Nothing can cause a controversy like filling a room with parents and asking them to dialogue on Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Halloween.
I grew up in a Christian home. And while my parents certainly did not introduce us to the ‘culture of death’ often surrounding Halloween, they did follow a model for interacting with culture that I hope I can communicate to my children – a model that redeems holidays for a biblical purpose.
To help redeem Halloween, here are four resources for teaching your kids about Halloween (or at least jack-o-lanterns and the history surrounding Oct. 31):
Last year, I found “The Pumpkin Prayer“ online while searching for some Christ-centered activities for Halloween. I was surprised at how easy the prayer was to repeat and explain. We used it as we carved our pumpkin, pointing out how Christ changes the way we feel, see, and speak. It is pretty much the picture of sanctification spoken through the image of pumpkin! Check it out!
The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
This year, my mother-in-law sent the boys this cute book. It is similar in nature to “The Pumpkin Prayer,” but it uses biblical imagery of the harvest to showcase God’s grand purposes for all his children.
We enjoyed the book all the more because we visited several “pumpkin patches” this year, and the twins had fun pointing out parts of the story they saw in the pumpkin fields. This book would make a great gift even for non-believing families because it presents the story of the pumpkin farmer in parable format making for an enjoyable read.
While it might be too late to order The Pumpkin Patch Parable to incorporate in your pumpkin activities this year, you can still download the kindle version and read it to your kids tonight!
Did you know that Oct. 31 is also another significant holiday? It is the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg. This world-changing day in the life of church history is known as Reformation Day. One of my absolute favorite websites, When You Rise, has some great resources for teaching your children about this day and what it means for them! The site offers some great book recommendations as well as some fun activities and really cute printables!
If you’re thinking of avoiding trick-or-treating this year, you might want to check out this article on DesiringGod.com about All Hallows’ Eve and the origination of some Halloween activities. Listen to this excerpt from the post about the origin of children donning costumes to beg for candy:
“As for trick-or-treating, some claim that marking All Hallows’ Eve may have originated as just such an occasion to ‘trick’ Satan, the most prideful of all creatures, by giving him what is most offensive to his arrogance: mockery. As Luther would say, ‘The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn. That prideful devil.”
Whether you agree or disagree with the author’s explanation of the origin of trick-or-treating, the post compels parents to think through how they celebrate certain holidays in their homes and how their activities can better center on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
What activities do you do with your kids around Halloween? Share your ideas in the comments!
For information about the links in this post, click here.