Want to see a group of Christians become divided? Bring up the topic of Halloween.
Those on both sides of the aisle (participate vs avoid) are passionate about their views. But which response is correct for your family?
I believe there is actually a third option. I believe Halloween can be an opportunity to share God’s love with your neighbors.
Read more on What's a Christian Family to Do with Halloween?
Scroll to see a compiled list of activities, books, and songs that bring light to the holiday.
Original Source Unknown
Instead of traveling from door to door to get a treat, knock on a door and give the person who answers a treat. Dress up or not, but use this time to visit those who need a little smile and a little encouragement.
Original Source Unknown
Present the Bible and provide treats and gifts that correspond with the Bible stories. This idea could be used to invite the community in or as a simple Sunday School activity. You could also do this in a preschool or private school setting.
Supplies: Pumpkin, large bowl, newspapers, sharp knife, spoon, candle, matches, Bible
Open with prayer and share “Every Halloween, people carve pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns. We’re going to carve a pumpkin too, but our pumpkin is very special because it is going to teach us about God."
"You aren't a pumpkin, but all of us are something like one. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you." Talk about how a pumpkin is like us: it has an outside and an inside. The outside is what people see. The inside is like our soul or our heart.
"A pumpkin left to itself will soon rot and die. We will die someday too."
Carve out eyes and a small "o" shaped mouth. As you make the holes and pull out the pieces of rind, ask the child, "What do you see inside?" (yucky stuff). "This is what we look like to others and what we are like when are hearts are not changed by Jesus. Our hearts are full of evil called sin (Ecclesiastes 9:3). Sin is all of the bad choices that we make that makes God sad. How can we get rid of this icky stuff?"
"God is the only one who can change our heart. But in order for God to change our heart we must become open to him." Carve an opening in the top of the pumpkin big enough to put your hand through. You might want to quote Revelation 3:20: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Put in your hand and pull out the insides. "God scoops out all the yucky stuff inside of us. He removes the seeds of disobedience, impatience, disrespect, hatefulness, and whatever else we have in our heart." Talk about the cross and how Jesus was willing to become messy for us, so that we might be clean. Ezekiel 36:25b-27: I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
"But if we leave a pumpkin with just the insides taken out, then it's just hollow. We need to have a light inside that will truly make us alive! Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" Add a light to the inside of the pumpkin. "When Jesus lives inside of you, you can glow! You will want to make good choices because that makes God happy. You will want to help others and to tell other people about your Friend and Lord."
At this point you might want to carve the mouth into a smile! "God carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."
"When Jesus comes into our hearts, we become new creations, just as our pumpkin has become a new creation." Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
Read Matthew 5:14-16. Then light a candle and place it inside the pumpkin. Turn off the room lights and have everyone stand or sit so they can see the light coming through the pumpkin’s face.
Discuss how God wants our light to shine before others. Read 2 Cor. 4:6
As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:
Open my mind so I can learn about You;
(Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do.
(Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see;
(Cut the eyes out in heart shapes)
I'm so sorry for turning up my nose to all you've given me.
(Cut a nose in the shape of a cross)
Open my ears so your word I will hear.
(Cut the ears shaped like the Bible)-we did rectangles
Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near
(cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen.
(Place a candle inside and light it)
Based on Idea Reprinted with Permission from Flutterby
Supplies: Partially pre-carved pumpkin with a cross carved in one side.
How many of you have been to a pumpkin patch? I visited a pumpkin patch yesterday and brought a pumpkin for us to carve.
With the pumpkin on the floor and carved section away from the audience, dramatically try to get the pumpkin from the floor onto the table to carve it. Pretend it is too heavy and the table is too tall. Try to swing it onto the table but instead swinging around in circles and miss the table. Add other clown silliness. With the pumpkin finally on the table, begin to carve it with carved side away from audience.
I love that God has stories He wants to share with us and His stories are everywhere. God shared a story with me about pumpkins. He showed me that we are like pumpkins. We look so nice on the outside, but inside we are all yucky! Show guts of pumpkin. But when we ask Jesus in our hearts, He volunteers to take the yucky slimy stuff out, Jesus removes the seeds of envy and lying and jealousy. Show seeds. After Jesus gets it all cleaned out He brings a bright light into our lives.
When finished placed a battery-operated candle inside the pumpkin. Jesus' light is so bright that His light shines not only in us, but through us. Dim the lights, turn the pumpkin around allowing the audience to see the cross carved in the pumpkin.
Encourage audience to carve a cross in their pumpkin for people to know that Jesus lives in their house.
I am a Jack O' Lantern
My light will shine so bright
For I am a Christian pumpkin
My symbols tell what's right.
My nose is like the cross
on which our Savior died
To set us free from sin
We need no longer hide.
My mouth is like a fish
The whole wide world to show
That Christians live in this house
And love their Savior so!
The story starts at Christmas
My eyes are like the star
That shone on Baby Jesus
And wise men saw from far
My color it is orange
Just like the big bright sun
That rose on Easter Day
Along with Gods' own Son.
And so on Halloween
Let's set our pumpkins out
And tell the trick or treaters
What Gods' love is all about!
Being a human being is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up,
takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.
He opens you up, touches you deep inside
and scoops out all the yucky stuff–
including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside
you to shine for all the world to see.
Original Source Unknown
Gather your children around a bowl of the collected Halloween candy. Discuss how God asks us to give Him the first 10% of what we are given. God made everything and everything that we have has been given by God. Because God has given us so much, we want to give back to God. By giving back to God, we show God that we love Him and are thankful for what He has given us.
Because we want to give back to God first, have each child count their Halloween candy and put the first piece of every ten aside.
Discuss ways that your child can give the candy "back to God". It may be to give the candy to someone who was unable to trick-or-treat due to sickness. Call a local shelter and see if your children can take the candy to children there. I even read of churches who have a "Candy Tithe" the Sunday after Halloween.
Here are a few verses to read from the Bible about giving:
2 Cor 9:7
Original Source Unknown
Fill a jar with all of the candy. Label the jar with the words "Kindness Jar." Sit down with your child(ren) and explain that your family is going to help each other show kindness by using the "Kindness Jar." Every time anyone is "caught" being kind, he or she gets to take out a sweet treat from the jar. Encourage the kids to look for other family members being kind.
Thank you Karyn for this idea.
Save the candy to make gingerbread houses the day after Thanksgiving.
Thank you Connie for this idea.
Place the little candy bars in the freezer and then when the family goes to a ballgame, etc. take a little bag of candy to have instead of going to the concession stand.
Sort the candy by type, shape, or color.
Practice counting or making groups of 5 or 10.
Thank you Shelby for this idea.
I create bags of candy for the staff at local nursing homes (firehouse, police station, etc) with a thank you card. Every time I’ve done this they are so happy to get it.