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How to Explain to Your Kids
Why You Don't Celebrate Halloween

Halloween has come under a close scrutiny by families over the last few years. Some have chosen to not celebrate Halloween because of the connection to pagan and satanic beliefs, others for safety reasons. It can be hard for children to understand parents’ decisions, especially when they see their friends going trick or treating without them or when they are not allowed to attend a party. The history of Halloween blends so many different ideas from so many cultures and religious beliefs that it could take awhile to explain it, especially to younger children.

When discussing it with your children, it is important to discuss your beliefs first. They must have a good foundation or they won’t understand the rest of the conversation and the reasons “why”. It is important to keep things simple in terms they understand. It is also important to discuss the fact that not everyone believes the same thing.

Bible Study
Relevant scripture on the issue of Halloween and Christians:

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
"Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."
James 1:27

"Keep oneself from being polluted by the world"
3 John 1:11

"Do not imitate what is evil"
Romans 12:9

"Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good."
Deuteronomy 18:9-14

"Do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft."
Ephesians 5:11-12

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness" / "live as children of light."
1 Timothy 4:1

Don't "follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons"
1 Corinthians 10:31

"Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God"
Matthew 18:6
"If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…"
Ephesians 6:11-18

"Take your stand against the devil's schemes."

Show your children the Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Explain to them that God does not want us to do what everyone else in the world thinks is acceptable, but He wants us to be special and do only the things that he thinks is acceptable.

You can also explain to your children that Halloween is simply too scary, with all the strange costumes and the dangerous items that have been given out to children who are trick or treating. This can also be a good time to reinforce the dangers of taking things from people they don’t know. It can be confusing to children to be told all year that they shouldn’t take candy or anything else from strangers, and then one night of the year, it is encouraged.

One of the biggest concerns of Christian parents is the connection to the occult, witchcraft and Satanism. Even though new traditions, such as trick or treating and dressing up in costumes may seem innocent - but many people feel it is glorifying things that go against Christian beliefs and should be avoided. By explaining the history behind the traditions, it might help children understand why, instead of just, “because we said so.” Doing a little research from trusted sources could help lead the conversation. Although not all the experts agree on the origins of some of the traditions, most point to similar information.

It is also important to talk about what you can do as a family instead of the traditional Halloween activities. Your family can still have fun, but be more aligned with your beliefs. Many church groups have a “Hallelujah Night” where they get together and play games. This year, our church is having a Harvest of Blessing Festival on October 31st. Even if your church doesn’t have a similar activity, I'm sure one nearby will have a Festival you can attend. And if there's nothing near your home, you can still do something as a family. You could have a game and pizza night or a family friendly movie night. Your children could even invite other friends.

An important thing to keep I mind is to remain consistent. If you don’t celebrate Halloween you need to apply the same standards to other things that fall into the same category. It will avoid confusion. For example, if you don’t celebrate Halloween, because of the connection to witchcraft, then the family should avoid books and shows that deal with witches. It will only be confusing to the children.

If you think you'll need help having this conversation,
try this book:


Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween?
By Linda Hacon Winwood / Destiny Image

Children ask the toughest questions! As a parent, you want to give them the best answers. This children's book will help answer tough questions simply, biblically, and lovingly. Christ-centered and sensitively written, it will help satisfy the curiosity of even the most inquisitive children.

For parents who need help explaining why they don' celebrate Halloween, here's kid-friendly resource to make it easier! Linda Hacon Winwood's black-and-white illustrated story explains the holiday's pagan origins and its disputed historic relationship to All Saints Day. Includes a suggested lesson plan. Recommended for ages 4 to 7.


Recommended Reading:
Quiet Time Bible Guide
The Power of a Praying Parent
Bible Devotions for Bedtime

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