I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Halloween this year. Perhaps because I now have my own little rug-rat who will be asking about costumes and candy in a few short years. Perhaps because I’ve been focusing a bit more on outreach lately. At any rate, I was reading a post on Stuff Christians Like about the “Hybrid Halloween“. Jon writes:
It’s not Halloween, it’s not. Is it held in October? Yes. Do kids get candy? Yes. Do kids dress up? Yes. Are there pumpkins involved? Yes. But it’s not Halloween, it’s a “Fall Festival.”
This is pretty much where our church is. We provide a “Halloween Alternative” (not actually on Halloween, mind you, because the survey we passed out to church members reported that no one would actually skip trick-or-treating to come to the party). We did the costumes, the fall games, and passed out loads of candy. Then we condemned anyone who participated in Halloween outside the church. I always thought this might be confusing to unchurched people. Heck, it’s a bit confusing to me.
This thought was confirmed last Friday when I was talking to one of the day care moms. She told me about a time she was basically sentenced to hell by a co-worker because she was taking her four year old out trick-or-treating. She heard the lecture about the evils of the holiday and then was kindly handed a flyer for the co-worker’s church Fall Fest.
Susan (daycare mom) asked: Oh, do they dress up here?
Co-worker: Of course, and we pass out candy too!
Susan: So, it’s exactly like Halloween, just inside a church?
Co-worker: No! It’s nothing like Halloween. It’s a Fall Fest!
All I could do was shake my head and agree. I’m still not sure what to think about the whole Hybrid Halloween phenomenon. I think our church will always do a “Fall Fest”. Our Pumpkin and Pajama party is scheduled for tonight, in fact. However, I also chose to pass out candy (and flyers for the party) this year to the trick-or-treaters who came to our house. I guess that’s a balance. For now, I’ll put it on the shelf and wrestle again with it next year!
More stuff to check out: