Sorry, this post isn't actually about Harry Potter. We just thought this photo of us representing our respective HP houses was a fun Halloween photo! What this post is about is how we approach and celebrate Halloween as followers of Jesus. We invite you to read and we invite you into our conversation!
For many of us deciding on whether or not to celebrate or in our case how to celebrate Halloween, can be daunting. It can cause us to question whether we are being too stringent in trying to change too much or too flippant in not changing enough.
How to celebrate Halloween as Christians will most likely be a lifelong study for us and we’ve made peace with that! Some of the practices or activities we participated in, in the past are not the same activities we choose now, and the activities we choose now may not be activities we participate in, in the future.
Even as sisters, we don’t have the same views on celebrating Halloween because we don’t have the same personal convictions. In the past, we’ve decorated with ghosts, spider webs, skeletons, and anything that fits the season. Now we give a little more thought to the Halloween decor we bring into our home and it normally falls into the category of fall. We carved pumpkins growing up and we’ve had discussions about whether we would carve now or in the future. Keyen is leaning on the side of yes and I (Ricca) am leaning on the side of no. The history behind carving pumpkins is worth looking into. Questioning if we can truly change the root meaning of a tradition is what has us conflicted in our decisions.
Our personal opinions around Halloween are minor and while we enjoy having conversations like this, we try our best to refrain from judgment and we keep an open mind as we discuss each other’s convictions. If we have a strong conviction towards a certain practice, we respect each other by not questioning those convictions. What’s important is that Jesus remains at the center of our lives and that we are constantly and consistently being transformed and conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 12:2)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16 NIV)
In Matthew 5:13-16, following The Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus provides us with The Beatitudes, we are given two metaphors to describe how we are to be on earth and in the world. The verse in which believers are called to be the salt of the earth reminds us to be grounded in who we are as Christians. If we don't lose our saltiness, we are useful. The verse in which believers are called to be the light of the world reminds us to be in the world, not to hide. So as we celebrate a non-Christian holiday we keep these verses in mind. We celebrate Halloween mindfully and we have fun. Below are a few of our favorite Halloween traditions.
Halloween Open House
When Keyen and I were younger, we would always make sure to stop at Mrs. Marlene's house for homemade caramel popcorn. She would only give the homemade treats to those she knew (for safety) and it made us feel special. One year we went to our neighbor’s house and were invited inside for the first time to pick from her treat table. The table was decorated so nicely and was filled with candy and all kinds of other homemade goodies. We had some of the best sugar cookies, ever, and the experience was one we will never forget.
A few years later, we also started making Halloween treats to share with neighbors and friends. The treats have evolved throughout the years and sometimes strangers will even take us up on our offer to eat homemade treats. This open house-style Halloween night allows for more conversation and good memories with people we don’t always get to see regularly.
Trick or Treating
Now that Keyen has a little one, we are tabling our Halloween open house for this year and he will be trick-or-treating for the first time! Keyen set boundaries around his Halloween costume, nothing evil and demonic, so he chose a good guy from one of his favorite video games. One thing I observed as an auntie was how well she taught him how to use his manners and made sure to thank each person who was passing out at our community trunk-or-treat.
I look forward to walking around the neighborhoods in our community and making memories with the two of them!
Lastly, Halloween is a good day to make delicious food for your family and/or friends! For us, we make a version of our childhood church’s slightly sweet beef chili sauce. Every year our church had a Hallelujah party in lieu of a Halloween party. We dressed up (holy costumes encouraged) played games, ate candy, and were served the most delicious chili dogs and chips! Thankfully a church member was able to provide us with a recipe years later that we adapted only slightly.
You can check out that recipe here!
What food traditions do you have on Halloween that you look forward to every year? Let us know in the comment section below! Looking for fall recipes? Purchase our fall cookbook today!
This blog post will probably live on our website for a long time. We will probably update it every year and that’s okay with us. We are learning theology is a lifelong practice. We will be studying God’s revelation for our entire lives within a community and with faith. So let us know in the comments below what you think of this blog post. Do you celebrate Halloween? What traditions do you have?
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