Give Them Potatoes

Congratulations, internet. You have rendered my loud mouth speechless.

When I started getting ‘likes’ on my TroubleFaceMom Facebook page over the weekend, I told my husband that something was wrong. Because my blog is normally a cozy little kumbaya for the friends and family who tolerate me talking too much about my kids. I hadn’t even posted anything in a few weeks. My friend thought I was about to be harassed by a gang of trolls. Then the likes kept coming so I decided to check what was going on around here. It told me that nearly 10,000 people had viewed my blog yesterday.

I died. Surely I must have posted something that angered the beast that is the internet. But what? Between my two blogs, I write about sex, marriage, autism, divorce, affairs, porn, the church, Jesus, demons, angels, faith, and parenting.

The internet is broken.

That was the only explanation I could come up with. This is a mistake. 10,000 people did not view my boring little mommy blog. But you did. And of all things, the thing that has my blog exploding is Halloween. You can read that one here.

Oh. Crap.

I forgot about that post. I wrote it a year ago and it wasn’t a thing. But it’s a thing now, apparently.

Are you joking me?

The internet does not joke. And my friend is all, “you need to write a follow-up!” And I’m all, “the hell I do!”

When I first wrote that blog I thought it might offend people, but not because they were worried about demons chasing me and my kids down the street on Halloween. Somehow, that scenario did not cross my mind. Thanks for that, but no. I thought it might offend people because I’m not a born and raised in church type, and I had this feeling like Halloween is one of those things that people hate and ignore because they’re told to. And sometimes we need to question why we do the things we do. For some of us, it might mean we change the way we do things. For some of us it might not. There are people who have real and valid traumatic associations when it comes to Halloween. There are people who don’t care or can’t be bothered. And that’s fine. My previous blog was addressed more towards people who don’t really know what to do about Halloween. Because it’s changing. Churches are throwing Halloween parties and communities are throwing Halloween parties and there is a real opportunity to meet people, connect, and provide a positive alternative to all the dark and yuck for those who are looking for one.

One of the comments I got about the surge in hits to my blog is that I have angered the Evangelical Right in America with my musings on Halloween. Whoa. The who now? Then I posted the following status update on facebook:

It’s like Christmas came early. People want to argue with me. That’s practically my love language.”

I love a good debate. I’m just not even sure where to start with this one.

This awkward and boring Canadian girl is astounded.

Kind of like that time my Grandpa had kids knocking on his door yelling trick-or-treat! for the first time. And he didn’t know what the hell was going on. Because he’d moved from Quebec (where they apparently did not have Halloween in the 60’s) to BC, and this was a brand new thing. So picture a confused French guy with 13 kids of his own, who’s probably been hitting the sauce, answering the door to a bunch of kids holding out their pillow cases asking for candy. What kind of assumption would he make? He assumed they were hungry and gave them potatoes. Naturally.

He did not carve the likeness of Jesus, or John 3:16, or a cross into the potatoes.

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Jesus potatoes. My Grandpa would probably say this is a ridiculous waste of potatoes. He’s probably right.

He did not hand out Bibles or tracts or testamints.
He saw what he perceived to be a need and he filled it.
Whatever else was going on outside was irrelevant. There were kids on his doorstep asking for something. He didn’t even know what they were asking for, or why. He just took a guess. Can’t go wrong with potatoes.

So here I am with a bunch of people knocking on my blog and all of you are looking for something different. And all I can give you is potatoes. If this is where you’re looking for the answer to what a Christian should be doing with Halloween, you are in the wrong place my friend. I don’t have the answers. Lots of questions and ideas, but not a whole lot of answers.

I’m reading the comments about shutting doors to the darkness. Shutting doors to the half-drunk parents. Shutting doors on kids who aren’t dressed appropriately. And I just want to know which side of the door you think Jesus is standing on. What if Jesus is on the other side of that door doing the knocking? Will we keep Him out too? Jesus turned the water into wine after everybody at the party was already wasted. He hung out with prostitutes and thieves and sinners. It ticked a lot of people off. I’m okay with it, if I hang out with the “wrong” people at the wrong time, and it ticks people off. And it’s not because I want to evangelize them. Because as someone who has been on the other side of that, nobody wants to be you or your church’s pet project. People are looking for genuine relationship. Genuine community. They want to be loved because they are worth loving, not because you want to love them to Jesus or into a church.

I don’t think Jesus is afraid of Halloween. It’s not like this is the one night of the year where His love and power and grace are rendered useless. The gates to the kingdom of Heaven don’t close on Halloween. They aren’t battening down the hatches to keep the devil out because its October 31. The Heavenly Host of angels isn’t calling a prayer meeting to decide how not to let the devil get them on Halloween.

Good grief.

What I hear when people say they don’t want to associate themselves with Halloween is that we need to quit because the devil has won.
God is not big enough for Halloween.
God is not big enough for Halloween?
I beg to differ.

If God cannot use you to love your neighbor on Halloween, or any other day of the year,

your God is too small.

Jesus didn’t hide from people who were taken with the demonic. He healed them. He set them free. One time a bunch of demons begged Jesus to have mercy on them and send them into a herd of pigs instead of the pit of hell. And guess what? Jesus had mercy on the demons. I mean, they probably still ended up in hell anyway. But no matter. They weren’t going to win. They knew it. Jesus knew it. So if Jesus can have mercy on demons for nothing, because who cares about a bunch of demons, how much more mercy does He have for your neighbors?

(This is the part where I’m expecting the ominous Evangelical Right of America to call blasphemy and cast me out of Christendom for all eternity. The way this blog is going today, I will not be surprised. This is also the part where I say, again, that if Halloween triggers trauma or just isn’t right for you and your family, then don’t show up for it. Every family and community is different and you need to discern the right choice based on your own situation. God is big enough to use us all in our spheres of influence with or without Halloween. He doesn’t need Halloween. But He’s not scared of it either.)

No I am not saying we should start packing ouija boards on Halloween. Or ever, for the record.

No I am not saying we ought to pour on the fake blood and hang skeletons from our trees.

GOSH.

I’m just saying, light shines brightest, when the darkness is darkest.

That’s all.

So if you can’t give them candy. And you can’t show them Jesus. And you can’t be nice. Then maybe you should give them potatoes. They might be hungry, regardless of whatever else is going on outside.

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Halloween 2 years ago. Mateo was 6, Andreas was 4, Olivier was 20 months, and Rosalie was in my belly.

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Comments are closed for this post as of November 1, 2013.

copyright (c) 2013 Jenna Pelias // all rights reserved

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176 thoughts on “Give Them Potatoes

  1. Pingback: Links to Love - Taz and Belly

  2. Pingback: On Halloween | TroubleFace Mom

  3. YES YES YES!!! As I read this I had to keep reminding myself that my baby is napping so that I wouldn’t yell out “AMEN!” and “PREACH IT SISTER!”
    I just love this so much. I love that my God is not afraid of Halloween and can use it for wonderful good if we let him.
    We dressed up last night and sat on our porch and handed out full sized candy bars. TONS of neighbours came by and we made connections with people that we wouldn’t have otherwise. In my husbands words “Nothing EVIL happened in our cul de sac last night. Some cute kids got candy. We met some new people. If the world can try to take Christ out of Christmas I can most certainly try to take the evil out of Halloween and let it be used for good!”
    Thanks again! You have a new reader and fan! 🙂

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  4. YES YES YES!!! As I read this I kept having to remind myself that my baby is napping so that I wouldn’t yell out “AMEN!” and “PREACH IT SISTER!”
    I love this so much. And I love your blog. Someone posted your halloween article on Facebook and I read it, and it led me here. And now I love you.
    Wish I could speak out as clearly and passionately as you do. Don’t stop!

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  5. Wow. Just. Wow. Now I’ve got a new perspective on this whole situation. I am one of those people who have had a major problem with Halloween due to my background. I’ve spent years hiding behind my curtain hating this time of year…and missing the fun I had as a small child dressing up and going out. I got involved in some occultic things that ruined that fun. I honestly thought I’d wrecked this day forever.

    TFM, you’ve given me a lot to think about. And you’re right. Jesus is bigger than all of this, and so is His Father. I’m not sure I’m going to go right out and party next year…but I will be looking for ways to be loving.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your heart! I was in the same boat, didn’t grow up in a Christian home but I seem to relate more with non-Christians than Christians. Thank you for your boldness to share the truth that The Holy Spirit put on your heart. If the Evangelical Right come knocking at your door, I will stand with you to show them love will win!

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  7. I really did not look at ANY other response but as I sit here waiting for some kids to come and ask for candy I read this…actually I started with the last year one…You are amazing and as one who was adamant about NOT celebrating halloween, I LOVE your perspective!! I have grandchildren now and am so happy that the GRACE of GOD has come upon me instead of the LAW of man!! Thank you…I need to wipe the tears that are pouring from my eyes right now…what a blessing you are to me and sooo many others!! OOps here goes..they’re here !

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  8. We give out things to the kids but I still never feel fully settled with the spirit side of what Halloween seems to involve. I love the dressing up and the fun and the community- I wish there were another holiday to do this with where I didn’t have to feel like it was a compromise to be a part of it for our kids. I am all for loving a neighbor though! One of our friends actually does reverse Trick or Treating. They bring treats to all the houses in their neighborhood! I loved this idea 🙂

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  9. It is interesting that an argument against Halloween is the ‘dark and scary’ images that are present, yet parents allow kiddos to play violent video games and watch scary and inappropriate shows..

    Absolutely awesome stuff you’re posting. Approachable and wonderful instead of designating rules for everyone to follow. A real servant of Christ.

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  10. I LOVE your last Holloween post and this one!
    That is exactly where I have been at- not sure what to do about Holloween.
    But, regardless of everything else, you are really, really right that no one sees Jesus with closed doors and no lights on. It’s a GREAT time to interact with our community!
    Love it!! Thank you!!

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  11. Unbeknown to either of us, the Lord has recently been speaking to both me and my husband about this. We’ve just read your two posts (last year’s and this one) and it’s what Christ used to finally open our hearts to a new understanding of our response to Halloween — or anything else the world throws our way. For the first time in 35 years, we won’t hunker down in a darkened house and ignore the doorbell or go to a harvest party. We will turn on all our lights, put our big, territorial dog away, and hand out candy with a smile. We’re adding colorful labels to all our candy that says things like “You are loved by God (and by us!),” “You are important to God (and to us!),” “You are beautiful to God (and to us!),” etc.

    Now, about Santa…. 😉

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    • My friend sent me your reply while I was out this morning and it made me cry. In the middle of the mall of all places. I hope you are blessed tonight with all those sweet kids at your doorstep. 🙂

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      • Something else that’s cool about the Lord’s timing is that we’ve had 2 families with young children recently move into our neighborhood. It’s been on our hearts to reach out to them in some way, so we trust this to be a small beginning. Blessings to you and your dear little ones!

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  12. I read your original Halloween blog on Monday, I called my husband at work and said we HAVE to do this! We had invited lots of neighbors to our church party, but they all wanted to stay home to trick or treat.
    So we rented a popcorn machine, drug our fire-pit into the garage and bought a whole bunch of hot apple cider. Our 7yo daughter put little shiny Jesus loves Me stickers on all the mini candy bars and is excited to give them to her friends tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. TF Mom,

    I am one of those whom you would identify as part of the “Evangelical Right”–a Southern Baptist pastor, no less–and I couldn’t possibly agree more with every word you’ve written about Halloween, both this year and last! In fact, I’m re-posting your stuff all over my own social media today . . . because you’ve not only echoed so much of what I’m constantly trying to say about this holiday, you’ve managed to say it even better than I have! May your tribe increase (both literally & figuratively)! 😉

    Happy Halloween!

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      • I started reading your blogs and lots of the posts after I had just finished giving out my candy. You have some interesting ideas and I loved reading them. I loved Halloween as a kid (candy!) and my kids loved it growing up. Today we had fun at school (where I work) with the kids dressing up. I don’t see anything wrong with celebrating it but do respect those who don’t for whatever reason. My only complaint was when people did not give out candy but had their light on (minor complaint). You seem like my kind of person. If you ever blog about autism I’d be interested. I work with kids with autism – they’re great kids.

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  14. Thank you from a Christian mom who loves kids and sees Halloween as a fun tradition that every child should get to experience. Lord knows kids now a days sure can’t do most of the stuff we used to do, lets not take this away too. Its where your heart is and your intent when you participate in Halloween. Jesus knows our hearts.

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  15. Thank you!
    This was so helpful!
    MY housemates want to celebrate halloween this evening, and i want to spend time with them, and this has just helped me work through that in my head. If i’m with them, loving them, doing life with them, i can shine a Christlight to them in a way i can’t do if i avoid them on halloween!

    Our God is so much bigger than the 31st of October, you’re right.

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  16. Hey, thanks for the advise and thoughts on this. I was raised to avoid but like you said sometimes we need to step back and say why??? That’s what you’ve helped me do with this holiday, this post and one other saying this year has totally changed my outlook to this day! and just in time WOW God thanks!!! The other reading suggested to pray for those involved in this and I plan to do just that especially with those who knock on our door! Who wants a prayer and a cup of tea with honey come on by or stay at home and give it to those who come Knocking on Your door!!

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  17. I think, that people on both sides need to understand that God’s calls different people to do different things….and convicts others about different things. God does not convict everyone at the same time about the same thing. I actually enjoy reading people’s thoughts on both sides of things. You never know what thing you might learn that you did not know before.

    Those that choose not to participate in Halloween events often have very good reasons why they choose not to participate (if you have ever lost a family member to the “dark side”, then you will understand why many Christians opt out – I am just grateful that the person we know was not lost forever). I am not willing to point fingers at either side as good or bad (unless they are embracing the ugliest parts of Halloween).

    We choose not to participate. Fine. You choose to participate. Fine. I am quite certain that both decisions were made with a great deal of prayer. I don’t really care what other families decide with regard to Halloween. It is between them and God. Not them, God, & me. I try to keep in mind that there are other Christian days that we do/don’t celebrate that others do/don’t and that is okay too. As long as you have asked for God’s guidance, well…then you should be okay, IMHO.

    *But* either side blasting the other for not doing what they think the other side should or should not be doing does not show the love of Christ either and does a VERY GOOD job of darkening that light to non-Christians… and sometimes to Christians as well (isn’t it amazing how Satan can divide the Christian community??). And to be honest, telling those who do not participate that they better do so some how (even by handing out potatoes or whatever) or else they are not managing to show Christ’s love to anyone on just one day of the year (even if they just might do their best to do so the other 364 days of the year) is just awful. I really, really hope that you don’t feel that way towards the Christians that don’t celebrate Halloween. I really hope that I misunderstood. Really…

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  18. I came across this blog and thought it great:) tomorrow is Halloween and our church has started an event called GLOW. Glow is an event that people do at their houses such as carnival theme, activities, fire pits and just being a light in our community and having fun with our neighbours and getting to know them. It’s cool to hear that others are doing something so similar!

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  19. My problem with this line of thinking stems from your thought that by participating in Halloween, and opening a door to give children candy one night a year is showing them love. So if you don’t do this you are not showing love to your neighbors kids. You also mentioned that people want genuine relationships and genuine community, but how is opening your door one night a year and giving kids candy building a genuine relationship or genuine community? Why not do more for those kids at other times… times that are not associated with this holiday? Why should a Christian who is against what this holiday has become feel shamed into participating because “Jesus might be on the other side of the door?” For those who want to participate… go ahead. For those who don’t… go ahead and do nothing. Shut your door, turn off the lights and pray for the kids instead of assuming that handing them candy is also showing them love. Jmho.

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    • Nobody said not to love your neighbours or their kids the rest of the year. 🙂 In fact, if anybody read my posts and assumed I said that as long as they do Halloween that they are off the hook the rest of the year, they have entirely missed my point. Halloween is one possible starting point. It is not the only possible starting point. I never said anybody should be ashamed of anything – the point was to ask questions to see if God is leading us towards opening the door on Halloween or not. I never said every single Christian everywhere should participate in Halloween. I actually did say that people need to evaluate how to participate or NOT based on their own experiences, family, community, etc. So essentially we agree completely.

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  20. I love your post…and last year’s post. As someone living in the US South but not growing up in the church, I completely agree with your comments. Halloween can be — and should be — about love, community, compassion, and a bunch of other things that actually matter to the Kingdom.

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    • Yikes. I was reading through these comments earlier, shaking my head at how people sure can get their panties in a wad…then I had to get up to remove the huge panty wad out of my own a**!! Gulp. Realizing that I can just as often miss the point as anyone else. Even when I think I had it.
      Humbly admitting that I can sometimes be legalistic about *not* being legalistic…or have rules about not having rules.
      -a flawed yet loved creation 🙂

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      • Me too. Here’s to living in that tension: legalism & relativism, passion & peace-making, amid so many others. (Christina)

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      • Don’t worry Suzie – your comment wasn’t the one I was referring to. I deleted the ones I was referring to. I am ALL for people discussing theology, faith, the practice of living out our faith. I am ALL for disagreeing and people correcting me. You’re fine. 🙂

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  21. I grew up in the church (some would call them evangelicals) and in Christian schools. I LOVE both your posts! When I shared your first post I said I will probably take my 22 mo son to an event this year because that’s what works for me right now. But I so commend your view of acceptance, finding joy, and keeping the innocence. Great suggestions and maybe some year I will put out some sweet, fun decorations; turn the lights on; and spread some giant candy bars! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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  22. I love your emphasis on serving your neighbors and seeking to redeem Halloween. You are theologically incorrect in her statement that Jesus went to Hell (He went to Paradise and proclaimed the victory to Hell over the chasm (Luke 23:43, 1 Peter 3: 18-22). You are also incorrect assuming that all people who don’t answer their doors on Halloween or attend Halloween alternatives are “hiding” and un-neighborly (that may be true for some, but not most). I think that if Christians are going to serve their neighborhoods on Halloween they ought to make a clear distinction. Attach tracks to the candy, carve “Jesus love’s you” in your pumpkins, dress as heroes of the Faith, etc. When people ask you about your costume or your Christian decorations, you have an open door to share the Gospel. Just passing out candy dressed up in costume doesn’t make you a good neighbor. It’s lazy Christianity to claim your “good neighbor status,” because your also participate in Halloween or “give the good candy.” Strive to be a good neighbor all year. We are called to serve, and we are called to be righteous, that means “set apart.” That means that we aren’t supposed to look just like everybody else, or act like everybody else. Sometimes that means taking a stand against darkness. Our family doesn’t celebrate Halloween. We don’t hide from our neighbors either. If someone comes to our door, we give our treats with the Gospel message attached. We make an effort to know our neighbors every day, serve them any way we can, and to be a light in the darkness. We teach our children to “be in the world, but not of the world.” We still go to the pumpkin patch and decorate for the fall (and yes we do celebrate harvest, and emphasize to our girls that the Lord provides our food, and teach them about what harvest is, and the Biblical application to the Great Harvest of souls that is coming). We go to fall parties and our kids dress up sometimes. When people ask why we don’t celebrate Halloween, we tell them about Jesus, about how much we love Him and want to serve Him with our whole lives (even if it means being “different”), and we tell them the truth about Halloween. We have probably had more opportunities to share our faith, because we don’t celebrate Halloween, than if we did. Whatever Christian’s decide about Halloween, and their participation in it, they need to seek to honor Christ in the most obvious ways possible. Seeking to “blend in” is compromising the Gospel. Jesus, the Apostles, and Prophets never tried to “blend in” or make others comfortable. They never padded the Cross or the Gospel. When modern-day Christians try to be “seeker friendly” by watering down the Truth, they are errant. We are to be radical in our love, devotion, and service to Christ, to each other, and to the world. If we are doing that, we will never blend in, even dressed up in costume on October 31st.

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    • Unfortunately, Carey, what most non-Christians will “hear” from your message is judgment, judgement, and more judgement. There is a difference between “watering down truth” and just not shoving it all down someone’s throat. People are smart…even those who are not “set apart”. I’m not sure there is one “right way” to lead all people to Christ. People crave authenticity and are most open to the truths you have to offer in relational contexts. The idea of using Trick-or-Treating as an opportunity to open some of those relational doors is just a first step. I don’t think the concept suggested was meant to be a “preach it all quickly” kind of experience. And I’m pretty sure that the author wasn’t planning on glossing over any biblical truths if the subject came up.
      For what it’s worth…I’m not sure that you have the right understanding or application of biblical righteousness. It sounded a bit more like self-righteousness to me….but I believe you are smart too and you will figure it out in your own time 🙂
      Grace to you, grace to me (cause I need it for sure!)

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    • Hi Carey,

      You have a passion for the truth, and I LOVE theological discussion, so I’m going to jump right in!

      As an ancient Christian statement of faith, the Apostles Creed helps us interpret Luke 23 and 1 Peter 3, and it states that Jesus descended into hell before raising from the dead and then ascending into heaven.

      Secondly, and I had to look this up because I wasn’t sure I was remembering correctly, “sanctified” is traditionally defined as “set apart”, whereas “righteousness” is “fulfilment of covenant” or more commonly today, “upright.” (I’m a geek; I love this stuff.)

      I also disagree that the apostles never blended in. Paul said he would become all things to all people in order to save some. 1 Cor 9:22. And his Mars Hill sermon very much fit in with Roman pantheism as a starting point, not to compromise the gospel, but to share the “good news.” I actually don’t see how blending in compromises good news at all. Doesn’t display sanctification as well (which has its place and is not all self-righteousness), but good news, no problem.

      Finally, THANK YOU for not blending in just for the sake of blending in!!!!!!! I can’t add enough exclamation points!!!!!!!! We are the body of Christ and we need parts of the body that are starting points for Halloweeners other parts to start with non-Halloweeners or do it differently. We need parts that only connect, rejuvenate or mature other parts of the body. We need parts that stick out. We trust and pray in the Spirit that gifts us that we will love each other that we will, imperfectly, act out the will of Christ our head. And I love, LOVE that although Christians were literally killing each other over these kinds of issues a few centuries ago, we can now have a mildly heated debate on a blog and refine each other. That is God at work! 😀

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      • Oh Lady M you REaLLY misunderstood this entire post. Please don’t lump Jenna( Troubleface Mom) into what all these commenters are saying. I think you need to re- read what she said. She told a story about her grandpa handing out potatoes- no where did she say that’s what anyone else should do. It was a story about having nothing and still giving. Isn’t that what the Christian message is all about? Sharing out of our lack and serving those around us? That’s the message of this blog.

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      • Juanita,
        I am sorry, but I have reread it twice since I posted and I am still getting a LOT of crabbing at Christians who choose otherwise. And honestly, I have not read the comments. I don’t have time for that. I just offered my observation. Here are a couple of the things that concerned me in the post:
        ————-
        “I don’t think Jesus is afraid of Halloween. It’s not like this is the one night of the year where His love and power and grace are rendered useless. The gates to the kingdom of Heaven don’t close on Halloween. They aren’t battening down the hatches to keep the devil out because its October 31. The Heavenly Host of angels isn’t calling a prayer meeting to decide how not to let the devil get them on Halloween.

        Good grief.

        What I hear when people say they don’t want to associate themselves with Halloween is that we need to quit because the devil has won.
        God is not big enough for Halloween.
        God is not big enough for Halloween?
        I beg to differ.

        If God cannot use you to love your neighbor on Halloween, or any other day of the year,

        your God is too small.”

        {One needs to be careful saying “your God” – it implies that they must not serve the same God as you do….and it is very insulting to say that if they choose not to participate because of the evil things that happen on Halloween, then they have relegated God to a corner. Not a good thing for Christians to tell each other – it invites argument over whose faith is better….or something.}
        ——————–

        “So if you can’t give them candy. And you can’t show them Jesus. And you can’t be nice. Then maybe you should give them potatoes. They might be hungry, regardless of whatever else is going on outside.”

        {I understood the story about the grandpa and the potatoes. It is lovely and good that he would give potatoes to people he thought were begging for food.
        But right here in the last words, one is told that since we are not opening our doors to trick or treaters to give them candy, we obviously CAN’T show them Jesus, We are NOT nice, and we obviously missed the point that perhaps those people are just hungry and need food and we really messed up in not celebrating Halloween and handing out something or other to the masses who come in icky costumes – which scare the crud out of other children and give nightmares for days. THAT, is why I stated that we need to be a little kinder to those who take the opposing view.}
        ——————
        Truly, my comment was offered up in the guise of reminding Christians to Pray about their decisions. Don’t dump on Christians who are not in the same place as you or have not been convicted to do (or not do) the same thing as you. She did say initially that she was fine that people do/don’t celebrate it for whatever their valid reasons are. But, the rest sort of railed against people with their reasons not to participate. And that is why I am confused and reminding everyone to pray for God’s guidance rather than tell them how they really are wrong in their decision – whatever it might be.

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  23. I just found your blog from someone else posting the link to your first Halloween post. I’ve read that one, and this one, and I must say – I LOVE YOU! Lol 🙂 Seriously, you speak God’s light and you shine so brightly. I love the way your words are touching my heart! 🙂

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  24. As a mom who became a Christian long after our many Halloween costumes and memories had been stored away and our daughters moved onto college, I applaud your stand. I learned in church we are supposed to meet people where they are, just as Jesus did.

    We don’t have to do indulge in the gore, but can celebrate similar to your suggestions. To paraphrase a speaker I heard this weekend, Anne Voskamp: We are stars, shining brightly. We are not meant to pierce one another, but are meant to pierce the darkness together.

    I pray your post reaches others, and helps them see they are wearing their McJudgy Pants, and encourages them to change. 🙂

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    • I LOVE ANN VOSKAMP. Love her so much. She’s like one of my heroes.

      My friend told me someone used the phrase “McJudgy Pants” in the comments and I had to come find you. Gold star. 🙂

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  25. This is great! I am a home schooling, Christian mom, who bakes her own bread, and enjoys doing Halloween with her six kids. I always find it funny how people love a blog like yours and then do exactly what the blog says we shouldn’t do. Really? Lets remember everyone has a story. so please don’t judge without knowing someone’s story. My story as to why I homeschool, have six kids, and make almost everything we eat from scratch is a long one and a story of Gods grace and love. So please don’t judge, just love with God’s love.

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    • Nowhere did I judge home schoolers, people with more kids than me, or cooking from scratch. I am so sorry you are feeling judged. I must have missed a comment somewhere? Or if it was the one above about a lot of the mommy blogs coming from people who homeschool large families, I just read that as the person saying they can’t relate to those blogs/that lifestyle? Maybe I read it wrong. Or maybe I really did miss a rude comment. Anyway. Bless you. And GOD BLESS HOMESCHOOLERS! Lots of my friends do it. I think it’s awesome!

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  26. Thanks for this. I read it after finding the Halloween post via Facebook. I am one of the 10,000! But glad you like a good conversation and glad you’re publishing your thoughtfulness.

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  27. Just found you tonight on viral FB posts – and love both the Halloween posts. Found out you’re Canadian in this one, so all the better! lol
    New favourite blog, and thank you for your words 🙂

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  28. Can I just say, I think your post on Halloween is one of the most Christian takes on the holiday I have ever read. Personally, while I grew up (and still consider myself a part of) a very Christian household, one that in a lot of ways *is* pretty conservative, we still always did Halloween. It often wasn’t my favorite Holiday, since to be honest, I actually never really cared for candy, but I loved the dressing up, and now in my twenties, I enjoy the holiday even more…I actually even carved my first pumpkin ever today! (Very excited about that!)

    But your take on using Halloween to show your love for neighbors, friends and even people you don’t know, is so true and Christian and wonderful, and in my opinion the best ministry and ‘witness’ any Christian can ever do. There is a very old couple that live in my town (and it’s a pretty small town), a vet and his wife, and they are known all over this town as good, kind and loving people, and truly are a great example of Christians and their light has brought more people to our church then any one thing else I know. And it’s not because they go around passing out tracks, or preach at people, or go door to door, it’s because they are good, loving and kind. They are good neighbors and friends, even to complete strangers. They always help people when the can and are always friendly, happy and smiling.

    And your take on Halloween, you belief in how it can be used, is just so beautiful and so true. It’s about love and kindness. And I was deeply, deeply moved while reading it. So thank you.

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  29. You rock!!!!
    I got to this post from the Halloween one and both are wonderful! Thank you so much for giving people another way to look at it. Once we moved to a town where Halloween was largely ignored because it was a pagan holiday. Or whatever it is. And we love Halloween — because it’s a bunch of kids running around dressing up and having so much fun.
    Since then (and I was way an adult then) I did some weird questioning which all came down to one thing: did it make me love Jesus less because I enjoy Halloween?
    I didn’t think so. But many others did. Thanks for your thoughts on it!
    Bless you! And the people that knock on your door!

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  30. I imagine you have had responses like this by now, but I would like you to be aware that a lot of Christians are fine with Halloween. There are only certain particular groups who refuse to participate in community Halloween events. My father is an ordained minister in the UCC, and I have always celebrated Halloween. I was just at a Halloween party last week hosted by members of Crossroads church and attended by many different kinds of people. My husband’s family is Catholic, and they also enjoy Halloween and the community trick-or-treating. Your thoughts are interesting, but I hope you are aware that there a lots and lots of practicing Christians happily passing out candy, dressing in costumes, and visiting their neighbors on Halloween with you!

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    • Yes, I do know this and I’m glad for it. If it weren’t for Christians putting themselves out there, I wouldn’t be one either. 🙂 This year is actually the first year we live in a neighbourhood where we’ll get kids at our door and we are very excited! We’ve done the church party thing in the past when there was nothing happening in our community and no kids around. Just depends where we live and what’s up that year.

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  31. Got here through facebook. I have to explain to my kids every year that the evangelical and Jehovah Witness households in the neighborhood don’t want to give out candy because they think all the make-believe is actually real. Pretty wierd.

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  32. Jenna,
    I love you! I don’t know you, but I love you! Haha.. just read your old (and current) halloween blog entries! And tons of the comments! Woah… you’re famous. Thank you for being real. Makes me want to have crazy dress up carnivals in my yard like 4 times a year… and go door to door giving yummy things away. =)
    In another note: I know you probably have NO time, but if you do…check out our music! http://www.battlevictorious.com

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  33. That is incorrect. Many Pagan holidays were Christianized during Christianity’s rise. Halloween or Samhain was one of them. Many holidays of many different religions sat on these days (Oct 31st – Nov 1st). Many of these religions are older than Christianity.

    Do you put up a tree at Christmas, a Yule Log? Does the Easter Bunny deliver eggs to your house? These are all “Pagan” symbols adapted by Christianity…

    Nowadays, Halloween is just another fun holiday for kids.

    Do people go overboard decorating at Christmas, yes they do. They love Christmas.
    Do some people go overboard with Halloween decorations, yes they do. They love Halloween.

    We Americans go overboard at every holiday. It’s one of our trademarks, and we go farther and father overboard with each increasing year. If you want to use your beliefs as a reason to not celebrate a holiday, please learn the history of your beliefs. And before you attack me, I’m a Catholic that realizes his religion took pieces of many other religions, just as every Christian should acknowledge.

    Troubleface-

    Great blog, thanks for taking a stand for reason.

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  34. I literally laughed out loud, and continued giggling throughout your post thinking about John 3:16 potatoes! I can so see some people doing this!
    Thank you for your light-hearted, yet thought-provoking insight into Halloween. I used to be one of those “turn off the lights cuz I’m not participating in the Devils Holiday.” But, thank God, I’ve been set free from that legalistic mindset… now, I can open the door and oooooh and ahhhhhh over the precious kids who come to my door and engage their parents in a quick conversation! Light is clearly seen in the darkest of nights.

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  35. I came across your original Halloween post via a link someone posted on Mark Driscoll’s Facebook page today.

    I have been alllllll over the spectrum about what to do with Halloween and all the other “pagan” holidays everyone celebrates. Long story short, several years ago I reached the same conclusions you have. It has been a blessing.

    Every year for the last five or so, I dress up in a historically inspired costume, sit on my front steps and pray for every little person and their family that is out there. I pray for their salvation, God’s plan for their life, and that they would find that plan if they haven’t already. Then when someone finally shows up, I hand out loads of candy, find something to complement about their costumes, and wish them a good evening. As they walk away, I again pray for their souls with everything in me.

    We never, ever know how God will use us.

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  36. I just don’t think you could be more awesome if you tried. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I spent my whole life inside of a house with the lights off and I hated every second of it. I didn’t know why we didn’t celebrate and I got this very twisted, evil view of the outside world. My friends thought I was weird. I love my mom and I know why she did it, but I just couldn’t help feeling like I was left out or something. Well this year, FINALLY, after 24 years of not celebrating, we are handing out candy and getting to know our neighbors. I am so excited,

    And I just love this post. Thank you for being so real and transparent with us, cause the internet is a freaking scary place and you are not scared. Jesus is so alive in you and I’m so thankful that people like you exist. Never ever stop gracing us with your writings, I am so grateful that I got to read these posts.

    You seriously rock, sister. Thanks!

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  37. I remember those dark days. Towel over front door and huddled in back room lights off, gee I thought, just made it darker out there. The next year I wanted to do something different. I made 34 cassette tapes of a “G T and the Halo Express” tape. Probably broke some copyright law. Oh well statue of limitations protect me now I hope. I will never forget the last boy. As he spun around, the air filled his cape and as he “flew” to his mom Dracula yelled, “Mom, I have an angel”. Candy gone, last tape given out, and no more visitors for the night, we called it a night. Several months later, a neighbor told me that her son had memorized the entire 30 plus minute tape. I asked if he was Dracula. Yep, she said. I smiled. Looks like His blood worked. And I don’t believe Jesus left any bite marks. Being light is so much more fun.

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  38. I love this – and your other blog post that turned the “American Right” against you. Just because I love a little gasoline on the fire – our most holy holiday – Christmas, the birth of Jesus – not really December 25th. Late December had the winter solstice- a pagan holiday – so the celebration of Jesus was thrown in there to try and lure those nasty pagans over from the dark side to Team Jesus. Holidays will mean what you make of them, and aren’t necessarily only about their history.

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  39. I may not be a Christian, but I was a long time ago. It’s people that shut the doors on Halloween that turn away a blessing. There are plenty of things that come from sin, but turning those things into things Jesus would be proud of should be par for every Christian. There is nothing evil in the smiles of children. I doubt any kids really knows the history of the day, but they do know how to love their neighbors!

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  40. You’ve “angered the Evangelical Right in America”? Well, maybe some of them, but not this guy. And this is coming from a guy who is a 29-year-member of a denomination that has Orthodox in it’s name – and baby does my denomination ever live up to it – and a deacon to boot! Halloween may have roots in evil and/or paganism, but in the streets of America, that’s not what it is today (even with the ghoulishness that is there). Just do what the Holy Spirit leads you to do to be a loving light to our sad world.

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  41. In my very humble opinion because of what I have experienced in my life, I agree that this day just like every other day should be celebrated to the fullest! Declare the power and love of the Lord! Show love everywhere you go, acts of kindness, celebrate the Lord and the day He made! I was born into a satanic cult and I know what we were told was that people were celebrating all of what we were going through by the horrific costumes, blood , dead bodies, death, and fear. But if there had been people who were out showing the love of Jesus, that would destroy those lies! Then things aren’t hidden, and people can be set free!

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  42. Thank you for your posts. I just found both of them today. They gave me a new perspective on Halloween. I am one who didn’t want to have anything to do with it thru the years when we were raising our kids. But I like the idea of being a light to our neighborhood and showing God’s love by being open to them on this dark night — of being the house on the block that gives the best treats, etc.
    We’ve always given candy to the trick-or-treaters (when we weren’t at a church “harvest party”), and now as retired grandparents, I want to do it even better than before!
    God bless you for sharing your heart in this matter!

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  43. Thank you for this. Was so struggling with this. You put words to how I’ve been feeling. Thank you for being a blessing! I now have a new blog to follow today. Grateful for that as well!

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  44. I found your Halloweeen post from WordPressed “freshly pressed” front page and I enjoyed both it and your followup so much. Full disclosure: I’m not Christian, but I wish there were more people who see God the way you do.

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    • You have left me speechless and crying. I hope the way I see God is encouraging to people whether they believe what I believe or not. Even though you’re not a Christian I’m totally praying for God to bless you so much. 🙂

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  45. Your blog is an incredibly enjoyable read. You are sassy and I appreciate and identify with your point of view so much! It is so so refreshing to read about someone who loves the Lord and knows how to laugh, at themselves and at the world sometimes. I love our God so much and most of my friends aren’t Christians– our God is so big He knows that through my small friendship and flawed character, He can use me to open up their hearts to Him. Praise Jesus that we can RELAX, laugh, and know that He holds the whole world in His hands. Even on Halloween 😉

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  46. I appreciate so many people taking the time to leave a comment, thought, (constructive) criticism, encouragement, or story. I’m reading all of them, albeit slowly. 😉 You’ve made this *some* week around here. So glad that people are finding encouragement from these posts, which was the intention all along. 🙂

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  47. Jenna, thank you so much for sharing! You have a great heart and a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts in a way that is refreshing, heartfelt and sincere. I think you and I serve the same God and the same Jesus – and I have no doubt that if Jesus knocked on your door, he’d be welcomed in and given a potato!! I’d love to meet you and compare notes – it sounds like we’d be good friends! Christianity is so simple – and yet so many of our fellow Christians try to make it hard. What a shame!

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  48. Ha! I found you on accident and I’m so glad I did. I enjoy your opinion on the subject of Halloween and being the light in the darkness.

    Growing up, we were always allowed to participate and go trick or treating…decorate the house, whatever. Now, we weren’t allowed to do the blood/guts/gore nasty stuff, mostly because my Mom is scared easily. But even now as a parent myself, I don’t see the need for all “that” since it’s around all the time anyway.

    I’m a faithful Christian, and I’m still allowing my son to dress up and we take him trick or treating. It’s for the fun and feeling of community.

    Let’s light it up (so to speak)

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  49. people talking (writing) means people are thinking…well said, well done. i am a follower of Christ and believe we need to have our “lights” on…all of the time.

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  50. A friend shared your Part 1 (as have I now) and just wanted to say thanks for putting your thoughts out there, mama! When you said “Halloween may not be redeemed, but you are”–that is still ringing. As the mama of two little ones, as parents who had very different Halloween customs growing up, my mind has been racing with so many of your thoughts and questions on how to live, enjoy, love, shine Jesus during a time when many are indeed bringing the gore. Just wanted to encourage you, since the loudest ones are usually the critics 🙂

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  51. This…this and last year’s blog…this is the spirit that Jesus had as he walked around on Earth! Thank you for your boldness even when facing persecution!

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  52. What I’m curious about is this – why are so many people wasting time arguing about this? This is one person with one set of ideas about one thing – read it or don’t, agree with it or don’t, participate on Halloween or don’t. As far as myself? She has interesting thoughts and gave me something to think about.

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  53. Hahaha, oh wow. The internet has well and truly exploded near you! I didn’t comment on the other blog because it got a little bit too crazy 😀

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, and I hope you are not too overwhelmed by the response. I loved your articles, both of them. I’m not Christian, nor do we really celebrate Halloween (it’s a cultural thing–just no real tradition of it… despite retailers trying their very best to convince us otherwise!) but it was really great to read your explanation for why you think people should celebrate it, or at the very least, join in.

    Happy Halloween 🙂

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  54. I’m not quite sure what the religious right has anything to do with this, being that many religious rights feel the same way you do and are the first that taught me to reach out on halloween and not hide but in any case I stand with this…CHRISTMAS AND EASTER STARTED OUT AS PAGAN HOLIDAYS THAT CHRISTIANS USED AS AN EVANGELISM TOOL, so I don’t want to hear about Halloween being a pagan holiday while Christians celebrate their other pagan holidays (Christmas and Easter) that they turned into Christian holidays. Great job on your blog and congratulations on the Lord elevating you into the public eye for this Halloween!

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  55. “Jesus turned the water into wine after everybody at the party was already wasted. He hung out with prostitutes and thieves and sinners. It ticked a lot of people off. I’m okay with it, if I hang out with the “wrong” people at the wrong time, and it ticks people off. And it’s not because I want to evangelize them. Because as someone who has been on the other side of that, nobody wants to be you or your church’s pet project. People are looking for genuine relationship. Genuine community. They want to be loved because they are worth loving, not because you want to love them to Jesus or into a church.”
    Perfectly put

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  56. A friend of mine forwarded me your blog about Halloween. It helped me work through what I had been struggling with. I shared it with my husband and my older children who have never gone trick or treating. It was very insightful and worded perfectly. Thank you for writing this and helping us evolve our thoughts about this holiday. This might be the first year we actually go trick or treating.

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    • Thanks Lisa for this thoughtful response. I know Jenna appreciates hearing from everyone on this issue, but as her friend and someone who used to hide on Oct 31 I know that responses like yours are very special. Perspective is a funny thing. I wish I knew 10 years ago what I know now- Halloween isn’t something to fear or avoid… It’s a ripe opportunity to BE engaged and present in our communities which fulfills the commandment of loving our neighbours and the GrEAT Commision.

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  57. I’m in love with this. I grew up just like you described…our church did ‘reformation’ or ‘harvest’ festivals every year. And the one or two years they didn’t we hid and watched movies. And it was all very fun in it’s own way and I don’t feel like I really missed out on that much. When I got older I realized there really isn’t any harm in dressing up and eating candy. But by then I was too old to actually do it.

    But on the other side of things, you are completely right…how many other chances do we have to talk and share and smile with our neighbors? I’m pretty sure Jesus would have been out there in the thick of it…He loves little kiddos after all! And then he probably would have gone off and confronted the evil parts of it and prayed over the neighborhoods and cities and peoples enslaved by Satan. It’s true there’s nasty stuff out there, but it’s not going to be conquered by locked and darkened doorways.

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  58. Hahahaha…tired, yet, TroubleFace Mom? When I read your original blog, I wondered what kind of a neighborhood you lived in…I am Christian, grew up surrounded by them, in neighborhoods full of them, and everybody did the trick-or-treat thing…not an issue! That’s why I HAD to read your blog…when you stated that you thought you were going to offend every church-going Christian out there… I couldn’t imagine what the heck you were talking about. Good luck with your can of worms for the next who knows how many years…you sure did pick a good one to open!!! Oooops!!!! 😉

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  59. So I just wanted to be one of the people (hopefully a lot of people) who say I LOVE THIS! (I read your other post first. – loved it too!) I grew up in one of those ultra-conservative we hide on Halloween homes. It was not fun. I’m not hugely into Halloween now. My kids didn’t even know what it was until they started going to school. I think the first time we have ever had trick or treaters come to our door was last year after we moved into a more suburban neighborhood. Yes, I was offended by some of the costumes these little kids were wearing but it was also the one time of year any of our neighbors actually talked to us. So your post definitely made me see this whole thing in a different light!

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  60. I made it here from a share on FB also. Great post and just what I think about Halloween. I actually love your “addendum” more though…about your grandpa. I shared the line on my FB page, “He saw a need, so he filled it”. Great, great line!!

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  61. Even with believers such as myself who live in a condo where no kids come on Halloween and few actually even live, and having no kids of our own by choice and having multiple sclerosis and all and blah, blah, blah., No matter, your discernment and passion came charging through. I am one who ignores Halloween so much that I have just lived life some years not even realizing it was Halloween Day. I had a family neighborhood florist for 31 years which I closed two years ago and even in that I ignored Halloween the last many years. I do believe I held an inner view that as a Christian I was better than Halloween, but your insightful article has humbled me and rightfully shamed me. The healthy kind of shame that we need now and again when our attitudes need some adjusting. My nephew’s wife writes a blog of her life with her husband and their six kids with another on the way. A fun read if you are ever interested: http://overholt8.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/tough-love/

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  62. Oh my gosh you rock. Thank you! I was the religious one and my husband is the liberal one. We loved this post and now know how we will celebrate with our young family. Come on over for coffee and a fire on our front lawn on Halloween! Play dough purchased and treats being made. You just blessed us both!

    Thank you for changing my view. I can’t tell you how ahhh haaa this. Amazing!

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  63. Thank you for your thought provoking blog…it is well thought out and is making me rethink my stand on Halloween and talking to my daughter and daughter in love about it too. (I am 55 and don’t change easily), but your debate is well thought out. I think you are getting so many hits and likes because you do not name call, you are logical and Biblical in your statements and you see life through the eyes of a Child of God. Bless you…

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  64. I like your thoughts. My family starts celebrating Christmas by putting our outside Christmas decorations up before October 31 and turning them on that night. We then do not answer the door. Our neighborhood is mainly senior citizens, so almost all of the trick-or-treaters are from somewhere else. The neighbors know we celebrate Christmas instead as a positive statement and that we do not condemn them for their practices. This practice has lead to more discussion with our neighbors than anything else I have heard of. The thought I think will extend your thoughts is to be creative, original, and think out your response. Be able to defend it in a positive spirit. Keep searching!

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  65. I love your writing! This one and the one on Halloween. I hate Halloween, yet, you were so very accurate with all that you said. I believe MOST “evangelical Christians” are so afraid of anything “worldly” because their faith is generally so weak they have to stay out of it! My daughter and I, (single, divorced mom), attended a charismatic and evangelical Christian church for years. I wanted my daughter to have a childhood similar to mine in that the church was my life and I saw my parents turn to the church during times of crisis. Well, um, did NOT happen!! I was judged because my daughter went to the “evil” public school and I became a public school teacher with 3 ladies saying I didn’t trust God enough to stay home and homeschool my child!! Ignore the times that my daughter brought many of her “evil” friends to church, including a Muslim! Ignore the 5 children who asked Jesus into their lives when she prayed with them! No, moms would not let their children have play dates with her and when she was in the youth group, well, we stopped going to that church! When some missionaries to Columbia came and offered to help out with the youth ministry, one mom said her children did not know any teens who didn’t go to church and weren’t already saved, she wouldn’t allow them to know people like that!! So, basically, it’s “my family is saved, I’m not letting them out of my control until they court and marry and do the same thing with their families—the world is evil and going to hell, you know.” I believe many “evangelical Christians” will have to answer for that mindset.

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    • I used to be a youth leader at a church. One time I told the students that if they did not have anyone in their lives that *wasn’t* a Christian, that they were outside the will of God.

      It did not go over well.

      Bless you, and your daughter.

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    • Jana- I love you! Thanks for your lovely comment. I am Jenna’s friend monitoring comments for her since she’s more than a little overwhelmed with the response to her blog post this week. Who knew a year old post could generate such discussion?! Jenna needs more friends like you to encourage her! Please go like her FB page. 🙂

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      • I love how you always have my back Juanita. And how you’re shameless in sending people to my facebook page.

        Jana, we can definitely be friends. I am way less exciting than my blog would suggest this week though. Haha!

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  66. Here’s the deal: As parents, it’s our job to use the teachable moment. We can use it badly at times, but mostly we want to use it well and for good. Our children CANNOT be protected from evil, or things that will do harm. They CAN be carefully introduced to them so that the danger is known, understood, and not feared but respected for the power it has and doesn’t have.

    We need to help our children cope with calamity and horror with the tools that enhance courage more than despair. Like Fred Rogers said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” This is what we do on Halloween, in a way. We take the power AWAY from what evil they may encounter when we are not present.

    GK Chesterson said something important about this, too: “What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”
    Tremendous Trifles (1909)

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  67. One more added note…. I would say Christians who are “genuine in the community and genuine in their relationships” will want to share Jesus. It is His love that compels us to share TRUTH, The Truth that sets people free. The biggest candy bar on the block will not get them to heaven.

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  68. I agree with your words, they are similar to my thoughts and life experiences. We must follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and follow what we believe the Word of God tells us to do. Our account will be given to God, not man. We must be so careful to not take things lightly that God says is an abomination. If one feels justified to participate in Halloween, may they not make it seem that their fellow sister and brothers in the Lord who “do not participate” as being unloving or uncaring to the unsaved. That simply is untrue. I, too, try to reach out to others ALL year long.

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  69. My God is not too small… Amen! He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and YES, He came to save the lost. Yet, The God of the bible told us to cast out demons, not draw near to them. There are many ways we can show love to our neighbors without having to participate in Halloween. Candy is not good for our vessels anyway, right? We should be outreaching to our neighbors in the light, not the darkness. I will not feel bad as a follower of Christ because I chose not to participate in a day created as a Sabbat for witchcraft. As the words of Mike Nichols, a Pagan Witch, says of this day we call Halloween, “Nonetheless, it seems only right that there should be one night of the year when our minds are turned toward thoughts of the supernatural. A night when both Pagans and non-Pagans may ponder the mysteries of the Otherworld and its inhabitants.” You see, there are many things happening in the spiritual world on this day. Demons are real and they cast themselves as being of the light. Though, our Lord and Savior has conquered the grave and will set prisoners free to those who call upon His name and repent from their evil ways… I do not feel this gives me liberty to partake of a day given to Pagans. The Lord is the LIGHT of the world… “trick or treat” has always been something done in the darkness… why? Because people want excitement and just a “little bit o evil” tied into it. We are reminded in Ephesians 5:9-11, “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Of demons… 1 Corinthians 10:20-22, “Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”
    When one of my eldest son was about 6-7 he saw one of those witches that you see plastered on a telephone poles at this time of year, but this one was smashed on the outside of someone’s home, and my son said, “mom, why is that witch trying to get into that persons home?” I thought… hmmm. Out of the mouth of babes…. the witch is trying to get in through deception. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons…” 1 Timothy 4:1
    This is shared to show that many times we take lightly what God did not mean for us to take lightly. We can have FUN all through the year and praise God for the good things He has given us and the saving grace and mercy He shows every day… we do not need to wait to dress up for darkness. May we say with all certainty that witches, sorcery, darkness, divinations and vampires are evil. “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11)

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  70. I really enjoyed both posts. The line in this post about arguing “practically being my love language” made me burst out laughing.
    Years ago (like 1981!) I heard a big church pastor speak on “Is Halloween Really A Witches Brew”. Many of his comments echoed your first post. In addition he pointed out the origin of the name “all hallows e’en”, which like Christmas Eve, is the night before All Saints Day. What a great reason to celebrate the saints -God’s Holy One’s, aka Christians!
    Anyway, it was reasoned, well thought out and makes sense, let’s make a difference where ever and when ever we find ourselves -letting the light shine.
    Have a great day!

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  71. I am a blood bought dearly loved evangelical far right daughter of the Most High and I am not offended! I to struggled with Holloween and did not participate for a few years until one day at my kids pre school they dressed up in costumes and went to a facility for the elderly. My adorable Tigger and Pooh and their little friends brought such joy and delight to these often ignored elderly people it made me cry. I saw living and breathing Jesus that day in the faces of these people through these adorable munckins,and yes the kids got candy which delighted them also. There was NO evil in it at all,no jumping on the devils side, only joy. Thats when I saw I can take what is meant for evil and and make it good. Thats what God has done for me over and over again. Its what he did at the crucifiction and continues to do everyday so yes yes yes I LOVE this blog post and am do grateful a friend posted it. Take what is meant for evil and make it glorify HIM. That is my choice and I don’t judge anyone who chooses not to participate, I respect that. One thing I know God hates more than Holloween is his people bickering and judging each other over it. It divides HIs people when his call is for unity,and Satan rejoices in it. If Jesus is the Lord and Savior of your life I am for you even if we disagree. Lets take up His call to Love one another “They will know them by their love for one another” and then lets spread that love to our community on what ever day that works for you.

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  72. Responding to ‘anonymous’ regarding home school. Just wanted to say that I think home school is AWESOME…for other people. I know a lot of people who home school and see how great it is for their families. I’m not even opposed to doing it myself if I thought it would be best for my family at some point. I’ve read that article you linked to and really enjoyed it. Anyway. Just don’t want people thinking I’m anti-homeschool because I’m sooooo not. Happy schooling!

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  73. I am really humbled by the response to my blog this week. I love that it has people talking, disagreeing, thinking, and asking questions. I’m having a hard time keeping up with the comments, but I can usually be found on facebook if I’m not here. Blessings to all of you.

    Jenna

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    • Hi,
      Juat read both blogs and I really appreciate your honesty. What I’ve observed over time is exactly what you posted. Now that my kids are grown and i’m a grandma, I’m not going to draw those lines in the sand and say well I can’t come hang out with you on Halloween cause it’s the devil’s holiday. They aren’t going to remember grandma as love & wanting to have fun with them. What they’ll most likely remember is grandma is some extreme fanatic and she locks her doors and turns out the light. But you are right, lets turn on all our lights especially the one within and maybe we’ll scare some of those boogie men, that expect the Christians to hide and be afraid, to think again about us being afraid!
      Jesus has aleady conquered the grave so we don’t have to have any fear of death!

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  74. I enjoyed reading this tremendously as there are so many people out there that need to see Halloween is NOT EVIL and has been here for decades and we are still okay. My kids still love dressing up and they are 23 and 24 ha ha I agree that your honesty and boldness is something to admire 🙂

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  75. I enjoyed your article and agree with you! I like the way my son has taught my grandson about Hallowe’en— it’s the time of year when we celebrate the fact that we can laugh at all the “scary” stuff because we know that Jesus is bigger than all the scary stuff put together! Jesus died on the cross to defeat Satan, so we no longer fear ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. Giving good things to others is always a good thing, so giving treats is good too! And Halloween has a Christian history: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Catholic/2000/10/Surprise-Halloweens-Not-A-Pagan-Festivalafter-All.aspx?p=1

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    • Loved your response. I was going to post something similar in response to TroubleFace’s 2012 Halloween blog, but you put it well. Plus, after reading a Steven King forward in a Far Side comic, I got the connection between horror and comedy. Horror still scares the willies out of me, but I can see how it can put life in perspective the way comedy does for me. Which is only possible because Christ has conquered the devil and death.

      Plus, I’m an Evangelical (I think 😉 ) and I love learning from other faith traditions!

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  76. Really great blog posts! I am a Christian and I think everyone, even Christians, can go off the deep end about anything. Handing out candy isn’t a sin. If you want to really make a statement about your faith… put crosses in the yard. Nothing is more horrendous and scary than crucifixion. You can even hang an effigy on one if you like (that’d be pretty sick but hey, you’re making a statement about your faith, right?).

    I like the idea of churches offering their Harvest Festivals. My church does those and I’ve never even attended one… but my kids did and loved them. They still went around the neighborhood. Brace yourself, folks…… the real truth is… it is actually about the candy. Nothing else. Ask any kid the best thing about Halloween and they’ll tell you it is the treats. The average child doesn’t care about the rest of the junk on the lawn. Sure they get shivers, they laugh and squeal. But they’d do that with out the junk because they’re having fun being together and getting free stuff. Every year, I get kids and I don’t decorate. Sometimes I have candy and sometimes I don’t. They come by anyway. Now I have a granddaughter and this year, I have pumpkins and bats on my door and pumpkins on the porch that light up. She loves it. She’ll go to a hosted party. That’s ok. She’ll have fun. And the other will come yo my door. If I remember to get treats, I’ll hand them out with a smile. If they don’t…. I’m going to be really sick.

    Since when did childhood have to be such a chore?

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  77. Yeah, I have heard other folks talk about how rock music messes with them because of their bad times with drug addiction and tried to shame us from enjoying Christian Rock. I’ll put it this way. If you have PTSD from anything at all, I am totally interested in supporting your right to avoid being exposed to the very sights, sounds, smells and activities that will bring your worst responses/reactions to the fore and causing a debility for you. I promise, I would be that friend who would rent movies of any kind that you like, have a girl-talk fest between the movies and popcorn and just read our favorite scriptures to each other – cause I honestly get THAT excited about God’s word.

    However, I won’t take it lightly if you try to confuse my lighthearted social activities at Halloween as actual WORSHIP of a pagan deity!

    K?

    And I won’t hide – my name is right there for everyone to see.

    I am annoyed by what you just did, but I understand that when we are weak and just learning how to walk, we grope into insisting that the world be more simple. That issues be either black or white. The truth is – it can’t be. God knows that sin makes this life messy. There cannot be a sword swiping line on this particular issue unless we resort to Spiritual Abuse. Don’t go there. It’s a different kind of dark and icky thing to do than you’ve been doing – but it is no less dark and icky.

    God bless you because you are His beloved. God bless us all because we ALL are His beloveds.

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  78. Thank you for your thoughts. It really made me think about my response to Halloween. We never took our kids trick or treating because we lived out in the country and no one came to our house either. So we started a family tradition of making a fire in my husband’s grandmother’s old black iron wash pot and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. We invited friends sometimes and just had fun. Then our church started doing the fall festival thing and we participated in that. Of course we still lived in the same house for several years after that. But then we moved and we did the same thing as before, going to church. I am with you on not doing the scary stuff. My boys are all pretty much grown, ages 15-26 and they won’t watch those movies or do the horror stuff. BUT, it really made me think about the missed opportunity of being a light. And you are right. The average American probably doesn’t do the scary stuff either, they just want to have fun and get lots of candy. So, why not, if you feel led to try something different, be one of the good, clean, fun houses on the street. I appreciate that you have reiterated, several times, that all of this is each person’s choice. And I am sorry that some people have not recognized that. I think you have made some very valid points and definitely ones that make you really look at the motives behind our responses to Halloween. And you are right, light does shine brightest in the darkest darkness.

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  79. As always, your writing makes me smile. I’m so blessed to call you my friend. You always have a way of giving this “lifer” something to think about! Keep writing, my friend.

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  80. Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your posts! I have always handed out candy while my husband took the kids trick or treating, but your suggestion to actually do something more was great for me. I would love to get to know more of our neighbors and make some new friends! You have a great way with words. Thanks for sharing.

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  81. Wow, I love your thoughts (and you’re Canadian, too – yay!!!!)!
    I grew up doing the church “hallelujah” party and escaping from Halloween. It was considered an evil day. My poor children didn’t go out trick or treating until they were 10 and 8; our house was dark and empty every Halloween night until then. I still heartily dislike the preoccupation with death and gore, I know that there are people who do evil things on that day, and I hate the slutty nurse (etc) costumes, but have clearly undergone a transformation regarding my participation in the community activities. How can we be salt and light when our doors are closed on the biggest neighbourhood celebration of the year?!? And doesn’t Oct. 31 belong to God just like every other day (My little students sometimes tell me that it’s the devil’s birthday… I ask them how old he will be this year)?
    I’m so glad to have discovered your blog through the Halloween post on Facebook; I’ll be back! 🙂

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  82. Thanks to the poster (I think on another post) who suggested putting social media share button on my blog. My friend had to tell me how to do that, but we got it figured out.

    I really want to add here, that whether or not you participate in any kind of Halloween anything, is FINE. I’m sure that either way, you love the Lord and love your neighbours. This post is not coming from a place of judgement on my part and I have nothing but love & respect for people who choose and think differently than I do. My last Halloween post and this follow up are meant for those who are asking questions about it, not so much for those who already have it all figured out.

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  83. I love this, I am in 100% agreement with you. My kids have always loved pretend and dress up, and I see no reason why they should be held back from participating in the one day of the year when everyone else dresses up, too, even sometimes grownups! I love that most everybody’s door is open on this night. I’ve even chilled out about the candy over the years- it’s once a year after all and I feed them a good diet the rest of the time. My kids are 9, 13, and 14 this year and they’re still excitedly planning their costumes. There’s a group of neighborhood kids of all ages who like to go around together, and our neighbor across the street who doesn’t have kids anymore likes to come with us. It’s a great night for community, for loving your neighbor.

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    • My kids play dress up ALL the time, too. Halloween to them is the most epic game of dress up. With candy. One year an adult neighbour dressed up as Spiderman and my kids were convinced that they met the real, live actual Spiderman. It was fantastic.

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  84. People love to have something to argue about- don’t worry, in another month they’ll forget about your Halloween blog and start yelling about saying “Happy Holidays” 🙂 Loved your blog, thoughts, and suggestions for Halloween. In fact, it reminded me of a family who does not let their kids go trick-or-treating, but instead they turn on every light in their house, prop the front door wide open, and put lanterns all over the yard. They call it the “House of Light” – they hand out candy to everyone who comes to the door and invite them in for finger foods and hot cider. They don’t preach Jesus at them, they just show love. And it’s effective.

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  85. For the record, I am part of the Evangelical Christian Right and I agree with your post 100%! Our God is a big God and He CAN use us wherever we are, but he WANTS to be able use us wherever He is. So, you are right. As a Christian, I don’t believe in fate. I believe everything happens for His reason. I have never thought about the fact that this is the only night of the year when a lot of my neighbors come to me! Every knock on my door is a knock from Him. Going now to plan some fun things and be the house that everyone wants to knock on! Thank you for your post!

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    • People. You need to know something. For the last 5 years we’ve not been able to do anything for Halloween. We were in a townhouse where nobody came knocking. We had to take our kids to my parents’ neighbourhood to trick or treat. Last year it snowed and I stayed in the minivan listening to obnoxious Christmas music while my husband took our kids around my parents’ block. We moved and are now renting a house in a neighbourhood full of kids, and you bet your bottoms we’re doing *something* cool to meet our neighbours on Halloween. We’ve met some of them but I’m introvert and need reasons to talk to people because I’m socially awkward. You have no idea. LOL! We don’t have Halloween figured out. Our lives are always changing and a work in progress. Maybe at some point we’ll skip Halloween for one reason or another. You never know!

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      • I love your candor and enthusiasm for offering alternatives. I appreciate many points that you raise about why Halloween doesn’t have to be such a controversy for persons who love Christ. One point stood out the most from what I consider to be your “recap”: “…nobody wants to be you or your church’s pet project. People are looking for genuine relationship. Genuine community. They want to be loved because they are worth loving, not because you want to love them to Jesus or into a church.”

        I love that. I totally miss having contact with people from church outside of church. I used to belong to that kind of church when I was young (I’m 59, now); but I haven’t found one like that yet. All the folks are nice and great and caring and warm – until you miss some services and no one seems to care about why. Or, if they do, they want to argue me back into going in spite of my reasons for not being there. Like your reason: a child who can’t conform to the quiet of church. They might still insist you find a way to get him to conform, instead of letting you know when the “after service” events are happening so your family can still come as a family and be loved on. Or, offering rides to the kids who have been befriended the rest of the week by folks and their kids.

        I don’t have all the answers either; but it’s more fun working on them with your influence than my brown studies, lol.

        :huggerz: You’re a blessing and an amazing Mom ♥

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  86. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Although I may not agree with all of it I love you idea of the carnival on your front lawn. God has truly blessed you with an amazing gift of words. May you continue to seek His wisdom and contour to be used by Him to encourage those around you. You are a blessing both to your family, your friends, and yes even strangers. Thanks for encouraging me. God bless and strengthen you always!

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    • Thank you. I don’t always agree with everything I think that I think when I go back and read. Sometimes I shake my head at myself. We’re always learning, always growing, always open to changing our minds. Great discussion. Thanks for reading.

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      • I am a Christian and I love Halloween! Here is the devotion our Lutheran minister sent to our college kids this week. Maybe some are not aware that it’s roots lie in Christianity.

        To Boo or not to Boo:
        In the past two weeks I have had three people ask me: Can Christians Celebrate Halloween?

        Being in college, I suspect you have plans or opportunities to go to a few parties tomorrow night. So the question is, should you go or not? Despite what some may say, the history of Halloween actually has little to do with any occult practices or devil worship. Truthfully it actually has more to do with Christianity in the Middle Ages than anything else. The name “Halloween” itself is a shortened version of “All Hallows Evening” which points us to what comes the following day on November 1st: “All Hallows Day” or as it is better known “All Saints Day”. The festivities which surrounded All Hallows Eve were generally light hearted mockery of death, as the whole point of All Saints was to celebrate that death has lost its sting and that the faithful departed in Christ await the resurrection.

        So what should we make of Halloween? Certainly we should recognize that occult groups have tried to take over Halloween with their false theology. We should reject both false teachings and some of their superstitious activities. At the same time, as Christians we do have Christian freedom as well. Is it ok to dress up like Spider Man and run from house to house and load up on sugar? Sure, though parents of sugar filled kids and dentists would probably disagree for other reasons. Is it even ok, to look to the resurrection and mock death and say “Death is swallowed up in victory, O death where is your victory, O death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”? In fact, I would suggest that we do recapture the proclamation of Christ’s victory over death. This was the original intent behind both the Churchly and civil festivities of Halloween.

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  87. I JUST found your blog, via someone sharing your halloween post on Facebook. I’m not a mom (yet?), but I find mom-blogs fall into two categories.
    1 – either they are crazy Christian baby-makers who homeschool (I’m not even sure if you do) to shelter their kids, and make up really insane rules about cultural stuff (like halloween). Or 2 – they are crazy pinteresty mom’s who spend all their time making their own dinner, granola, shampoo, repurposed furniture, toilet paper, etc etc etc.

    I like that you’re a Christian and you’re sassy. One of the first lines I read in your blog said something about how you’re a Christian and you don’t want people to be asshats on your blog. Thanks.

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    • Oh my gosh. NO I do not home school my kids. Because you’re welcome, society at large. Holy cow. Thank God for the public school system.

      I’m going to tell my husband you said I’m sassy. I bet he’ll roll his eyes all the way to God in Heaven above. 😉

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    • I completely agree with you. I am not yet a parent myself, but find exactly what you find when reading mom blogs on internet. I always think – oh gosh, I don’t want to be a control freak like this (either with my children, or with my life).

      Jenna –
      Reading this blog makes me feel like there is hope for all of us regulars out there. Who want our kids to experience everything and who want to love everything and everyone, and just enjoy life.
      I am a Christian. I do not attend church on Sundays. I work 7 days a week, and always have. I love my job. I worship God through my actions everyday. I do not feel I have to justify my beliefs by attending a service on Sunday morning. I feel I live life in a Goldy way.
      Thanks for telling it like it is. I know not everyone agrees with you, but they don’t have to! There are many other blogs out there for them. As someone who was lucky enough to read this who does agree with you, it’s great to see someone else so much like myself.

      Coodoos to you!

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    • “crazy Christian baby-makers who homeschool…”, “crazy pinteresty mom’s…”, “religious nuts”, “tacky harvest parties”, “control freak”, “a Christian and you don’t want people to be asshats”, “church-going christians”, etc etc

      Correct me if I’m wrong TFM, but I think the spirit behind your idea is suppose to be coming from the motive to “just love” people.
      I think your idea and motive are good. I also think that Halloween is a gray area (issue of conscience) and should be handled as such…not that we can’t talk about it, but it is naturally going to be controversial…and neither side is right if they think they are backing it up Biblically. Good for the blog business, not always so good for building others up in the body of Christ, depending on the tone and attitude that we use towards others.

      If we are called to love others, and we are indeed, shouldn’t we ALL start with other Christians?

      Madison, just how are you going to “just love” others in your neighborhood when you can’t even show love and respect to other moms on the internet that might are different than you?

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  88. There is no celebration/festivities/holiday that is observed/celebrated by all. With most other celebrations we find it easy to accept our differences (I mean.. we don’t accuse anyone of not being Christlike for not attending the Canada Day Parade with the rest of their neighbours, right?). But when it comes to Halloween, what happened to free choice? What happened to respecting our differences? Is it really ‘wrong’ or ‘not-Christlike’ for some to keep the doors closed on Halloween or is it just a personal choice? Is it possible that maybe the right thing to do is to teach our children that those who do not open their doors on Halloween simply ‘don’t like/believe in Halloween’. From the little that I know about Jesus(and it is very little), I would definitely agree that he is not afraid of Halloween. At the same time, Jesus does not need Halloween to reach out to people. From the little that I know about Jesus, I can easily imagine him reaching out to people on Halloween Himself, right in their neighbourhood. BUT at the same time, I CANNOT imagine Jesus taking a small child by the hand and taking them trick-or-treating willingly exposing them to all the scarry/dark images I see just in my own neighborhood this time of year. It is simply not age appropriate for most of the kids out there. If a movie came out with that kind of imagery and was rated “G” – most of us parents would be outraged… we would demand at least a PG13 rating!

    I do not take part in Halloween. My reasons are none of the ones you state in either of your blogs. I do NOT believe that those that go trick-or-treating are ‘evil worshipers’ and respect the choices that others made. Is it wrong for me to ask that the same courtesy be given to me without judgement?

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    • CIL, I don’t think that she was speaking to those who simply don’t like it. She mentions in the last paragraph that if Halloween is triggers trauma or is just not right for you or your family then so be it. I think she is speaking to those who outwardly preach against it on the grounds that it is un-Christian & therefore they “hide” or retreat from the world as a stand against it. Their soapbox is built more on tradition rather than a biblical foundation or the example that Christ gave us.

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      • Dear CIL, in response to your last comment below(and I think a couple of others have reiterated this), Jenna was not lumping everyone who doesn’t participate into one category. She clarified in BOTH posts: ” There are people who don’t care or can’t be bothered. And that’s fine. My previous blog was addressed more towards people who don’t really know what to do about Halloween. “(from Give Them Potatoes) and From the “On Halloween” post: “So if you’re torn or on the fence or not sure how to deal with this very polarizing day for the Christian world, here are some thoughts:” and “You may still hate Halloween and avoid it at all costs. That’s fair. It’s not for everybody. ” I think you’re feeling defensive for your own reasons and it has nothing to do with what this blog is saying. I am Jenna’s close friends(one of many) and there are some years I can’t be bothered. I forget that it’s Halloween because my kids are all teens. If I don’t have candy or anything, I leave the house or shut off the lights and close the door. I don’t feel the slightest bit offended by what Jenna is saying here. She’s right- it is the ONE opportunity in the entire year when people actually come to our doors. I used to hate it. I still think peddling for candy is greedy and annoying but I do love to see kids laughing and having fun. I do love giving a knowing nod and supportive look to tired parents who would rather be home cozy and relaxing. Sometimes it’s just the littlest thing that can make the world of difference to one person. That’s all this is about. Nothing else.

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      • Not feeling defensive…. just totally misunderstood. 😦

        Lines like: “What I hear when people say they don’t want to associate themselves with Halloween is that we need to quit because the devil has won.
        God is not big enough for Halloween.
        God is not big enough for Halloween?”

        That is not what we are saying at all! My posts were just meant to clarify this. I’ve done my best and hope it will be helpful to someone.

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    • I am not judging you and I am sorry you are feeling judged. I think we agree on most of what you’ve said. I did say that Halloween is not for everyone and that is okay. I did not say it’s wrong or unChristlike to not celebrate Halloween. I did say that God can use Halloween but that He doesn’t need it. I did not say that Jesus would take the little children trick or treating. I’m not sure where the disagreement lies here to be honest.

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      • You know what’s weird? It’s my youngest boys age 3 & 5 who love the scary yards. The yards getting ready right now. I say: I’m not sure it’s a good idea, and they keep telling me, “but Mom, it’s not real!” They find it silly somehow.
        Scares me, but for them, it’s right up there with other yucky things like saying “poop!” I never expected that. I mean, I expected the bathroom humour, but not liking scary things as silly.

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    • Wowza! Why are you taking this as a personal attack in the large world of the internet? No one is forcing you to read this blog or feel directly convicted by another’s opinion. That is what this is. It is an opinion and a story about how her Gpa experienced his first set of trick-or-treating children.
      If this has hit that much of a vein for you to feel “criticized”, “judged”, and that a lack of “respect” has been shown to you, I encourage you to search within yourself and your immediate surroundings for the reason. Walk away from this conversation if it causes you negative feelings about yourself or others. This was not a challenge or an opinion joust with you as the only other participant.
      I applaud you for making the personal decisions for what holidays you celebrate and how, if that is what you want to do. No judgment expressed, implied, or even thought of in an inner monologue. 🙂
      Now, I am walking away from this conversation to get back to work. Have a lovely day.

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      • You know… I never post comments on blogs because they tend to get really ‘ugly’ like this one has. TroubleFaceMom was the first blogger to get me to respond to a blog post. Hope she feels proud as that is quite an achievement!! My comments were for both this and her previous post combined as I didn’t have enough time for two posts. I’ll tell you why this bugged me… no actually it just made me really sad. This was forwarded to me by a very close friend. She does Halloween and knows I don’t. I have never attacked her with my beliefs and always respected her decision. The only times I have discussed Halloween with her is when she brings it up. I have a picture of her kids in their Halloween costumes up in my house… because her kids are absolutely adorable and I love them to pieces! When her kids asked me why I don’t do Halloween I just told them that “I don’t like Halloween .. that’s all”. And yet, she read this article and knowing that I was also Christian she forwarded it to me saying “look, your God is bigger than Halloween, you don’t need to be afraid of it!!” and I went “WHAT? Me afraid of Halloween? Oh Gosh NO! Of course my God is bigger – when was that ever doubted?!?”
        My friend’s response to this article made me feel that my silence on this topic in an effort to be respectful led her to have the wrong impression as to why I don’t do Halloween. I felt I needed to speak up for those like me who for whatever reason… choose not to celebrated it. It is ok not to take part. Is it Jesus at the other side of the door knocking? I don’t know… all I know is that God has given each and everyone of us a conscience. It is through that conscience that He speaks to us. In previous years I have taken part in Halloween to some extent… and I never felt good about it. So I finally decided to listen to my conscience and do what feels right. I have chosen to turn off the lights to let people know that I don’t take part in Halloween – that way they can save themselves the walk up to my door. I am not hiding as the previous Halloween blog suggests – I just choose not to participate. My neighbours know me, we have a good relationship and I don’t feel that handing out anything would help me to reach out to them since usually they get their candy and run giving me no time for any kind of meaningful conversation. I continue keep an open mind… and I will continue to listen to my conscience… if it is ever Him knocking at my door – I know He will impress my conscience to go and open!

        It saddens me that there are so many misconceptions out there as to why people choose to participate or not in Halloween. If my previous posts sound judgmental – I apologize as they were not meant to be. I just felt that both of these blogs misrepresented the reasons why many of us choose not to take part in the hopes that others, like my good friend don’t end up with the wrong idea.

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      • I really do value your opinion, as I do TroubleFace Mom’s opinion on her blog. I appreciate that you replied. 🙂 My best friend and neighbor does not celebrate Halloween. I completely accept and respect her for it. She did quietly share her reasons. Again, I respect her for her choice.

        These blog entries have created quite a stir among many many different people for a wide variety of reasons. I believe the hardest thing about emailing/texting/blog messaging is that it lacks the face-to-face emotion that MUST go with a good conversation. Words are just words and can be taken in a completely different way than the author meant them because there is no emotion portrayed in black and white or grayscale words. I apologize if my response was strong or out of context.

        I associate Halloween activities with visiting the elderly and the shut-ins in our rural community. They love it when we visit throughout the year without costumes, but a cute little action hero really seems to light up a face. It is a nice change for them. I introduce my children (sometimes multiple times as they don’t remember from the last time we visited) and we stay for 5 minutes. It is a friendly hand on their shoulder or hand, a conversation, and that contented feeling that comes with it that is what keeps me involved with this holiday. This is one way I was raised to respect the elderly and this is one way I intend to keep teaching my children.

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    • i appreciate your response because you didn’t flail Bible verses all willy-nilly – as opposed to the bunch who share your feelings and were condescending about it. please know that your opinion and feelings are respected by myself and many like me

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    • Thank you for sharing your heart and representing the other side of the coin on this topic CIL. I just wanted to say that I whole-heartedly agree with you (I did read all the way down), and appreciate the fact that your thoughts were done tactfully and in love. I think it all comes down to perspective, and respecting the choices made by our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My family and I will not be celebrating Halloween and it has nothing to do with an unloving heart towards our neighbors or fear of the Enemy. It’s simply not in-line with our personal convictions. Scripture tells us that all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial to our spiritual walk (1 Corinthians 10:23), and those ‘things’ will surely be different from household to household. For us, this is a holiday we choose to pass up. Perhaps we’ll attend a church event that evening, and our daughter did have the opportunity to dress up for a costume party last week. As long as you’re focused on Christ you can choose to celebrate the evening with candy or costumes, or you can stay home and enjoy a quiet night with your family…with the porch light off. It’s up to you and God to make a decision that lines up with your convictions, and we shouldn’t make each other feel bad about it either way. Blessings to you, and remain strong in whatever the Lord has placed in YOUR heart!

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    • Alex,
      I’m going to pick on you(sorry- you’re the most recent comment)….don’t take this too personally as I want to address some of what you’ve said here which has been repeated more than a few times. First of all, did you read this post and the previous one from a year ago which was the original post that went viral? Because maybe you need to read it again. A lot of commenters are getting their noses out of joint because they’re simply caught up in this “one night of the year” business. Jenna is my friend and I have read every single comment on this thread(153 so far) and all of them on the other post( 411 at this point)- Jenna never said this is the ONLY night she reaches out. She never said that everyone else should do the same. She asked a question- what are you doing to be the light? This isn’t about trick or treating and begging for candy(which incidentally is my #1 pet peeve of Halloween). This is about what each of us are doing to not hide but to be gracious, kind, loving neighbours. You’re right- not everyone can afford the candy. You’re right- we don’t even need to go to our neighbour’s doors…I’m not. But we can turn on the porch light if we’re able and we can smile and not be the prudish , grouchy Christians next door who want to take all the fun away. That’s all this is about. It is ONE NIGHT. But is is the ONLY NIGHT when the neighbourhoods in yours and my communities come alive with people in the street , knocking on doors of people they don’t know. The least we can do is be kind and not judgmental. Love your neighbours is what Jesus said. Be a light is what He taught. Go out into all the world was his mandate.

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      • When I was young we went door to door on Halloween collecting for UNICEF the united nations children fund. Halloween in my family was always a Christian centered day. In the long ago tradition, people went door to door the night before all saints day…dressed as their favorite saint…asking for food and alms for the poor….most saints were martyred so there were ghoulish costumes…like st joan of arc burned at the stake….. Then on nov 1 everyone prays for the souls of those departed. All Hallows eve was a time to help out families who recently lost a parent (breadwinner) and the needy were given what was collected on that night. How it evolved from that to UNICEF is also Christian based. Why Americans made it into get candy or vandalize the house …I do not understand.
        The same for Christmas. It is a SEASON of 12 days from the birthday of Jesus to the coming of the 3 wise men…before that is ADVENT from thanksgiving to Dec 24 which is in preparation for the coming of the Christ child. But most people take down their decorations in the mddle of the 12 day season and put up their trees before the 24th. Saying Merry Christmas during advent…and not during the actual season is more the norm. Do you say Happy Easter during LENT? Same difference. Christianity has become secularized by those who are profiting with their sales of tangible goods associated with that day. Santa Claus appears in stores before school starts. Listen to everyone refer to Dec 26 as after the holidays. It could be more relaxed of a holiday if we did like many other nations..gifts on the 12th day and visit and party during the entire season. Christmas is NOT just one day! If you have 12 gifts under your tree…why not choose one each day to open? Why tear through as much as you can as fast as you can? Enjoy and savor the moment of the gift and the giver …..Love is the theme of the season.
        People have lost the Christian concept in Christian based days.

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