But my husband even has a problem with this, since the kids would be allowed to dress up (a Halloween tradition, not a fall tradition).

Does anyone else have an opinion on this? What do you do with your families?

Thanks in advance

Brooke
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  #2  
October 31st, 2006, 09:01 AM
dinamommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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No, we don't participate in Halloween except for handing out candy if we are home. The Christian church in our town had a fall festival where kids could dress up and go have fun, but we didn't participate in this either. I think I am alone on this issue on this board, though. We have had this discussion before and everyone else thought it was harmless fun. Maybe I am just a prude, but it is something that we have decided for our family. I don't know about everywhere else, but where I live, it really opens doors for witnessing to our neighbors and friends. They all think we are freaks and can't help but ask why we do what we do. This year, we are going to take our daughter out to eat and go to the movies. She is soooooo excited about it. There is a cartoon playing, so I am so thankful. She's really stoked about the popcorn and pop! Hahahah..... I really think this has to be a decision you make as a family. I'm not going to say that your are wrong for what you think. It is your decision.
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  #3  
October 31st, 2006, 10:49 AM
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We "participate." To us, it's harmless and fun. We only have clean, fun happy costumes. Tonight we even have a festival at church, which I think is a good idea b/c it keeps the kids off the streets and from knocking on unknown people's doors.
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  #4  
October 31st, 2006, 10:53 AM
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dinamommy, I am so glad that you posted this, I thought I was alone too!!!!! YAY *hugs* we do not participate in this at all, we don't even hand out candy bc we don't want to condone it. We do not allow our kids to dress up for halloween or to go out and trick or treat. Yes we could dress them as a "nice" thing, but where do we draw the line, yes we can take a part in a day that the Druids specifically set aside to appease the Spirits as long as you are dressed as a bunny? I am not trying to start a debate, but there is no black white and gray area in our home...we have prayed about it and specifically have heard the Lord tell us no. We were both raised as trick or treaters as well, so this is a foreign concept to us but it is something we feel strongly about, and our church backs us up.

And as far as input on your situation joyfulmommy, even though you do not agree with your hubby, biblically you are called to be obedient to your hubby. So if he says no, that is what will have to be done.
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  #5  
October 31st, 2006, 11:50 AM
LuckyGirlx4's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I had a really interesting and neat time explaining what halloween is to my 6 year old today. I added it into our homeschool curriculum for the day. We talked about how it is a pagan holiday, how it started and why most American's celebrated it today. Then I told her that we as Christians like to take pagan holidays and turn it into a day that we can show the love of Jesus. Then I told her about the history of December 25th; it started out as a pagan holiday too! Then, later on the church decided to take that day of pagan worship and turn it into a Christ-centered holiday- and it worked (for the most part, lol). So that is why we as a church open our doors for our fall carnival. We games, and Christ-centered puppet shows. The kids dress up, but not as anything scary, and we use the day to tell our friends and neighbors who we invite about Jesus. I have never read anything definative in the Bible about how to handle situations such as Halloween, so I'm following the example of the church and how they turned a pagan holiday in december to Christmas.
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  #6  
October 31st, 2006, 12:42 PM
celeste's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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No, we don't participate in Halloween except for handing out candy if we are home. The Christian church in our town had a fall festival where kids could dress up and go have fun, but we didn't participate in this either. I think I am alone on this issue on this board, though. We have had this discussion before and everyone else thought it was harmless fun. Maybe I am just a prude, but it is something that we have decided for our family. I don't know about everywhere else, but where I live, it really opens doors for witnessing to our neighbors and friends. They all think we are freaks and can't help but ask why we do what we do. This year, we are going to take our daughter out to eat and go to the movies. She is soooooo excited about it. There is a cartoon playing, so I am so thankful. She's really stoked about the popcorn and pop! Hahahah..... I really think this has to be a decision you make as a family. I'm not going to say that your are wrong for what you think. It is your decision.[/b]

Quote:
dinamommy, I am so glad that you posted this, I thought I was alone too!!!!! YAY *hugs* we do not participate in this at all, we don't even hand out candy bc we don't want to condone it. We do not allow our kids to dress up for halloween or to go out and trick or treat. Yes we could dress them as a "nice" thing, but where do we draw the line, yes we can take a part in a day that the Druids specifically set aside to appease the Spirits as long as you are dressed as a bunny? I am not trying to start a debate, but there is no black white and gray area in our home...we have prayed about it and specifically have heard the Lord tell us no. We were both raised as trick or treaters as well, so this is a foreign concept to us but it is something we feel strongly about, and our church backs us up.

And as far as input on your situation joyfulmommy, even though you do not agree with your hubby, biblically you are called to be obedient to your hubby. So if he says no, that is what will have to be done.[/b]

I don't come on here much, but I'm planning on growing my son up the Christian way, and as a child we did not do Halloween. And I decided to not do halloween with my son either. As a child I didn't quite understand why we didn't, my mom would explain to us that it was something that was taken overboard and that it was something that she prayed about and was also told no by the Lord to not do it. I don't want Conner exposed to that kind of stuff, I understand that it could be fun and completely harmless, but I just don't feel comfortable doing it. It's going to be hard for me b/c my step son does it and now I'm not going to let Conner do it. It's so hard to explain, but it's something that we won't be doing. I'm going to make it Mommy and Conner day, take him out to see a movie, and do stuff that he'll love to do. That way when kids ask when he's going to be for Halloween he can say, that's my me and mom's dad and we go out and have fun together and don't dress up.
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  #7  
October 31st, 2006, 12:58 PM
dinamommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I agree with you, LuckyGirl, that we do have some things in our Christian holidays that are taken from pagans, but to me, there is a big difference between this and Halloween. The truth is that Jesus really was born and we celebrate that on Christmas (even though we get the day wrong). Jesus really did rise from the dead and we celebrate that on Easter (the bunnies and eggs are from pagans). Now whether we choose to participate in the pagan part of those holidays is up to us as individual families, but what we should really be celebrating is something that is consistent with our faith. I just wonder what is consistent with our faith about Halloween? I'm not trying to be overbearing here, but I just wanted to respond to your post.
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  #8  
October 31st, 2006, 01:13 PM
LuckyGirlx4's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree with you, LuckyGirl, that we do have some things in our Christian holidays that are taken from pagans, but to me, there is a big difference between this and Halloween. The truth is that Jesus really was born and we celebrate that on Christmas (even though we get the day wrong). Jesus really did rise from the dead and we celebrate that on Easter (the bunnies and eggs are from pagans). Now whether we choose to participate in the pagan part of those holidays is up to us as individual families, but what we should really be celebrating is something that is consistent with our faith. I just wonder what is consistent with our faith about Halloween? I'm not trying to be overbearing here, but I just wanted to respond to your post.[/b]

I agree with you, though I think we implement what we believe differently. We don't celebrate anything on this day. We are, though, having a party at our church and inviting the community to join us in a halloween alternative. We don't do Santa at Christmas (and I always seem to be alone on that one, lol), we don't do Easter bunnies at Easter either. We simply use today as a way to come out into the community in a way that is approachable, and witness God's truth. Just as I don't think God uses us all the same, I don't believe that He has called everyone to witness in this way. Maybe some people get the point more when they try and trick or treat a house that doesn't participate but with tracts. We are all using our gifts and the Lords grace and wisdom to serve the great comission.
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  #9  
October 31st, 2006, 01:19 PM
dinamommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thank you for explaining yourself. I'll admit that I was a little confused. Maybe you're right about your party. I hope you reach your community for Christ. I'm sure you read that it is much more effective for us not to participate at all where I live b/c we are in the minority so much. I appreciate your answer.
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  #10  
October 31st, 2006, 01:22 PM
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I don't know if I have ever even posted on this board, but we don't celebrate Halloween either. Not as a family and lucky for us not really as a country either, which makes it easy to ignore if not totally forget. If I wasn't online talking to Americans I probably would forget. It was the 31st of Oct yesterday here and looked like a regular day. I'm a homeschooling SAHM and didn't go out yesterday, so it's possible the shops might have had something up.
We don't celebrate because the root of every Halloween tradition is pagan. It isn't a Christian celebration with pagan items tacked on like with other holidays. With 'Easter' (We prefer to say resurrection day) and Christmas we do our best to celebrate with out the pagan items. So no eggs, no bunnies and no tree.
Santa we kind of have like Elmo, a funny dressed up pretend red guy
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  #11  
October 31st, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Thank you for explaining yourself. I'll admit that I was a little confused. Maybe you're right about your party. I hope you reach your community for Christ. I'm sure you read that it is much more effective for us not to participate at all where I live b/c we are in the minority so much. I appreciate your answer.[/b]

I love that we are having this conversation. I totally understand how not participating is what's right for you family. We are called to know God's word, pray for His wisdom, and with our husbands- lead our children accordingly. We all have one path to God, but the journey He has planned for us here on earth is different. I want to always keep that in mind when hearing about how different Christians react to things of the world differently. We all serve the same God- the one and true God!
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  #12  
October 31st, 2006, 01:39 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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We "sort of" celebrate Halloween, xmas, and Easter. Just as I was taught as a child the pagan histories behind things like candy canes, christmas trees, easter eggs, etc, and why we don't celebrate any of them religiously, I'll teach Ben. We celebrate them as secular holidays outside the realm of worship.

Halloween is obviously a pagan holiday. I don't think anyone disputes that or else this topic wouldn't have been started. We dress up, hand out candy, and that's about it. We don't get into any "dark" pagan rituals.

Christmas is a time when most christian-based religions celebrate the birth of Christ, although as someone already stated, the date is wrong, and we don't celebrate it religiously because we have no example or command to do so from the New Testament. We celebrate getting together with family, exchanging gifts, etc. (Most of us don't tell our children about "Santa Claus" because technically, it's lying to them. There isn't a big red guy coming down the chimney, so we shouldn't lie and tell them there is.) Our church doesn't celebrate the holiday, though, and in fact, we sing "Christmas" songs year round in celebration of his birth outside of a particular "holy day" as was historically called "Christ's Mass." We can celebrate his birth everyday by the way we live our lives.

The same is true of Easter. Yes, he rose from the dead, but we're not given a date in the New Testament, and the only command we have to remember it is in the communion ceremony that takes place each and every Sunday. We have family get togethers, Easter egg hunts, etc, but we have no church-sponsored activities to celebrate the day.

Many of our churches will have a "halloween sermon," an "easter sermon" or a "christmas sermon" on those days to tell the history of the holidays so that visitors expecting to see a children's play, pumpkin patch, or something like that will understand why we don't have one.
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  #13  
October 31st, 2006, 01:53 PM
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i grew up not celebrating it at all. my church had a fall festival in place of trick-or-treating, to give everyone an alternative to taking their kids trick-or-treating. but now that i'm grown up, i believe, like most things, it is what you make of it. i don't go "all out", but i do participate in certain activites. Like, for instance, my church (i moved a couple of states away from where i grew up....just an f.y.i) has started what we call "truck-or-treat", where everyone decorates the trunk of their car and passes out candy, along with bible verses, etc. then the kids (and parents) can go inside for some yummy snacks and games and the kids vote on their favorite trunk. It is a wonderful out reach to a small community that at one time would have nothing to do with church. it has just been going on for a few years, and we already have people come up and ask to make sure we are doing it again.
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  #14  
October 31st, 2006, 01:59 PM
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Super interesting posts and opinions from everyone. Thank you for sharing. I applaud your conviction.

We are going trick or treating with my son just as the sun is going down tonight. We will only go to a few houses because he is only two. He is so excited to put on his dinosaur costume and "roar" for everyone.

When we get home, I will distract him, take his halloween treats, give him only a couple, let him feast on a kit-kat or two and call it a night.

Our church doesn't do anything for Halloween. Our pastor thinks it is just fine for us to make our own decision about it.

Growing up, I did hallween and never even remember it as anything except a day to dress up and get candy. I don't think it ever scarred me or taught me anything wrong... Maybe it did.... I don't know.

No big deal to me.
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  #15  
October 31st, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Thank you so much everyone! I really enjoyed reading everyones posts. I can definatly see both view points, and I know that I Biblically have to follow my husbands lead (thanks for the reminder Aydenmomma). I am going to present both sides to my husband tonight and see if he thinks it would be okay to go to the church carnival. If not, at least I have a better understanding about his reasons.

I am glad some of you brought up Christmas and Easter too. We have had some disagreements over those holidays as well. It's nice to read others opinions on why those are okay, and Halloween isn't as much. We tend to celebrate most of Christmas and Easter apart from Santa and the Easter bunny. However, my dh would like to leave out more (including Christmas trees). I don't know really how I feel about that.

Thank you everyone! And I am still interested in more responses if you haven't had your say yet. It would help for next year, and for our Christmas and Easter discussions.

Brooke
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  #16  
October 31st, 2006, 09:48 PM
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Tonight my girls dressed up and went trick or treating and had a great time. I did talk about Halloween with my oldest, and she asked why the public school kids got to dress up to school and why the kids at the Christian school she attends don't get to. I told her some people have a problem with it, and so we respect their opinions, and that some people think it's the devils holiday etc etc. We don't believe in giving the devil his own special day, and instead of having him make it into something bad and scary, we make it a fun time of dressing up and getting some candy.

I totally do respect those who choose not to participate, and I appreciate how respectfull everyone has been.
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  #17  
November 1st, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Steve and I haven't decided what to do yet. Growing up, I was not allowed to trick or treat. Instead, my parents took the 4 kids out for dinner (which was a treat in itself) and then when we came home they gave us bag fulls of candy, since that is what we wanted anyways.

This year, we dressed Aiden up as a cow and took him to the nursing home that Steve works at and showed him to the residents, they were so happy to see him all dressed up and looking cute. But I don't think we will go out with him next year to get candy or anything like that. So, ew will see.
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  #18  
November 1st, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Steve and I haven't decided what to do yet. Growing up, I was not allowed to trick or treat. Instead, my parents took the 4 kids out for dinner (which was a treat in itself) and then when we came home they gave us bag fulls of candy, since that is what we wanted anyways.

This year, we dressed Aiden up as a cow and took him to the nursing home that Steve works at and showed him to the residents, they were so happy to see him all dressed up and looking cute. But I don't think we will go out with him next year to get candy or anything like that. So, ew will see.[/b]

What a great idea! Those older folks just love seeing the joy in little kids faces running around the nursing homes.
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  #19  
November 1st, 2006, 12:39 PM
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Last night we dressed up dd and went up to my moms and grandmas. We had supper there and then we went to my uncles and aunts. On Saturday we got her dressed up and went to the nursing home. They had Safe Halloween. Growing up both dh and I participated in Halloween activities. There are opinions on both extremes. Listening to Christian radio this past week, it really scared me. Almost makes a person want to stay inside for every holiday. Dh and I have discussed what we are going to do when dd gets older. I definitely don't want her to have all that candy. Do we keep to ourselves at this time? I know the people at the nursing home got a kick out of seeing all the children in their costumes. I know some of them hardly have visitors. I know Halloween comes from the pagans, but we aren't celebrating like them. There are so many arguments for and against. I don't know what the answer is. The only thing is to pray for wisdom and show people to Christ.
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  #20  
November 3rd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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I am glad some of you brought up Christmas and Easter too. We have had some disagreements over those holidays as well. It's nice to read others opinions on why those are okay, and Halloween isn't as much. We tend to celebrate most of Christmas and Easter apart from Santa and the Easter bunny. However, my dh would like to leave out more (including Christmas trees). I don't know really how I feel about that.[/b]

We don't do a Christmas tree here either. For us the main reason was we didn't like the pagan roots of the tradition and to us we felt it took away the focus from Christ's birth. At first it does feel strange not to have a tree, but we have our own traditions that we have replaced it with and now it feels right. We now put our presents below a nativity set that's set up on a small table. We make ornaments each year and have those strung up in various areas of the house. We also have another nativity that we move the pieces on. So each day Joseph and Mary get closer to the stable. Another one I want to implement when our kids are a bit older is a 'manger', were good deeds, being nice to your siblings etc earns a bundle of straw that gets placed in the crib. Hopefully by Christmas Eve it is full enough for a doll to be placed in the 'manger'.
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