My oldest just turned two in August, and we just added two newborns to the mix this month. October is full of fall colors and festivals and the delicious Starbucks PSL. This is the month Anne Shirley paid homage to in Anne of Green Gables, saying, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” This month where the air gets crisper, the days shorter, and I basically get to wear a cozy blanket around my neck everyday in the form of my favorite scarf.
Now that I’m a mom, I love sharing the fall months with my family. I love the thought of playing in leaves and exploring pumpkin patches with my two year old. But, as a Christian, there is controversy every last day of October—Halloween. This is my first year having to take sides on this terribly divisive holiday.
I remember when I worked as a church receptionist, a woman who visited the office was looking at the calendar and remarked in an interested tone, “Oh! Halloween falls on a Sunday this year!” She suddenly gasped, catching herself in some terrible faux pas. “Excuse me. I should say Harvest falls on a Sunday.”
As relatively new Christian in my early 20s, I was perplexed. She treated the holiday name like one of so many curse words. Just the name! And while I have since come to learn of the background of the holiday, and the associated evil, I’m still not sure I fully understand her reaction.
With 3 little children of my own, I am fiercely determined to teach them of our great God and His great goodness, yet they must also learn not to mess with the real evil that exists in this world and the supernatural realm. But I have to say, as October 31 approaches, I don’t see how letting my son dress up like Super Why will impede his spiritual growth or understanding of these incredibly important issues.
This year, he’s only 2, and he just likes Super Why. And he just likes candy, and walking around with his parents and aunts and uncles on outings. So this year we will celebrate (if this mama of twin newborns has the energy). Next year? I don’t know.
For me, this issue isn’t doesn’t involve making a forever decision for my family. It’s not that black and white. I fully understand the seriousness of this topic. I also understand how seriously many of my friends take their decision to either participate or not. There are strong arguments either way.
From where I’m standing, I see black and white, but also a lot of grey. I see a 2 year old boy who just got ousted as the only child and could use a night of fun with mom and dad to make him feel special. The sacrifice of energy on our part will hopefully instill in him some deep, meaningful lifelong beliefs. “My parents love me deeply. I am special to them and what I am interested in (Super Why) matters to them, too. They love me so deeply that they spent a night out that was all about me, not my newborn sisters, not their work or other life priorities, just me.” This year, that’s what Halloween will mean to him.
Next year? I don’t know. When he’s 9 or 13 or 20? I have no idea. For me, in my house, Halloween will only have the importance we give it. I hope that each year my focus is more on my God and my family than on a principle or precedent or peer pressure. If one year I feel personally convicted to abstain from the holiday, that’s between me and my God. If the next year I do not, again that’s between me and Jesus.
If one year it means silly costumes and family fun, I can live with that. If another year my girls decide to shop for short skirts and revealing tops or my son wants to participate in vandalism or other harmful holiday “fun,” well, now we need to have a conversation.
But perhaps the last evening of October will give us, as a family, the opportunity to strengthen family bonds and show others the love of Christ through hospitality and fellowship. To live out our faith, to shine bright our Light in the darkness, to live among non-believers and redeem a potentially unholy Holiday. That’s a worthy goal.
This year, my son is 2, so I just want him to have fun. I’ll leave the deep theological debate for age 3.
Hi there! I'm Marie Osborne, a blogger, wife, & stay-at-home mom who loves Jesus & laughs often (rather loudly, usually at myself). But more importantly, I'm here in the trenches right beside you, candidly sharing my sinner's journey, running after Jesus, stubbornly committed to my marriage, battling my sin nature as I strive for grace-filled motherhood, and daily wrapping myself in His mercy, comfort and love. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to be encouraged, challenged, and laugh together. Visit my website to read more!