Halloween is not my favorite, but...
I won't lie...Halloween is not my favorite day of the year.
I grew up in a church culture that ingrained in me all the evils of this day. We never went trick-or-treating growing up. We always shut our doors and turned off the porch lights and went out to dinner or did something else as a family. We just simply did not participate in it. And I honestly didn't mind. I still greatly respect my parents' decisions on how we handled this day. I don't feel like I missed out on anything by not going trick-or-treating, I never wished I was out there dressed up and filling my bags with candy. I've just never really liked Halloween. And up until about 3 years ago, I did everything I could to avoid the day altogether.
Now, this is not a post about whether it is right or wrong to celebrate Halloween. As with so many things in lives and our culture, I think it is important for each of us to lean in hard to Jesus and listen to His voice and follow the convictions He gives us. Because:
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up." - 1 Corinthians 10:23
I honestly would be ok with us totally skipping Halloween completely. And we did, for years. It's not that I thought Halloween was sinful or bad so much as it just wasn't helpful...it did not build up. I saw nothing redeeming about it.
But 3 years ago, I started seeing it from a slightly different perspective.
There certainly is plenty of evil about Halloween, plenty of bad in the history of this day when many people celebrate witches and demons and find fun in blood and gore and fear (all reasons why it is not my favorite day at all). But...I don't think any day is beyond the redeeming power of God. I think God can take something that so many use to promote evil, and He can turn it around and flip it upside down and use it to shine even more brightly His light of love. And that is something I don't mind being a part of.
Because here's the thing I realized about 3 years ago: Halloween is the only day of the year when all my neighbors come to me! It's the one day of the year when they come to my doorstep and ask for something. I don't even have to do anything really...they just come.
So why not take advantage of this amazing opportunity to give them something they need even more than candy and sweets: the love of Jesus? So instead of turning off our lights and turning them away, we now open our door and we pull a table out into the driveway and set up a whole station of goodies. I wanted to do a little more than just pass out candy...I wanted to love well and do something a little different that would make our neighbors remember the kindness of God through us...so I decided to make a giant batch of hot chocolate to pass out (I don't know who likes it more, the parents or the kids ;) ). It is such a simple thing to do, but it has become a bit of a favorite...the neighborhood kids have already been asking if we're giving out hot chocolate again this year ;).
I also made these simple little cards that we give out with all the candy:
They are inspired by my days of working in our preschool ministry at church. We used a curriculum called First Look (which is an AMAZING preschool ministry curriculum...seriously the BEST one I've ever seen), and we would repeat to our preschoolers over and over these three basic truths: God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever. I love these three truths. They say so much in a way that even the littlest hearts can begin to understand, and that the oldest hearts need to know and remember too. Just these words, along with a bit of His Word, is one way we can tell our neighbors how much Jesus loves them.
So even though Halloween is still not my favorite day, and even though I could really do without all the scary costumes and the spooky decorations, our family has found a way to be a little light in our neighborhood and build some relationships with our neighbors just by opening our hearts and giving out a little love on this one day when they are actually coming right to us. (And I can't say that the girls don't enjoy going around and collecting as much candy as their bags will hold ;) ).
So regardless of what you are doing or not doing for Halloween...today and every day there is always some way to share a little love with the people around you.
I know it's a bit last-minute for this year, but if you'd like to use these same cards to share a little love of Jesus with your neighbors this Halloween, here is the PDF printable that you can print and use however you'd like:
(Just print the front side first, then flip it over and run it back through your printer again to print the back on the opposite side :) )