Halloween is a very controversial topic among Christian families. Many do not want their children to be exposed to the nasty, satanic way of thinking. But, many families feel like bad parents by not allowing their children to participate in a national celebration. I get it! Seeing the sadness on your child’s face as they watch the other children parade around in fun Disney costumes is nearly heartbreaking.
When my husband and I had our daughter, we had initially decided to “skip” Halloween. However, after researching and seeking wisdom (much higher than my own), my husband and I finally came up with a solution that we both like. It’s not perfect. I mean, every family will have to come up with a solution that works for them! But, it fits our needs and so for now… this is our solution for celebrating Halloween.
I am a firm and avid believer in Jesus; I love him dearly! My husband and I try our hardest to make sure that everything our family participates in glorifies God. We aren’t perfect with this but it is our ultimate goal!
I also have a genuine love and respect for history. I cannot even express to you how frustrating it is to see schools begin to put history on the sidelines. Someone might argue, “well Tenesha, it’s just history — it’s not something important like math or science. Schools don’t have enough time for everything.”
If that’s the case, let me ask you three simple questions.
- Why do you avoid touching a hot stove?
- You’re careful when you walk on ice to work, aren’t you?
- And– on a more serious note — if you’re a Christian then you have a big reason for celebrating Christmas, don’t you?
DEFINITION OF HISTORY
The whole series of past events connected with someone or something.
If you did not reflect on your past and what you’ve been taught, I’m sure it would be tempting to touch a hot stove. But, your past experience of touching something hot tells you to not touch the hot stove! If you have fallen on ice then you know how painful it is. You walk carefully so that history will not repeat itself. And, because we have the bible (which is a major historical document), we know how important it is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
History is important because it’s what teaches us valuable lessons and develops well-rounded, informed individuals. We study history so that we do not make the same mistakes twice. But, we also study history to get a better understanding on a specific subject.
Do you know the history of Halloween?
“The roots of Halloween lie in late autumn harvest rituals that correspond to seasonal changes and the dying year. During this period of transition, cultures remember those who have passed on by drawing an analogy between human death and the dark, cold winter months that loom ahead.” EDSITEment
The very, very old celebration — before it was known as Halloween — I don’t agree with. I obviously do not believe that this is the time where souls can walk the earth but that is an ancient Celtic thought. Once the celebration was “Christianized” in 600 something A.C., it became a time to celebrate the loved ones who’ve passed.
Now, you won’t catch me participating in the nasty Halloween decorating and costumes that the American culture has made it out to be. In fact, you won’t even catch us looking at something like that. It’s gross and it idolizes a satanic way of thinking. But, I’m not going to avoid the celebration. Instead, I am going to use this celebration as a way to teach my children about history and as a way to understand other cultures.
- Halloween is the appreciation of the afterlife and the survival after death. It literally means “night before All Hallows’ Day” which translates to All Saints’ Day.
- The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated Latin America and the U.S. It’s aimed to remember and pray for family and friends who have died.
My thinking is this: If we never understand other cultures then how in the world can we be diplomatic with one another?
SUGAR SKULLS AND JESUS
Do you know why the skull is so popular during this celebration? During the ancient times the skull was used to represent Golgotha — AKA, the place where Jesus was crucified. So, this celebration was often used as a way to remember the sacrifice that Jesus had made.
Sugar skulls are a huge part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.
My husband and I decided that Halloween is the perfect time to start introducing biblical teaching to our children for the Christmas season. We plan on setting aside an afternoon each year to make and decorate sugar skulls. While making them, my husband and I will explain to our children why Jesus’ sacrifice was so important. We will explain to them the symbolism of the skull and the origin of this celebration.
Decorating sugar skulls into beautiful artwork is one tool (out of many) that helps children view death as a less scary ordeal.
Want to know how to make a sugar skull? Visit Art is Fun for a step by step tutorial!
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Using Halloween as a way to explain to our children about death.
I have studied a lot of different cultures during my time in high school and college. The one main thing that I noticed — even at 16 years old — was that Americans desperately try to avoid the subject of death at all costs (compared to other cultures).
In fact, one might say that we are scared of it. But why? Why be scared of death if we have Jesus?
Maybe it’s because of the way our American society has made celebrations such as Halloween out to be: scary and gross.
Most Latin Americans are very open about missing their loved ones who have passed and remembering who they were. A lot of them don’t even try to hide their sorrow or pain from that empty place in their heart. It’s really quite amazing! They have made a big deal out of The Day of the Dead; sharing stories, memories, and celebrating lives that once walked this earth.
Death once had a different meaning to me before my sister was diagnosed with Leukemia. I had this fantasy that death is something that only happens when you are old and tired; not to someone as young as three years old. I’ve never been fond of funerals for one reason; it’s as if you hold a service to honor someone’s passing and then people forget… everyone except you. People in the U.S. are extremely great at supporting other’s who experience loss but once that funeral comes around, the help starts dying away.
Maybe you prefer it that way but I don’t. I’d like to think that when I die my family will think back to me fondly and with a warm heart; not just with a dull ache that has been pushed deep inside themselves. And, in order to develop this thinking in my children, I need to start teaching them the tough subject of death.
The Day of the Dead is a great way to remind our children that 1) yes, this person use to be in our life and 2) this person is still alive but in heaven with Jesus.
How can we teach our children that the person they knew who died is living in heaven if we never talk about it or celebrate it? I want my children to be prepared and I want them to know the facts. I mean, how dreadful would it be to live a life without believing in Jesus? No wonder so many people avoid death because it has no meaning without Jesus.
So, I plan on using this celebration as a great way to correlate and explain Jesus, His ultimate sacrifice, death and our everlasting life with Him.
I also plan on handing out candy to children with a small paper taped to each piece about attending a church service or remembering Jesus. I am not going to “avoid” the celebration. However, I am going to use it as a tool in sharing the good news and educating my family about Jesus, cultures, and death.
Anyways, long post and I’ll get off my miniature soapbox now. But I wanted to give some of you a little “food for thought” as this celebration quickly approaches.
Happy Saturday, everyone!
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