“Do you do Halloween?”
“Do you Trick or Treat?”
“Are you letting your kids Trick or Treat this year?”
“Why can’t we Trick or Treat?!?!? It’s just Candy and Fun!!!”
Those are the questions that have swirled through our 30 years of parenting Octobers. Being a family of conservative christian belief and choosing to raise our children in an even more conservative circle of christian homeschooling families has afforded us the opportunity to be all over the board of options for October 31st. We have taken full advantage of those options.
Our first baby’s due was October 31st 1986.
I was sad.
i did not want our child to share it’s day of celebrating the gift of life with the darkness that i viewed as October 31st.
I am not certain when or where i adopted the “dark” perspective on halloween. As children we celebrated with all the gusto of every other happy little family in our quaint little hometown of Wadena settled deep in Northern Minnesota wholesomeness. Actually not EVERY family celebrated, there was that one weird, crabby family that answered their door when we goblins approached and greeted us with “We have no treats, we do not celebrate Halloween, we do not believe in it.” They were probably neither crabby or weird but we didn’t know them, they attended some church on the other side of town and if you didn’t have candy you must be weird or crabby, probably both! Some years we avoided the home in fear they may capture us and attempt to save us from our wayward ways, other years we approached cautiously just to be certain they had not seen the light and come to the fun side.
Back to our journey in the Fisch pond…In 1986 our first Baby Boy Travis had the good sense to arrive a week late making our first celebration of new life November 7th not October 31st. i was relieved.
Somehow after that little man was placed in our arms this mama decided to protect this perfect, precious little one trusted to our guardianship from all pain, evil, darkness, fear, suffering, and negative influence. Halloween fell into that group of concerns for me and we started our parenting journey as a basement dwelling, light dimming, buy our own candy and watch a happy movie family. Our kids were fairly unexposed to the adventures outside and didn’t resist with much vigor.
Tim has wisely and carefully chose his battles in leading our home. i can be a force that is not easily directed, if the battle matters Tim fights it, if it isn’t a deal breaker in the area of foundational truths for our home, you are likely to hear Tim casually say… “Whatever you think Kaye, you did the research.” October 31st was a day that Tim has historically just waited to see what the plan would be for this year.
We evolved from basement candy hoarders to alternative party attenders. Our kids were getting wiser and not as content in the basement, so i worked to create other “fun” options.
When our children were elementary age some of our dearest family friends were visiting from out of town over the 31st. They are a sincere and committed bible believing family.
We respect them deeply.
They trick or treat.
As the neighborhood came alive with costumed kiddo’s our three little visitors asked our four Fisch kids when they were going to get their costumes out.
All 7 kids came as a united pack and asked the two mama’s (daddies were hunting or fishing somewhere) if they could go trick or treating? My friend looked at me allowing me to take the lead in our response. I could not think of any sensible reason why the kids should not put on dress up costumes from our play trunk and walk to our friendly neighbor’s homes to collect treats. i also could not come up with a way i could take a stand against the tradition without hurting and confusing our dear friends who absolutely loved their Jesus deeply, yet were completely peaceful with this tradition for their children. So the 7 kids joyfully dressed up, collected candy, shared their goods with their mamas and we all lived happily ever after, causing me to ponder deeper why i made navigating this day so complex.
Through a series of yearly processes we have come to enjoy dress-up. Enjoy candy. Enjoy fellowship and laughs and squeals with friends, neighbors, grand babies and complete strangers.
You really don’t want to waste time reading the nitty gritty details of our family journey. Those details will look different for each home.
Hearts that love our Lord deeply, a deep desire to share HIS love with our world and a confident peace in our Lord’s love and direction have been the guiding steps in our journey.
Here are two excellent article that lay out one way of looking at and using the 31st of October for His Kingdom. They are worth reading.
Whatever our plans and convictions for this day, let’s be certain that if we are claiming our Lord is worthy of our worship, praise and devotion that the world watching is seeing a love and joy that is worthy of being desired.