When a dear friend of mine who lives in different state mentioned to me that she was going to be back in NJ for Halloween and asked if we wanted to go trick or treating with her family, a part of me wanted to jump all in just to be with them, since I haven’t seen her in over a year. The other part of me won over where I simply told her we don’t celebrate it (though I did offer her to stop by for a bit or meet up for slight time to spend together in general). I wanted to list some reasons why we don’t celebrate the holiday.
1. Most candy involves slave labor
I can’t help but hold on to my convictions about the sadness involved in cocoa fields where nearly 2 million children work in parts of Central & South America or Ghana exposed to pesticides and grueling hours of hard labor. Many children are marked by scars from beatings of not making quota or trying to escape the hardships. Although there are Fair Trade companies like Equal Exchange which sells kits of small chocolates for Halloween, and while there are alternatives in general, I just can’t find myself wanting to sugar up children.
2. Candy is just not good for kids
I allow my children to have one snack per day. Sometimes these are delicious cookies and other times they are popcorn. There are other days they just don’t have any snacks at all. I think about all the child obesity issues in our country and it bothers me that we tell children it is okay to fill up on candies on Halloween. Because I am strict with my rule, they wouldn’t get through all that candy and I’d be the one to eat some of it, and I don’t really want to have them eating such unhealthy things in general.
3. Stranger Danger
Our culture goes about training their children to not trust or talk to strangers yet they allow them to go up to houses and ask for food from those they have not built a relationship with? I see churches or schools that do those “Trunk or Treat” things but instead of a door they are going up to a trunk of a car? How is this different? Keep in mind I am ahead of Resources for Justice Network and I have read loads of things about people easily trusting strangers with their children and putting them into sex and labor trafficking work. Perhaps I am being over protective, but there are better ways of getting to know the neighbors and sharing food or faith with them, and this one is not the way I believe to do it. We never know who may be a predator scoping out the neighborhood kids or what. I would like to be able to trust in all people, but I have known children who have been molested, and some were people they were even told to trust. Caution is a good thing to have for your children, just as you have in driving. Be careful to look around before you make your next move. I trust in God who has placed these children in my care to raise before I let them go to make their own decisions. They are like little sheep who frolic and play and need to be watched and guided to the right place so wolves won’t get to them.
4. Materialism Bugs Me
I’m a minimalist friends. Why would I spend $50 on an outfit my child is going to wear one time? Now if they were creative and made costumes themselves, that is an interesting way to do it which you don’t see happening these days much, but really, I am not a spender of money on frivolous things that will also be made with slave labor. I might know how to sew quilts, but I don’t know how to sew clothing well at all and fabric costs even more money than I intend to spend again on something to be used once.
5. My Kids Don’t Care
That’s right. They haven’t asked to go out yet. My older son was taken around to a very small apartment area with my in-laws ages ago by simply wearing a railroad conductor’s hat, but he didn’t really like it. It kinda scared him back then, so I didn’t do it again. If my boys want candy I will buy them limited amounts of it without things going to waste. If they want to dress up throughout the year for fun, so be it. I have worn clothing from various time periods for fun, myself. Why follow a crowd when you can be the individual? At this point they aren’t interested. It is their Aunt’s birthday on Halloween. They like celebrating her birth instead. Maybe one day they will ask me if they can get candy. We’ll get to that when and if it even happens, but at this point, my boys are fine with staying home.
6. Evil is as evil does
I used to go to Harvest Festivals as a child which were a costume parties where kids were told they could dress as nice things and not evil mean things in order to try to tell unbelieving children about Jesus who may have never heard of Him before. I went as a princess one year, Tweety bird another, Dorothy Gale another, and an angel one year even (I stopped going after that). Regardless, in learning the background origins of Halloween, we know that masks were something that were created to try to trick evil spirits into wanting to harm you. You can’t trick any evil spirits, which we think are demons. They are older, more cunning, and smarter than I. We don’t even want to try to flirt with evil at all. You can’t truly redeem something that is evil with something nice. You can only cut it off. Jesus cast demons out of people. He didn’t tell the demon possessed to try to do their best to live with the demons as if to dress them up pretty-like to hide the darkness in them. He didn’t say, “Wow you demons are so cool! I want to try to dress to look like you too!” The holiday was created specifically because of spiritual darkness and fearfulness and we should not have a spirit of fear within us, but one filled with light to trust in God to lead. If I flirt with things not of God, I believe I am allowing spiritual darkness to enter my life. We are called to holy pure lives void of darkness. Simple as that. There is nothing “cute” about Halloween.
7. We celebrate life, not death
The origin of Halloween is to basically conjure the dead back up and to try to get your ancestors’ spirits to harm your enemies, etc. Trick or treating was not very nice when it originated, and if you didn’t get a treat, you were to do something mean to the person. I see graves and gruesome decorations everywhere I go. There is a house in my parents’ neighborhood that has sheets hung over their fence with red paint to look like blood on them and plastic limbs hanging over the sides. Is this cool? No. Recently there was a real dead body hanging around that people casually passed by thinking was a decoration because we have adjusted to this disgusting practice of celebrating horror, but then if real horror happens we just pass it by and not care? Jesus defeated death! He came back to life from a very painful death. That is cool!