Handling the Halloween Question

Last week I took the girls to Evermore to buy party favours for Emmy’s party. Their Halloween display is up at the entrance and you have to walk through it to get into the shop. Angie was fascinated. “Mommy, why is the witch here? What are these scary faces? Who’s that ugly man?”

I had hoped for more time to prepare before having the Halloween conversation with Angie. I’d wanted to read the articles I’d saved. I’d wanted to think my position through carefully before beginning any explanation. I wasn’t ready.

But Angie was.

“It’s for Halloween,” I said. “We don’t celebrate it.”

I explained that it was a night for things like witches and goblins and ghosts. “God doesn’t want us to celebrate these things,” I said. “We celebrate Jesus at Christmas and Easter.”

She seemed satisfied with that answer and didn’t comment on it as we shopped. But on the way home and for the next few days, she repeated her questions as her mind processed what I’d told her.

Then came the inevitable, “Why doesn’t God want us to celebrate witches and ghosts?”

That led us into a conversation about good and evil, and how Satan used to be an angel but then he was thrown out of heaven. That bit of information meant Angie forgot all about Halloween as she pursued a new avenue of inquiry.

“Mommy, why did God throw Satan out of heaven? Is that when he became the devil? Why did he want to take over heaven?”

As I tried my best to keep up with her, she said, matter-of-fact, “God’s in our hearts so He won’t throw us out of heaven.”

A lump in my throat, I could only nod in agreement.

She wasn’t finished yet. “And because Jesus is making rooms for us in heaven.”

Such words of wisdom from such a little girl.


How do you handle Halloween questions?

Comments 12

  • Good job Mel! So tough! – I’ve yet managed to avoid it (although apparently my house looks like Halloween anyway). The thing that I find the most difficult is context: so, imaginative play could involve a witchy brew and an occasional abracadabra (fairy tales – hello!) but celebrating Halloween (relative of course) is a no-no for my kids too. The thing is; children don’t usually operate in shades of grey so it’s difficult to explain why some things are okay sometimes, and not others. *parenting*

    • My girls love fairy tales and dressing up too, and I think it’s going to get trickier to handle when they get older and have friends who trick or treat. You’re right though; it is about context. But it’s still going to require a lot of discussion. Sigh.

  • Clever sweet girl! We do much the same as you but in all honesty in our school and group of friends no one celebrate it so it’s quite easy to avoid.

  • I was always very iffy about Halloween, but when I sat down and looked up the origins I satisfied myself that my impressions were not very well informed. I think that a lot of books and movies created my mindset. Since reading up I can’t find anything wrong with the celebration of all souls day and understand it’s relevance in the Christian calender. I now play along with carving a pumpkin, which the children love doing and we hide a few halloween sweets in the garden for a sort of version of an easter egg hunt. Last year I iced cupcakes for them with spiders. I now see halloween as a bit of fun and a time to remember the special people in my life who are no longer with us.

  • I havent read up on halloween but my kids dress up and we trick or treat at the families houses (pre arranged) for my girls they are playing dress up and getting sweets.

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dressing up – my girls love dressing up – but the idea of trick or treat (if we don’t get a treat, we get to play a trick on you) isn’t something I’m comfortable with, even if the ‘trick’ part is harmless fun. My girls are still very young, though, and I know we’re going to have to deal with this more as they get older.

  • […] and how I made Jesus lanterns with my daughters instead of Jack-o-lanterns, then you’ll know we don’t celebrate Halloween. I prefer to find ways to redeem Halloween, and use every opportunity to point my daughters to […]

  • Honestly, we do “celebrate” Halloween, but not like you would think. We have decided that instead of letting all the negative/evil win the day over, we have made it our own. We came up with ground rules for our family to follow and by doing so, we stick to our faith values. I’m sure not everyone will agree with this, but for us it works. If you are interested, here is my latest post all about this…

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