Halloween Alternatives

Written by Anne Feenstra

culture_halloweenaltMany people these days choose to opt out of the traditional Halloween trick-or-treating for various reasons.

Whatever the concerns one may have regarding this event, there are alternatives in creatively making this day special. As Christians, it is certainly a time when one can “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). 

Consider some of the following ideas for your family or grandchildren:

Witnessing from your home

  • Signs on your property
    Make signs with a Christian message to stick in your lawn or on a door. The wording could be as follows:

“No Trick! God’s Treat is Jesus”
“Let Jesus Fill the Hollow”

One could also carve a single letter in enough pumpkins to create a small phrase like “Jesus is Lord.” Use Christmas lights to illumine this message.

  • Christian music
    As children come to your door, have Christian music which appeals to them playing in the background.
  • Christian handouts
    Purchase Halloween tracts to hand out. You can get them from a Christian bookstore or order them online. Candy can be taped to the leaflet. As an alternative to sweets, consider giving pencils, erasers, bookmarks, stickers and comic books that carry a Christian message. Any booklet explaining the way of salvation to children is another wonderful witnessing tool.

Party themes

  • Local church activities
    Check local newspapers or Sunday bulletins if churches in the area are offering any alternatives like a Pumpkin Patch Party, Fall Festival or “Harvest Party. Sometimes asking only a nominal fee, these outreaches offer a safe setting for families to experience a carnival-type atmosphere. Decent, non-scary costumes are often the only stipulation. Also, consider getting involved to help a local church put on this event.
  • Hallelujah party
    Put a twist on the word “Halloween” and call it a “Hallelujah Party.”  Guests can come dressed as Bible characters and let others guess their identity. Play Bible games, sing and eat foods typical of Jesus’ day.
  • Heroes of the faith party
    Focus on people, who through the ages, have stood up for their faith and impacted the world for Christ. Dress appropriately for that era and the part of the world they came from.
  • Reformation Day party
    On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous Ninety-Five Theses onto the door of the Wittenberg Church and lit the fire of the Reformation. Show a movie about this hero of the faith.
  • Fools for Christ party
    Based on 1 Corinthians 4:10, “we are fools for Christ’s sake,” guests dress up in funny costumes which have nothing to do with witchcraft. Crazy activities are a must.
  • Pumpkin party
    To create less mess, guests could come with scooped-out pumpkins. Carve Christian symbols or individual letters to create a joint Christian message like: Jesus is Lord. Painting the pumpkins with acrylic paints is another alternative. Foods using pumpkin would be appropriate.

Special outings

  • Light the night campaign
    Walk door-to-door and simply hand out tracts that talk about Satan’s tricks and God’s best treat which is Jesus Christ. This can also be done as a church group.
  • Collect for an organization
    Collect food for the local food bank or old eye glasses for the needy overseas. In order to assure people that this cause is legitimate, it may be wise to check with the organization beforehand and have proper identification tags issued.
  • Visit a nursing home
    Dress up and bring something to share with these special folks. Calling ahead is a good idea.
  • Bowling
    The local bowling alley may not be very busy on October 31st. Children could dress up and do crazy things like bowling backwards.

Discussion time

This could be a natural time to talk with children about the different kinds of invisible masks we wear and why we do that. Or talk about fears – real or imaginary. Discuss how these fears might be diminished or dispelled as one trusts Jesus.

The Bible admonishes us to “make the most of the time” in both Ephesians 5:15 and Colossians 4:5; therefore, let’s make the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed.

Hallelujah that there are alternatives to Halloween!

May the above-mentioned ideas inspire you to be creative in using this day to focus particular attention on Jesus Christ.

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5 Responses to “Halloween Alternatives”

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    JC it is certainly your prerogative whether or not you and your family choose to celebrate or take part in any Halloween related activities. But as the author of this article says, ‘The Bible admonishes us to “make the most of the time” in both Ephesians 5:15 and Colossians 4:5; therefore, let’s make the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed.” Our church encourages us to have ‘garage parties’ for our neighbours, offering hot chocolate and cookies and using this day for good. One family actually fired up the barbecue and had hot dogs available for all the kids. It’s a day when people come to our door, so let’s make the best of it!

  • JC says:

    At the beginning of August, some people in our area decorated for Halloween, and stores began stocking their shelves with merchandise because the National Retail Federation has reported “Halloween will be celebrated in record numbers in 2014… Total spending for the holiday on costumes, decorations, candy and more is estimated at $7.4 billion.” Kids in costumes will go door to door begging for treats, carve pumpkins, visit haunted houses, and watch creepy horror films, all without question.

    Where in the world did we get Halloween?
    Halloween is short for “All Hallows Evening”, which begins the night before the Catholic holiday All Saints Day. They wanted this event to take the place of Samhain, a festival for the Celtic religion led by Druid priests, but changing the name did not stop their pagan practices.

    How did the jack-o-lantern originate?
    There is a legend claiming that one night “Jack” tricked the devil into climbing up a tree. Jack trapped him up there and made the devil swear he would never come after Jack’s soul. When Jack died, he was rejected by both the devil and God. Supposedly, Jack haunts the world searching for a place to rest. Even though it is not a true story, the tradition continues.

    Why did the trick-or-treating tradition begin?
    Trick or treating was started by poor people who would beg for soul cakes. They believed that if they would eat enough, then their loved one would have a better chance to go to heaven. Obviously, that is ridiculous because only Jesus can save us.“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

    How did Halloween costumes originate?
    Celtic people wore costumes to either hide their identity from others or to blend in with other spirits wandering around that night. They thought they could obtain powers from animals if they were dressed up like them.

    Is Halloween related to modern pagan practices?
    Halloween is a very serious and sacred observance for many satanists, witches, neopagans, and the occult. It is a religious holiday for them.

    Is Halloween a trick or a treat?
    The symbols, superstitions, customs, religious practices, and traditions originated directly from the pagan festival of Samhain, but now it is just disguised with a different name. That’s why Halloween is a trick.

    Why did we choose not to celebrate it?
    Considering the origin of Halloween and the current celebration, we could clearly see that it does not honor the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit[b] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

  • Roger says:

    I really feel sorry for your kids JC. I’m so sure all nine of your kids came to despise Halloween on their own right? You had no hand in indoctrinating them into thinking Halloween is not for true followers of Christ? The saddest part is you actually think you have done your children a service.

  • JC says:

    For the past twenty-five years, our family has not celebrated Halloween. Our nine children do not want anything to do with it. They understand its history and present day influence on our culture. Over the years, we have had a variety of great experiences as better alternatives (Family Fun Night, Handing out Gospel Tracts, Reformation Celebration, Hospitality, Sing Hymns, prayer, movies). The Reformation Day party is a tremendous opportunity to teach a wealth of Christian History. We usually have many families gather for a delicious feast, games, treats, skits, music, and fellowship.

  • Brian says:

    Reformation Day party? Sorry kids, no costumes or treats. Tonight we’re studying the history of LUTHERANISM!

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