The Halloween season can present a dilemma for Christians. While we desire to be active in our communities and share our faith, we may feel conflicted about some of the holiday’s symbols. Halloween’s darker imagery, black cats, and jack-o’ lanterns have no connection to Christianity. This creates a common question about whether Christians should celebrate Halloween.
However, it’s difficult to object to the innocence of children enjoying the holiday. Imagine a baby dressed up as a cute green pea, a young firefighter, or a ballerina knocking on your door. There’s no ill intent there. Instead of focusing on the holiday’s darker aspects, we can choose to embrace the spirit of generosity that underlies neighborhood traditions.
We must encourage acts of kindness and shape the holiday around us. This will help our children enjoy Halloween in a positive way.
Christians Celebrate Halloween Using Radical Generosity
One Christian family faced a dilemma every year during the Halloween season. They did not feel comfortable participating in the holiday’s spooky symbols. However, they did not want to shut down their home to visitors. They expressed that they wanted to show their neighbors that they cared for them, regardless of the day or month. Therefore, they put their own spin on the holiday by practicing “radical generosity.”
They distributed full-sized candy bars to all who came to their door. In the first year, they gave away 300 candy bars. This grew to 800 the next year — and over a thousand the following year. The family did not spend their own money on the treats. Instead, they enlisted college students from their church group to raise funds for the giveaway.
While doing so, they involved these young Christians in the festivities. As such, their house became a popular destination in the neighborhood on Halloween night.
Be Compassionate of Others to Celebrate Halloween
A few years back, a 15-year-old boy from San Diego demonstrated the value of generosity that his family had instilled in him during Halloween. While trick-or-treating with other kids, they arrived at a house with an empty candy bowl.
Lawrence Malot thought about the kids who would come later and be disappointed. He took a generous handful of candy from his bag and placed it into the bowl as he left. When his identity was revealed, Lawrence and his family were featured on the local television station as a shining example of the proper holiday spirit.
This heartwarming account has undoubtedly helped many people believe that they live in a kinder world.
Christians Celebrating Halloween: A Biblical Case
While some Christians may question whether participating in Halloween and trick or treating is in line with their faith, the Bible does not have any specific prohibition against these activities. In fact, the Bible teaches that it is acceptable to participate in cultural traditions, as long as they do not conflict with one’s faith.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” This verse demonstrates that Christians can participate in cultural practices as a way to connect with people and share their faith. Moreover, trick or treating can be seen as a way of showing kindness and generosity towards one’s community.
The Bible encourages believers to love their neighbors and to be hospitable. In Luke 10:27, Jesus commands his followers to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and in Hebrews 13:2, Christians are instructed to “show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
In addition, many Christian organizations have found creative ways to incorporate trick-or-treating into their outreach efforts. For example, some churches organize “Trunk or Treat” events, where volunteers decorate their cars and hand out candy to children in a safe and controlled environment. This allows Christians to participate in the fun and community aspect of trick or treating while also sharing their faith and building relationships with their neighbors.
Christians Can Celebrate Halloween By Showing Gratitude
Giving can be motivated by various reasons such as providing care for those in need, expressing community membership, or showing gratitude. Operation Gratitude exemplifies the latter mode of giving by collecting wrapped Halloween candy and personal letters from trick-or-treaters.
These donations are sent to service members overseas. This educates American children about service, sacrifice, and generosity. Lt. Col. (ret.) and CEO of Operation Gratitude, Kevin Schmiegel, highlights the importance of the Halloween Candy Give-Back Program in teaching children about these values.
While the origins of Halloween are complex, historians suggest that it began as a celebration of the harvest. This concept is still relevant today as we appreciate the bounty that God provides from the earth He created.
Speaking of which, did you know that you can increase giving in your ministry — regardless of the time of the year — by improving engagement? DonorWerx can help. Schedule a Discovery Call with our giving experts today to learn more.