Before you dive in: Read our related article on whether Christians should celebrate Halloween to help you think through this bigger question first.
Should Christian parents allow their children to go trick-or-treating? How should a Christian family decide about Halloween?
Consider this question I received:
We are fairly new to Canada. The country we moved from did not celebrate Halloween. We are trying to discern, as a family, how to approach Halloween from a Christian perspective.
How would you think through a question like this for your family?
How should parents make decisions about Halloween?
Ultimately parents need to discern and decide what is best for their children and their family. Biblically I don’t feel that I can argue dogmatically one way or the other.
I would say however, that the biblical principles laid out by Paul help us ask some important questions when deciding what to do. (For these principles, read our article about whether Christians should celebrate Halloween.)
In addition to these biblical principles, and the accompanying questions to ask yourself about participating in Halloween, also think through the following family-specific question when deciding.
How do your children feel about Halloween?
Conversely, are they showing an unhealthy fascination with some of the dark or evil elements of Halloween?
Have they ever expressed concern or fear about some of the scarier facets of Halloween?
If so, I would take that as a sign that taking part isn’t a good idea for them. Doing so may be akin to causing them to stumble as Paul mentioned, since their feelings of fear could very well be the Holy Spirit’s way of protecting them.
And feeling of fascination may be an early warning sign that they’re susceptible to dabbling in the occult.
How should you explain your decision about Halloween to your kids?
Should you decide not to participate in Halloween activities and need to explain why to your kids, here are some possible talking points:
- “Some people see Halloween as only dressing up and trick-or-treating. But there are others we know who see it as a time to think about or even celebrate evil things like talking to demons. Because of this, we don’t feel it’s honouring Jesus for us to take part, or for people we know to think that we think these things are ok. Does that make sense?”
- “Some parts of Halloween seem harmless, like trick-or-treating. But some people associate it with evil things like witches and demons. I’ve asked God to give me (us) wisdom about whether we should participate as a family, and he just hasn’t allowed me to feel ok with it. I take that as an answer from him, and so I’m going to trust him that this just isn’t something we should take part in. Can you understand that?”
What should you do if you aren’t going to participate in Halloween?
Some churches hold Halloween alternative events, which is great if you’re not taking part, but still want your kids to feel like they’re doing something special when their other school friends are trick-or-treating.
If not, plan something else as a family. You don’t want to be around the house anyway while dressed up kids are ringing your doorbell asking for candy. Plan an outing like a movie or bowling. Or plan on getting together with like-minded friends for a game night.
Originally published Sep 24, 2018, updated Oct 28, 2020.
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