Yesterday I talked about my Halloween memories from my childhood. My how times have changed. Gone are the days where you child could freely walk door to door in your neighborhood without fear. The innocent costumes of yesteryear have taken back seat to ugly, gross, expensive store bought masks and costumes. I can see why some churches condemn Halloween and have nothing to do with it.
I won't get into the debate about the history of Halloween and why some say that Christians shouldn't be celebrating this holiday. I won't take time to reiterate why Halloween costumes have become more gross than I could have ever imagined when I was young. I won't delve into what has happened to our world to make going door to door unsafe for our children. These things have been discussed into the ground.
I am of the opinion that, with a little bit of planning, Halloween can still be a safe and fun holiday that can be enjoyed by all. Here are some suggestions:
1. Don't sweat the costume. Homemade can still be great. Last year our son, Joshua, went as a ninja. We found some white pants, a white shirt, a black cloth belt and a black cloth headband and that was it. No one cared and he loved it! Jacob, our youngest decided that he didn't want to wear the army shirt that we had found, so he just wore the camouflage pants with a grey turtle neck shirt and called that was it. He was happy and so were we.
2. These days, I wouldn't suggest allowing your kids to go door to door by themselves anywhere. How about driving you kids to the homes of some of your good friends or pick a really nice neighborhood to trick or treat at. Always instruct your kids to never go into someones home unless you are right there with them and always be very visible and keep your kids in site. In a busy neighborhood it is sometimes hard to tell which witch is which. Perhaps have some tell tale sign that is unique to your child's costume so that mommy won't mistake some else's mummy for her mummy.
3. Church sponsored "Trunk or Treats" are really popular these days. That's where church members will park their cars with the trunks facing out. They open their decorated, candy filled, trunks and the kids walk through the rows of cars trick or treating and filling their bags with candy. Often the church will have inflatable jumping toys and other games to entertain your child as well.
4. Not sure about the trick or treating or dressing up part? Some churches sponsor "Fall Festivals" where you dress up like a Bible character or sometimes come as you are. Ask around. Most are open to anyone.
5. Still not convinced that Halloween is for you? Why not take your family to a corn maze. They are very popular these days. At least they are around here. Most don't have a Halloween theme at all and are a lot of fun. In fact, we just went to one today as a family and had a blast. Pictures are coming soon, but, until then, here's a picture from our adventure last year.
Even though Halloween is not the innocent holiday it used to be, it can still be a lot of fun. You just need to be creative, pick an activity that fits your family, and don't sweat it. Have fun!
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