Earlier this month we received our complex’s newsletter which included an invitation for all the children in the complex to meet up on Halloween to go trick or treating around the complex. The first year we lived here, Emmy was a newborn and we were completely unprepared for the knock on our door. All we had to give were apples. We didn’t get many trick or treaters that year, and none knocked on the door last year.
I had been considering going out this year so that we wouldn’t be home if kids came knocking and so I wouldn’t have to deal with Angie’s incessant questions about what the kids were doing, why they’d dressed up, and couldn’t she also go around collecting sweets?
I also know that avoidance is not the answer. Instead of taking part in the trick or treating, I was inspired to bake “Jesus Loves You” cookies as a way of giving the Gospel to those who knocked on our door.
My all-time favourite cookie recipe is below:
3 ¾ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup margarine, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla essence. Slowly mix in the flour. Cover and chill in the fridge for about an hour. Bake cookies at 190°C until the edges turn a light brown colour (between 4-6 minutes).
We used small pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters and got 33 cookies from one batch of dough. In a concession to the colours of Halloween, we used orange icing.
I wrote John 12:46 on orange pieces of cardboard. I used the same cookie cutter to make the shapes.
When the icing had dried completely, we slipped each cookie and a note into a plastic sandwich bag. I tied it closed with a piece of string.
To ensure that the trick or treaters knew they were welcome at our house, I made a Jesus Lantern from orange cardboard and stuck it on our front gate.
Angie dressed up as a pirate and Emmy dressed up as a princess.
They got to hand out the “Jesus Loves You” cookies to everyone who came knocking. The girls were so excited about it that they didn’t even question why they were handing out cookies instead of going around with the children.
I made a big thing about telling the girls we weren’t celebrating Halloween but were using the opportunity to hand out the Gospel to everyone who came to our door. Angie really got into the Jesus Lantern and is still talking about the Trinity and the empty tomb.
I think this has become our new non-Halloween Halloween tradition.
Do you have any non-Halloween Halloween traditions?