What Works For Me In… Relating to Halloween With Our Children

This year (2008) is the first since 2003 that Halloween is truly a Hallowed Eve, since it falls on Friday evening after the beginning of the Sabbath.

Besides putting Little Friends, Primary Treasures or Bible Society Halloween tracts in the bags of those who come to our doors, what can an Adventist parents do who want to have fun times with their children without leading them down the wrong path. Here’s how one family has dealt with these issues.

  • By John & Melody Rockufeler
  • Lay Leaders, Chapel Oaks Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Shawnee, Kansas

When our first daughter was born, we pondered how to approach the Halloween issue. As parents who, as children, “celebrated” the holiday with trick-or-treating, scary movies, spooky lights, and eerie music, we wanted to replace those activities with fun and memorable ones for our child. We wanted her focus to be on what we DID do on Halloween rather than what we DIDN’T do.

That’s how our “Family Holiday Kickoff” began. We plan ahead and make October 31 the official start to our holiday season. We do some Christmas shopping, which usually includes choosing a new holiday CD or video for our family. We talk about the year’s highlights for our holiday letter. We make it a special family day, usually including sack lunches that can be eaten at a park in between stores, or in the food court at the mall. And it’s a low stress day, which means not rushing from one department to another, frantically trying to be done by some specific time. We talk, we sing songs, we window-shop, we dream, we laugh… All together as a family. (Dad even takes off work for the day, which is a BIG treat!)

And we remember that we are kicking off our holiday season at the time of year when Jesus was most probably born, (sometime in the fall-maybe mid to late October?)

We plan ahead to eat supper out, and then our daughter does get to dress up as something like an animal or cheerleader to visit her grandparents and aunt. But when our focus is on the fun of the day, the trick-or-treating has really turned into somewhat of an afterthought-not the main memory. When Halloween falls on a Friday night, we’ll have a special supper at home, and will dress up for family on another day.

We are enjoying the challenge of raising now two daughters for Christ in a world that often seems to be living for the enemy. We won’t really know how we’ve done with this challenge until they are grown, but we’re praying that they look back on a childhood with memories of replacing things of the world with better things from above!

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