Halloween is over and many of your are already hanging Christmas lights. However, I recieved so much response and had so many interesting ideas come in after I shared my family's feelings on the subject that I wanted to share a few more with you. Maybe they'll come in handy next year. First, here's an e-mail I was sent written by Johm Fischer of the Fischtank.
Catch of the Day
Halloween is not Satan's holiday by John Fischer
Here's what I have to say to everybody on Halloween, 2007. Fear not, stock up on candy, and turn on the lights. Christians have a short history of opting out of All Hallows Eve, even though the origins of this holiday celebrated the martyrs who had given their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ. A few years ago someone convinced a group of already frightened Christians that they should really be sacred on Halloween, so that's when the bad news of Satan's holiday spread all over the country (fear travels fast), houses went dark and everybody went to church for a safe, alternative celebration. Now I know this wasn't always the case for Christians, because when I was a kid in a fundamentalist, legalistic, God-fearing, Bible-quoting, practically-live-at-the-church household, we always celebrated Halloween. In fact I have a friend, a little younger than I from a similar background, who remembers the year that Halloween suddenly wasn't okay for the families in his church, so he had to go to an alternative event at the church dressed as a Bible character. He was so bummed he didn't get to go trick-or-treating that he went to the church event as Satan! Major Bible character, indeed, but not what they had in mind. Happily for him, they ended up sending him home so he got to go trick-or-treating after all. This said, I am not unaware of the fact that there are crazies out there putting drugs and sharp objects in the candy, and that Satanists may be into some nasty things tonight, but I refuse to let these people win by darkening my house. Halloween is the one night out of the year that everyone's home is open (almost everyone's), and moms and dads are out on the street with their kids, or entertaining neighbors at home. If people of the light opt out of this ideal opportunity to build relationships in the community, I can't help but wonder who really wins that battle. So if you're new at this, this is what you should do. If you have kids, go out with a group of your neighbors and their kids. Talk to them as you go and find out things you can pick up later in conversation. At houses where adults seem to be a part of the fun, introduce yourself and chat a little bit. Try and remember their names so that the next time you pass any of them on the street you can say, "Hi Tom, how's it going?" If you don't have kids, turn on lots of lights so they'll know you are home, open your door when the doorbell rings, rave about the incredible costumes of the little ghosts and goblins who are trying to scare you (be scared, in other words -- be really scared!), dump large amounts of candy into their bags (buy the best stuff if you haven't yet, the word will get out quickly that your house is the one to be sure and visit), wish them a Happy Halloween, and invite them to come back to your house any time. If you're feeling especially adventurous, you might want to try and do a little scaring yourself. I like to play the Ghostbusters theme and jump out of the bushes in a gorilla mask. So have a safe Halloween, get to know your neighbors better, and above all, don't be afraid (except when scared by little ghosts). It's not Satan's holiday unless we give it over to him. Oh by the way, Chandler's going as a Star Wars storm trooper. He's got the whole outfit, including that very cool white helmet they wear. "
Another idea that I definitely want to use next year is this: Trick or Eating. Instead of collecting candy...you collect cans for your local food bank!
Thanks for all your ideas!