Four couples with children were asked about Fall holidays and celebrations. What are you teaching your children?
have 3 children ages 9, 7, and 5
We have no Fall celebration in our home other than Thanksgiving. I am very honest with my kids about Halloween. I have explained to them that I do not like it because it promotes fear, terror, horror, and is all around evil. I then explain that all those things come from hell. They get it. On the other hand, I am not…afraid, or concerned about Halloween. We have never taken the kids trick or treating other than at big church festivals (which, by the way, they always get way more candy there). We have fun with the kids and let them dress up as something for school…a race care driver, Woody the cowboy, etc. We avoid any type of “haunted house” experience, or scary movies. Public school is always an issue with this type of holiday. Not knowing what they will do to celebrated the day is the problem. It hasn’t been a problem the last few years, mostly just dress up and candy. We will see as they get older. Halloween does provide a good opportunity to talk to our kids about “stuff.”
have 2 children, ages 5 and 2
My kids are a little atypical in what you can explain to a two and four year old and expect them to grasp. To them dress up is fun, candy is good, and hanging out with anyone is Good Times. To them “God is bigger than the boogieman, bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV” to quote a Veggie Tale’s song. However, they know what appears scary and even though they know it’s not real it opens their eyes to a thing we constantly are teaching them which is DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR!!! We celebrate life, fellowship, and playing dress up!! We rebuke and teach against fear and the motives behind it. My children are taught daily to believe in and on the cross, and through His light there is no prevailing darkness!!!!!!!!!
have 2 children, ages 8 and 5
We have a “October Jam” at our church which we usually attend. It’s fun for the kids to dress up and frankly we as parents also like candy! It provides a family friendly, safe environment for kids and our church does a community wide festival not on church property, at a nearby park. We give away bags of “goodies” with lots of information in it inviting them to church for a “free gift”, which is a way to outreach. Also the Gospel is shared in open air with a drama.
As our children get older we do explain the meaning of Halloween and why we don’t necessarily celebrate it per say, and we don’t trick or treat because its just not safe anymore. You just don’t know people and what they put in those bags.
have 1 child, 10 months old
We have always loved Halloween as a time to bring many friends, from our work, our church, and neighborhood together and try to outdo each other with great costumes! The history of All Hallow’s Eve began with the Celts as a celebration of the end of harvest. What we do now in America has more to do with the media and retail sales and did not begin here until the early 1900’s. During the Depression and into post World War II, ‘trick or treating’ was an opportunity for poor children to “appropriately beg” for goodies. They wore costumes so they weren’t recognized and to maybe receive more candy for their clever costumes.
We will be teaching our children history and to reach out to people.