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What Should A Christian Family Do About Halloween?

What Should A Christian Family Do About Halloween?

He Said/She Said on Halloween

by John and Tricia Goyer

“What Should A Christian Family Do About Halloween?”


As parents, John and I always struggle with what to do with Halloween. We don’t want our children to participate in the pagan holiday, but there is no way to ignore it. Cottony spiderwebs hanging from trees and blown-up skull heads gracing lawns are hard to ignore.

Then there are the dozens of questions that lead up to the day, “What are you going to be for Halloween?” every grocery store clerk and restaurant waitress asks. There are also all the other kids talking about it nonstop–after all costumes and candy are exciting.

For years we did nothing to acknowledge the day. We’d go grocery shopping or hide in our living room and watch a movie with our kids (with the lights off so no one would realize we were home!).

Then there was the year that we bought witnessing tracks to put in the goody bags. Yet before we could it began to bother us. We were preaching without connecting. We were pointing fingers, instead of extending hands of friendship.

So this year–the first time in 24 years of parenting–we’re being intentional about our Halloween plans. We’re getting costumes and candy, and we have a mission. We’ve just moved to a new town, and we want to get to know our neighbors. We want to meet them, greet them, and offer them candy with a smile.


Tricia and I are parents of six children. Three are adults (24, 21, and 19-years-old) and we have three young kids through adoption (6, 3, and 3 years-old). Walking down the parenting road hasn’t been a straight line. We’ve sought God and we’ve tried to do our best, and the longer we walk on this journey we realize that “what we’re for” is often more important than what we’re against.

We used to be against Halloween. Now, being “for” our neighbors is more important. We want to be kind and approachable. We want to build bridges, instead of putting up walls. We believe that building relationships–and finding common ground–goes far in making friends.

We still aren’t excited about Halloween, but this year we’re letting our kids dress up. We’re opening our front door and handing out candy, and we’re going to strike up conversations with as many neighbors as we can. Who knows if these short conversations will be the start of lifelong friendships.


I won’t ever be a fan of Halloween, but I’m excited about using the day to build relationships and to connect. There are people right down the street with real struggles and real pain, and maybe offering a mini-Snickers will be a great way to start to getting to know them!

Tricia Goyer

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  1. We still choose not to celebrate Halloween, but I completely agree that we should be FOR people more than we are against anything else 🙂 I just don’t see our decision not to celebrate Halloween as being against people…just like with other decisions we make that we feel God leads us to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Crystal, I think that when we focus on God and what He wants He will let us know what’s right for your family!

  2. I really have been struggling with trick or treating this year.
    I’ve done it in the past with the kids. But it’s such a tough decision. In the world but not of the world. How am I being a better witness? Does this draw closer to or further from Christ? What am I teaching my children? All the thoughts that have been invading my space.
    I still don’t know if we’ll be trick or treating tonight. But I do know that I want everything I do to bring glory to Him.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. We will be serving our community at our church tonight. We’ve spent weeks preparing and the last 4 days transforming the church into a wonderland. We will offer parents espressos and kiddos get to play games and get candy in a warm, safe environment. Every year we get new families who start attending our church from this event. And we all dress up and have a blast. I struggled years ago with Halloween but decided for our family Halloween is what you make of it. We don’t do scary costumes, movies, decorations etc. It’s about fun and being IN our community. We personally believe Jesus would have been out serving, laughing and enjoying the fun costumes and children, and rebuking the evil. Satan has been defeated and we live in the freedom of Christ. I think each holiday and it’s traditions only have the meaning we personally give them in our lives and that includes Christmas. Enjoy getting to know your neighbors tonight! You guys are going to have a great time!

  4. This has been a real struggle for me this year. For at least a decade, I hadn’t thought about it too much, and we’ve allowed our kids to go trick-or-treating with costumes that are funny (PacMan), social (firefighter) or historical (18th century dress), but absolutely nothing scary or even remotely “mean”. We also live in a great neighborhood, where everyone on Halloween is out on their stoops, saying hi to neighbors, smiling, etc. I really like this post because, in my heart or the back of my brain or somewhere, I have this nagging “this is wrong” feeling, but I don’t know what to do about it. I would like the day’s events to be about something neighborly and social and fun. I don’t think that God will strike my family down for dressing up like Muppets (as my husband and I did this year), but I still worry that I’m “participating in evil”. Anyway, thanks again for this post!!

  5. Tricia I think you just gave in to the pressure of almost everybody celebrating a day and decided to join them. Let’s be honest, you have three little children and you probably thought that you were denying them some fun and candy. I understand the pressure I also have three kids… I deny them this evil day because it celebrates death… Christians don’t need to celebrate death…Let’s stop it with the excuses because there aren’t any good ones… as far as engaging people for conversations and so on… why can’t you do that the rest of the 364 days? Too many Christians compromise on this and many other things… we will never change the culture if we partake of it and contribute to it’s demise… Halloween is a celebration of death no matter how we slice it and dice it…. I’m sure the Christians in Rome could’ve went to the Colesseum to see bloody spectator sport with people being fed to the lions and so forth but that’s not what we are called to do…just one man’s opinion…let’s stay strong and deny the candy industry and others who profit from it… if we feed it, it will grow…let’s starve it.

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