"A Christian celebrating Halloween is like a Jew celebrating Hitler's birthday."
That pretty much sums up my childhood Halloweens.
We shut down our house every Halloween.
And by shut down I mean lock down. Lights? OFF! Shades? PULLED! Voices? WHISPER ONLY!
If we could have disconnected the door-bell, we would have.
It was our way of protesting a pagan, evil holiday.
We didn't even pass out Gospel tracks like normal Christians.
However, by the time my sister and I were teens, we had lots of homework. One Halloween we asked Mom to let us keep a light on in our room.
"Fine," she said. "But turn it off if you hear trick-or-treaters outside."
About an hour later, my sister spotted some little ghosts passing our house. She flipped off the light.
"Hey!" I snapped. "I'm trying to do my homework!"
And I flipped it back on.
"NO!" she hissed, dramatically pointing at the window. And she flipped it off.
"Nobody's out there," I insisted and flipped it back on.
Suddenly, from outside we heard a little kid shout: "Mommy, look! A haunted house!"
I gasped, shut off the light and we both crashed to the floor, laughing hysterically.
"SHHHHH!" my sister hissed.
We crawled out to the hall, desperately willing those trick-or-treaters to go away.
Thankfully, the trick-or-treaters didn't play a trick. Or, as we called it, persecute us for righteousness' sake.
It's taken a long time for me to overcome my Halloween phobia. I've discovered that my fears about Halloween were 3,000x worse when I cowered in a darkened corner of my house "protesting."
Now, our family celebrates Halloween–albeit minimally. We don't do scary stuff. And when my kids trick-or-treat, we skip the haunted houses. It's actually super fun and astonishingly safe (at least where we live).
Halloween is the one time each year when neighbors are willing to open their doors. It's nice for the adults to say hello, show goodwill, make a personal connection.
And it's a great opportunity for my kids to say thank you. Over and over.
But don't get me wrong. I respect and understand the Christian families who bow out of Halloween. It's cool. I get it.
Just be sure to let me know in advance so my kids don't accidentally ring your doorbell.
We'd hate to persecute you!