Trick or Treat?

Smiling children in Halloween costumes together

By Gene A. Getz
          Halloween poses a challenge for Christian parents. Without question, this special day has its roots in paganism and the belief in evil spirits and attempts to appease them.
At some point in time, children began participating in the tradition of “trick or treating”—which has no association with appeasing evil spirits. Children today are simply dressing up to have a good time going from home to home to secure treats. In fact, in our neighborhood, parents often accompany their children—watching at a distance.
Yes, there is the long range connection with witches and goblins. But as Christian parents we can usually circumvent this association by having our children dress up in costumes that reflect more of the Disney mentality.
Personally, I believe as parents we must be careful not to “win a battle and lose the war” when it comes to Halloween. If we forbid our children from participating at all, it may only create more intrigue. Or, for some children, it creates unusual Smiling children in Halloween costumes togetherdisappointment since many of their friends participate. And, in some cases, our children not only respect our decision, but try to “evangelize” their friends to have the same opinion—which can lead to conflict and rejection—and even alienation among parents.
Elaine and I have always felt this was a great opportunity to show hospitality—and even share the Gospel with an attractive tract designed for children. With that tract, we’ve enlarged our “treat”—for example, a full size bar of candy or a good size package of popcorn they can put in their microwave. As you can imagine, word spreads—and we have an even bigger audience and greater opportunity.
Regarding our grandchildren, it’s a highlight when they stop by! Because of their parents, they certainly know this event is not pagan but a fun time for the whole family!
Just some ideas to think about!

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