Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Biblical Halloween?

The other day I was talking to my sister, who lives in N. Carolina, about Halloween. She told me she’d been discussing Halloween activities with some co-workers. They told her the church doesn’t call it a Halloween party but a Fun Fall Festival. The children go to the event dressed as their favorite Bible character. She told them when we were kids our church gave us containers to collect money for UNICEF then we’d go to a party at the church dressed as anything we liked. Now I ask you which seems more of a Christian ideal- dressing up as a Bible character or collecting money to help others?

Afterwards I wondered what a biblical themed party would be like. I imagined walking into a room with all these miniature “apostles” donned in old sheets with their dad’s raggy work shirts that have had the collar and cuffs removed layered over the sheet and cinched around their middles with a bit of rope. They are all running about. There’s an adult saying to a little boy “And who are you?” The boy holds up a hunk of netting and says, “I’m James”. “Gee, I thought you were Andrew” replies the adult. Really, I think. How could you tell one from the other? And how many Marys and angels can one party hold? This place was packed with them. Ok so there are other roles for girls if you include the Old Testament but many churches emphasize the New Testement which, like back then kind of sucks if you’re a female, few choices.

Then I visualize the smart-ass teenager doing his impression of Jesus turning the water into wine by spiking the punch. In the corner, boys are throwing wadded up paper towels at someone recreating the stoning of Paul. I see another little boy lying on the ground being told to get up. ”No”, he says. “I’m Lazawus. I haven’t been wesuwected yet.” Though his miss-pronunciations are adorable he’s yanked up by the arm by his mom. “You are now,” she says.

All right maybe my imagination took off a bit. (I personally like when that happens) The party is not like this at all. There are games and food for the children to enjoy. They’re safe. And probably more than a few, though frowned upon by the church, have gone trick or treating. Whatever you think of the day I hope you enjoy it.



  1. I'm thinking the most charitable party is the one that entertains the children by allowing them to dress in the costume of their choice after they've collected money to help those most in need. But that's just me. :-/

    I do love the way your imagination took off, though. Fun. :-) We'll be manning the door for much of the day and early evening then we'll head out as a family - if the 16 year old will let us - for some candy collections. lol

    Have a great Halloween, Donna!

  2. Debbie, if the 16 year old won't allow you to go with him, go out by yourself. I did that about 3 years ago. I also went out last year with our daughter who's 27 years old. We had one old woman complain we were too old but she gave us candy anyway.
    Hey at least we were in costume and said trick or treat, not like some of the teenagers who came to our door.

  3. I'm glad the churches provide an alternative for kids who may not otherwise get to enjoy the occasion. (Although I think some take things too far with the Hell scenarios I've heard about.) And yes I'm aware of the origins of the holiday, but I just don't believe that it is a bad thing to let children have a spooky good time. They obviously don't know the origins nor or they celebrating anything bad. They just want to have fun, scare and be scared. Yep. I'm a Christian and this is my personal opinion -- not trying to offend anyone.

  4. I agree Rhoda. That's how it was when I was a kid - we just wanted to have fun. I was just going to the extreme with the church party. Like I said the churches provide food, games and the children are safe. That's what matters. I guess what threw me, to begin with, was what my sister told me about their view on Halloween even when she told them how we used to collect for UNICEF. To me, helping of other children while we had fun was a good lesson to learn.

  5. My youngest goes to Christian school and they sent out a flyer asking parents not to allow their kids to wear costumes to school. *shrugs* It is what it is I guess. Out of fear of them ruining their costumes in school, I wouldn't think about sending them anyway. That policy didn't bother me as much as their new policy to not allow you to bring cupcakes to school anymore on their birthdays because of allergies and whatnot. Devastated!! ;)

  6. If I remember correctly, when I went to school we weren't allowed to wear costumes. That was for after. So

    I don't understand the whole no cupcake deal. Well I do but it seems a bit unreasonable. The teachers know which kid has allergies etc. Are there that many children with food allergies now. If so, is it just a matter of increased population that the numbers increase so or is there another reason - environmental maybe or something else.

    I'm sure the kids weren't happy with that decree either.