My mom made everything a celebration growing up. I remember putting up decorations for several holidays a year, including Halloween. Until one year, when my mom said we weren’t decorating for Halloween anymore. We were allowed to trick or treat like we always had, but we couldn’t dress up as witches or zombies or anything creepy.
My mom’s change of thought on Halloween came from reading more about the origins of the holiday. I respected her stance, but I noticed that, within my small Christian school, each parent had different guidelines. Some kids were gung ho about spooky Halloween stuff. Another one held an autumn “costume party” every year but couldn’t trick or treat. One kid wasn’t allowed to participate at all.
Which parents were right? Halloween gets a lot of debate each year from the Christian community. Jesus didn’t give us a handbook of trick-or-treating guidelines. He did, however, give us the handbook of his Word, as well as the freedom to use his Word and faith-filled discernment to make good choices. Like Elihu encourages in Job 34:4, rather than listening to what others say (on Halloween or anything else), let’s consult God’s truth to form our stance: “Let us discern for ourselves what is right.”
In the case of Halloween, I think “what is right” is going to look different from one Christian to another, especially among parents of young ones. I admire each Christian parent who makes a thoughtful, informed choice on Halloween, regardless of their differences.