This is an open letter to anyone wondering why we would partake in Halloween. I think it’s sad that we are judged, condemned and feel like we have to explain ourselves in the way we choose to parent our children. Not that we really owe anyone an explanation, but I just want to get a few things off my chest.
Halloween to our family isn’t about all the ghosts, goblins and witchcraft. We are very adamant about not letting anything in our home or on our clothing with skulls on it. We don’t decorate with witches, gore, zombies, etc. The only decorations you’ll see at our house during this time are pumpkins and leaves. I personally am not attracted to the gore and horror that Halloween attracts for others. Our children will never be allowed to dress up as witches, demons, zombies, or the like while they are under our roof.
There is a verse that keeps popping into my head today: Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” We are trying to instill deeper truths in our children beyond dressing up as a favorite character and getting free candy. Our vision as a family for Halloween is to allow our children to partake in something that brings them joy and in turn that they bring joy to others as well. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with encouraging children to dress up. It is developmentally appropriate for them to use their imagination and want to dress up. We want to raise them to live in the Joy of the Lord and for a 4 1/2 year old that includes dressing up and getting candy.
Little do you know that there is more to our story.
Yesterday morning, our preschool class went trick or treating at a local Nursing home. Sure it was another opportunity to dress up and get candy, but it isn’t about the kids. The kids do more for the residents that you will ever know. I don’t know that I will ever fully know it myself but the smiles and joy that came across their faces says it all. Our children touched their hearts just from their presence and the adorable costumes they adorned. Mr. Man encountered one woman that made him give her a hug before she would give him a piece of candy. She longed for embrace and as you well know, embraces from children can turn any frown upside down! She held him for a good 10 seconds then demanded he ask politely for candy and say thank you afterward! Lesson #1: Treat others as you would want to be treated; take care of our elders; spread love and joy.
We are also teaching our children how to sacrifice and serve others. We will be going through their candy tomorrow and dividing it up. They will be allowed to keep some and set some aside. Sunday morning when we go to church they will be dropping off the unneeded candy to the welcome desk to donate to the Power Kids Company and the Salvation Army. They will learn about how there are children who don’t get to participate in things like Halloween because they don’t have money, a home, or are sick. Lesson #2: Taking care of the orphans and widows; the art of donation and sacrifice; loving your neighbor as yourself.
Certainly this isn’t the last thing, but lastly for this post, we will teach our children that with hard work, a great support system and a relationship with Christ they can be anything they want to be. They are Superheroes in their own way. They were fashioned and created for their own greatness and uniqueness. They will accomplish things that only they were created for. They can live the good life and spread that goodness, joy, love, laughter, and memories to those around them near or far. They will always be encouraged to think beyond their own comforts to help those who need a smile, a hug, a piece of candy, money, etc. They will always be the apple of our eyes. Our pick-me-ups. Our reason to do what we do and be who we are. Our world changers. We believe in them and believe they will grow up to make the right decisions, not by the worlds standards, but by the heavenly perspective that we are raising them in. Lesson #3: You were created for greatness; the Lord is your Strength; You can do all things through HIM.
If you want to continue to condemn us and urge us to “return to Jesus” since we’ve fallen so far off the path…..then I will go all Momma Bear on you. I chose not to react that way because I know that’s not who I truly am and I believe in speaking in truth and love.