Every year, on October 31, Christian and I, with the blessing of our wives, force our respective kids into costumed servitude all so we can collect enough processed sugar to put an elephant into a diabetic coma. We drag our children door-to-door, forcing them to knock on strangers’ doors in hopes of gathering enough chocolate to put our pancreases into overdrive until Thanksgiving. If parents attempted this any other day of the year, they’d be arrested for trespassing.
The plaid dads freely admit to participating in the yearly Halloween shenanigans. Some of you will disagree, and that’s fine. We’re not trying to retread well-worn ground with this post. We simply want to share some of the reasons we do. So here are three reasons why we choose to participate in Halloween.
First, it’s a great chance to meet neighbors. Halloween is the best day of the year to meet your neighbors because of the culturally accepted practice of taking your kids door-to-door in your neighborhood to collect candy. We’ve met several of our neighbors during Halloween, and now they are our friends. Every year, we throw a big Halloween party. Christian friends, non-Christian friends, neighbors, and families all come over and we have a blast. We all dress up, we eat, and we play games.
Second, it’s an excellent opportunity to be generous. If you stay at home during Halloween, get some really good candy to give away. Don’t be “that house” that hands out toothbrushes, fruit, carrot sticks, or Bible tracts. Be really generous and put a big smile on the faces of the kids who stop by.
Third, it’s a time to be light in darkness. As Christians, we believe that God is bringing all things back to himself, and that we should take advantage of opportunities to be light. Halloween is a great chance to take a day with a dark history and use it for good. Many churches do this through Fall Festivals and Trunk-and-Treat. We can do so as families through trick-or-treating with other families, throwing a party, or being generous to those kids who knock on our doors (although if you’re sixteen or older, dressed in your regular clothes, and holding a Wal-Mart bag, you should get a job and buy your own stupid candy).
Halloween isn’t a day to fear. It’s a day for fun, candy, family, friends, and fun. But mostly candy. Especially Reese cups.
What are some ways your family participates in Halloween? How can Christians do a better job of being light on Halloween? Give us your feedback in the comments.
Aaron Saufley is a husband and dad who happens to moonlight as a hospice chaplain and preacher. He thinks Netflix is the greatest human invention next to pizza. He loves hanging out with his family, and when he has the time he also enjoys writing, a good cigar, craft root beer, smoking a mean rack of baby backs, movies, and trying not to die while running. Follow Aaron on twitter.