One Halloween night many years ago, instead of staying at home waiting for cute children in costumes to ring my doorbell, I attended a meeting with several other Christian women.
In an effort to liven things up, I picked up some small festive bags and tucked a few pieces of candy in each one. I carried them along to the meeting, thinking the all female group would appreciate some chocolate that they didn’t have to sneak from their kids’ trick or treat buckets.
I was passing them around and receiving gleeful thanks when I came to one woman, stoic with her arms crossed, who responded in a surprising manner:
I am NOT taking that bag of candy. Do you have any idea the horrible things that happen on Halloween night? No Christian should celebrate Halloween!
After getting over my initial shock out the outburst, I simply replied that I wasn’t “celebrating” Halloween (whatever that means)…I was just handing out some candy.
Halloween in its various forms has been around for centuries. For the most part, in America, it is family friendly fun that consists of decorating, dressing up, and getting together with family and friends. I do not like or support the scary movies or the sexy costumes. But, I also do not think there is anything wrong with getting decked out in non-threatening outfits and collecting candy from houses in your neighborhood or trunks at your church.
I also fully recognize that evil does take place on Halloween night. Sadly, evil happens every night (and day). Does this mean we can’t take a break from it all…for. just. one. night…to play pretend? To visit the widow that lives on the corner for snickers or twizzlers? To eat hot dogs or pizza in the cul-de-sac with other pirates and princesses? To carve goofy looking jack-o-lanterns or paint pumpkins? We all deal with so much stress on a daily basis. We are bombarded with the news of traumatic events day in and day out. Can’t we just enjoy a night of community and candy without the condemnation? Christians included.
Perhaps, it should be “Christians especially.” After all, we have an opportunity to be salt in our communities. We can share with kiddos and their parents about the love of Jesus. At the very least, we can begin to establish relationships that may lead to those critical conversations in the future. We get the privilege of being light bearers and seed planters. I’ll take that – even if others disagree with me.
For sure, we should put away the gore and guts. And we should certainly not use this night as an excuse for inappropriate partying or pranks. But, like many things, Halloween is what we make of it. For me, it’s really just an excuse for free candy. And, really, what’s wrong with that?
*Please do not comment about all the dangers of sugar. I am well aware, and choose to eat candy anyway. At least on October 31st and until the candy runs out.
This post originally appeared at patheos.com, published with permission.