This is the Future

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How to make Halloween fun (but not scary)

As a Christian, there is much debate about whether we should celebrate/endorse Halloween.  As many call it the “Devil’s Day”, there are some legitimate concerns with the scares of this Hallowed Day.  The zombies, spiders, witches, ghosts shown on television and in stores can terrify young children and can have parents shy away from the holiday entirely.

In high school, I used to love scary movies and to the local haunted house.  My parents got more lax as I got older about Halloween, and I was able to hang with friends and be scared.  Now as an adult and a parent, I really dislike all the “scary” parts of Halloween.  I swore off scary movies after seeing one too many in college.  I really don’t like zombies (other than the goofy Plants vs Zombies game).  I really, really hate spiders.

And as a Christian, I definitely don’t like the constant references to witchcraft or dark spirits, because I do believe those exist and can really mess up people.  However, even with these cautions toward Halloween, I still choose to dress up, trick or treat and enjoy the day.  Here are some quick tips how to avoid the scary and still have a good time on Halloween.

1. Don’t watch scary movies.  You might be tempted to introduce your children to some scary movies on Halloween night, but do you really want to spend the rest of the night calming your children’s fears?   There are some great “Halloween” themed movies and shows that aren’t scary, such as Charlie Brown’s the Great Pumpkin or your favorite tv show special.  We personally love the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Halloween special, which is not scary in the slightest.

2. Choose your costumes wisely.  You never know what might scare your kid, so if you know they have a fear of monsters, dressing up as Sully from Monsters Inc may be a bad idea.  Figure out what works for your family.  This year, my son and I will be spending the day rocking our Ninja Turtles costume hoodies.

3. Make it a fun night. Even if you aren’t planning on trick or treating for a variety of reasons, you can still have tons of fun with family and friends.  Invite some friends or neighbors over to play board games (themed if you like), dress up, and put on some Star Wars or LOTR.  I LOVE Halloween for this reason: an excuse to dress up and hang out with friends/family/neighbors.

I don’t believe Halloween should scare us out of our wits especially if we have children.  It can be a fun day if we avoid the scary things and explain to our kids the difference between make believe and reality.  Sure, evil things do happen on Halloween, but it’s not like evil stops every other day.  By having a fun night and dressing up, we aren’t endorsing or celebrating evil.  Just like an atheist isn’t endorsing Christ if they have a Christmas tree.  Let’s have fun, be neighborly, and celebrate fellowship.