I wrote this post three years ago. I'm reposting it today because it's Halloween again and lots of Christians still boycott this holiday. I get it. I really do. That's how I was raised. Here's why I changed my mind about Halloween.
Boycotting Halloween is like all popular now. When I was a kid, we were the only family in our entire neighborhood whose house went dark on Halloween. Because, you know, Halloween is a pagan, evil holiday and Christians shouldn't celebrate it 'cuz that's like Jews celebrating Hitler's birthday.
We didn't even pass out Gospel tracks like those Christians who see evangelistic outreach potential in every single holiday. And we certainly weren't going to throw a faux Halloween church party called a "Fall Festival." Because that was COMPROMISING WITH THE WORLD, yo.
So, we did the most Christian thing and cowered in our darkened home, praying we wouldn't get tricked. Or, you know, persecuted for righteousness' sake.
But now? Now it seems like all kinds of Christians--and not just fundamentalists--boycott Halloween.
The common reasoning seems to be that Halloween, an originally "pagan holiday," was "Christianized" by Catholics--yet another example, fundamentalists like to say, of Catholics corrupting true, pure Christian faith.
As an adult, I realize our boycott of Halloween had more to do with anti-Catholic sentiment than actual historical fact. Back then, I didn't even think Catholics were Christians.
Now that I know the Catholic Church isn't, in fact, leading millions of souls to Hell, imagine my surprise in discovering that "the origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American."
When I was a fundamentalist, I never even stopped to ask what the word Halloween meant.
Hallow=holy e'en= contraction for the word 'evening'
Thus, Halloween means the holy evening before All Saints Day.
All of which to say, I would probably still be a fundamentalist if it weren't for the Internets.
Furthermore, so what if Christians "Christianize" things? That doesn't alloy our faith. Christianizing is what Christians do. I mean, if we're gonna get really technical--didn't Christians "Christianize" the Jewish faith?
And anyway, who decided that the goal of life is to avoid all things pagan? If that's the case, I guess we better come up with a different name for Thursday since it was named after the god Thor.
Of course, Halloween has become a largely secular holiday with widespread overtones of the occult. But that doesn't mean Halloween needs to be boycotted altogether. It just means that a lot of mainstream Christians have allowed pre-Christian superstition about the dead to takeover what should be a redemptive holiday.
It's possible to celebrate Halloween without glorifying the secular aspects of this particular holiday. The true celebration of Halloween should be about acknowledging our mortality--followed by remembering those who have gone before us on All Saints Day.
It's possible to celebrate and enjoy Halloween if you can, like I had to, overcome the reflexively anti-Catholic perspective that was ingrained into my Protestant DNA.
I really hope more Christians don't boycott Halloween this year because me and my five kiddos are going trick-or-treating and guess what? We don't want a Gospel pamphlet.
WE WANT CANDY!
Although if you pass out Mint Milanos instead? I'll totally say GOD BLESS YOU! :-D
- One buggy thing about Halloween is all the stupid, sexy costumes. On TODDLERS.
- It's even worse for tweens. My 11 year old wears tween sizes now and seriously, these are the options:
- Sexy witch.
- Sexy ladybug.
- Sexy pumpkin.
- At one point she was all: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO APPROPRIATE?
- Her words.
- See? It's not just moms who don't want sexy kid costumes. Even my KID doesn't want sexy.
- We finally found something.
- But next year? I'm so totally sewing the costumes.
- Um. I have 5 kids. I better start sewing NOW. Ack!