Last week as I picked up the little one from Nursery, I spotted the notice on the board requesting that kids should come dressed up as a Halloween character on the 31st of October. My heart sank for a couple of reasons:
- Lack of desire or time to go costume shopping for a 1 year old
- Halloween is not a period I celebrate or observe in any way
That said, I don’t want him feeling like he’s missing out as he gets older. This got me thinking about traditions we could start that wasn’t Halloween-centred and would hopefully make lasting memories.
After a brief brainstorming session and some Googling, I came up with the following shortlist:
It’s no secret that Halloween is big on dressing up so why not choose positive characters instead of skeletons and the like.
Some Christians sites suggest dressing up as characters from the Bible forgetting that the Devil, Witchcraft and Spirits are also mentioned in there. Sticking to positive characters hopefully covers all bases. I’m thinking cute animals, superheroes, angels, shepherds or other humans.
Growing up, I don’t remember dressing up for anything apart from trying on my parents clothes at home. This may explain my lack of enthusiasm for costume-making/acquisition.
Parties with a twist
To avoid being invited to Halloween parties, host your own with a positive vibe. Maybe incorporate some positive dressing up (see above). Play non-spooky games. Drink “normal” coloured beverages instead of fluorescent gloop. Eat food you recognise rather than those made to look like it’s been regurgitated by a an unwashed troll. Do Trolls wash? Anyways, you get the idea. Maybe host it somewhere public where you can invite kids in the community too. Could be a great event for a Church.
Treats with a message
If hosting your own party is too adventurous, go reverse treating with a pack of sweets and a nice message included. A memory verse perhaps. What on earth is reverse treating? Well, it’s my made up term for door to door to give treats instead of receiving them. Could be fun with the kids and they could dress up too (again positively).
Alternatively, prep your pack, stay at home and hand them out if trick or treaters come knocking. Probably best to not binge on the sweets in one night if you don’t get any callers though.
Pumpkin Picking and Carving
Pumpkin picking is a fun event to do with kids but instead of carving scary faces, try a happy one or make them into Christmas lights. You could go to town on this one. For a Gospel element, symbols like the cross would go down well and memory verses too.
If inviting others, maybe get them to bring to already-hollowed out pumpkins to save on the mess 😉
If you are not up for socialising or talking to strangers then why not make it an intimate family gathering. Perhaps watch a movie from the non-horror genre together of course, play a fun game (you know, the one that takes too long but is actually quite fun) or plan Christmas (yes I said the C word in October).
There you have it. Some ideas for alternative activities for Halloween if that’s your preference. If it were up to me, I would simply let the occasion pass me by as I didn’t grow up in an environment that celebrated Halloween. However, I appreciate that having a children may throw you into uncharted territory so I’m willing to be flexible as long as my beliefs are not compromised. I mean who came up with Hell Houses as a Church event? Dan Edelen has an interesting take on all of this and even compares Halloween activities with the Alternatives.
Have you had or are you planning an alternative Halloween event? If so, let me know what is and why.