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If you don't celebrate Halloween what do you do instead/a low key version?

(25 Posts)
Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 15:52:36

So I am a Christian who was raised in secular family and became a Christian a few years ago.
Honestly Halloween hasn't really entered my radar for a few years however this year we'll have a two year old at Halloween and I'm starting to see various conversations on Facebook among non Christian friends about their slightly older children and how they are avoiding Halloween etc.
I understand the religious reasons behind this and do actually agree with them in principle, however in practice I had a tonne of fun trick or treating and apple bobbing at Halloween discos as a child but I realise that now Halloween is a lot more about gore and terrifying masks and eating your weight in chocolate.

How can I strike a balance (if a balance exists) and what do you and your families do at Halloween?

Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 16:00:41

Sorry actually the post should say "among Christian friends" not non Christians that doesn't really make sense does it?

HallowedMimic Fri 23-Sep-16 16:03:55

We are Catholic, and love Halloween.

Our church has a party with pumpkins, and costumes, and junk food.

It is All Hallows Eve, and we remember those who have died, and light the obligatory candles grin .

kilmuir Fri 23-Sep-16 16:05:51

I don't ' celebrate ' Halloween.
I think it's all pushed on by retailers.
My DC have never dressed up, done trick or treating etc.
We don't do anything else why would we?

Lumpylumperson Fri 23-Sep-16 16:08:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EssentialHummus Fri 23-Sep-16 16:09:12

OP see if you can find a church nearby that is having a non-Halloween party / costume party type affair, and join in. (Round my way the vicar dresses as Satan, but that may just be South London.)

Otherwise watch an age-appropriate scary movie (Addams Family, Scooby Doo?) and have some popcorn?

Hamiltoes Fri 23-Sep-16 16:10:41

Why don't you just do what you want to do and what sits right with your morals?

Just treat it as a bit of fun. You admit you loved it as a child, why wouldn't you want your child to experience the same?

I wish I understood the religious reasons behind not celebrating halloween, didn't the christians steal it from the pagans many moons ago hmm

EssentialHummus Fri 23-Sep-16 16:10:46

"Round my way the vicar dresses as Satan"

Only on Halloween, that is.

Fromsqualorwithlove Fri 23-Sep-16 16:10:52

Halloween is a Christian feast. I've never understood why some Christians get in a tizz about it.

Anyway, just do the bits you like.

I am not a Christian but I love any excuse for a party so we have a kind of autumn/Halloween theme. Apple bobbing, pumpkin soup, pumpkin carving and I take my DC trick or treating.

Where we live houses that take part have pumpkins outside so you're never bothering people that don't want to be involved.

Calamityjude Fri 23-Sep-16 16:11:13

Our church celebrates with a light party instead of Halloween. My dd is happy asking as she gets some sweets.😊

Merd Fri 23-Sep-16 16:12:07

What are your reasons for agreeing with them?

I think you should do what you want, and shrug off the judgements from your friends, like you would with anything else.

Want your kid to be able to dress up and go to a friend's house to say "trick or treat"? Do it.

Want to give them a tonne of chocolate? Do it.

Want to tell them that witches and devils aren't real, and this is all make-believe? Do it.

Want to tell your Christian friends that you're fine with the above? (Assuming you are!) Do it smile

Don't want to? Don't!

But whatever you do, please don't raise them being scared of witches and demons and Halloween and everything, or banning them from parties etc as they grow up. My "Christian" parents did that and it did me no favours.

There's no such thing as demons targeting little children, and even if there was, they'd have much better ways of doing it than pageantry. like fundamentalist parents but that's another story

Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 16:14:38

Some lovely and really cool ideas there.

I know I was a bit dubious about starting what could turn into a theology debate but it's more for practicality and family tradition than anything else. My church is having a harvest festival but I am more thinking about the kids. They are probably too young this year to get it anyway but I kind of want to get ahead of things and my husband is a bit lack lustre and unhelpful when it comes to ideas about this stuff.

CMOTDibbler Fri 23-Sep-16 16:17:17

We're an atheist/agnostic/humanist family and we don't celebrate Halloween really. We carve a pumpkin, make pumpkin soup and hot dog squids, and thats really it. This year we are doing a charity halloween fun run, so we'll dress up for that, but its a first. No one I know does Halloween parties.

You really can choose what you want to do without making a big thing of it - do apple bobbing, dress your kids in an outfit you approve of to go treat or treating if it happens where you live. Its not a religious thing, its a parenting thing imo

3amEternal Fri 23-Sep-16 16:17:40

Hmm, I'm not religious but the old, traditional church up the road loves a bit of Halloween. They also have a vicar who likes to dress up. They call it Halloween and have all the usual spooky stuff...

Lumpylumperson Fri 23-Sep-16 16:19:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 16:19:31

Oh and I don't intend to be fearmongering to my kids about witches etc I just don't really want them walking around with fake blood dripping off them or pretending to be knife weilding monsters.

It's more the whole glamorising evil and dark things I'm uncomfortable with although I really don't think there's anything wrong with the things like pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, trick or treating or age appropriate outfits like being the witches cat or a spooky spider.

It's more gorey and grim than I can agree with now though.

I'm not worrying about Christian friends judging me either as they all approach it differently with theirs too but I though I might get a wide cross section of opinions here.

EssentialHummus Fri 23-Sep-16 16:25:48

OP - I don't know how much it's helpful for me to comment, as I'm not Christian but Jewish - but I think there's also something to allowing your kids to participate in a way which does chime with your values. So dressing up in something that doesn't glorify evil / mock the dead. The message being, it's ok to participate in games, dress up, eat chocs, but we do it in a way that's consistent with our beliefs.

Up until age 8 everyone here seems to go for Elsa or Spider-Man costumes, anyway. I tend to just wear my karate suit and put chopsticks in my hair grin

OdinsLoveChild Fri 23-Sep-16 16:27:03

Hallowe'en is a Christian event so as a Christian you should have no issues with celebrating it. You should do whatever you feel appropriate for you as a family. Go out trick or treating, carve pumpkins, go apple bobbing and eat toffee apples if that's what you want to do.
The origin of Hallowe'en is here:

Maybe you could teach your children about other faiths festivals at this time of year too. Diwalli (festival of lights) is on 30th October and of course the pagan festival of Samhain which remembers those friends and family who have passed on during the past year.

Merd Fri 23-Sep-16 16:37:41

Really glad to hear it smile

Granted, it may have changed since I was little, but I don't remember it as (and still can't see it as) "glamorising evil" - just normal kids messing around usually. Ironically it was probably glamorised more by my parents with that hint that it had some kind of dark magic around it grin

I do agree with the "tasteless costumes" thing though - I also really hate the Scream masks. Though having said that, most children round here seem to toddle round in Batman and Iron Man costumes. Must cost a fortune every year!

Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 16:40:35

I think I'd really love to get the original spirit of Halloween across to them in some way without making it the scream fest it is these days, the costume departments in most shops turns my stomach!

I'm aware that originally it was a Christian festival All Hallows' Eve however these days it's all about blood and guts and pretending to be serial killers and I just don't think that's right especially for kids.

Loving the compromise ideas here and I'll certainly be using them to help the girls enjoy Halloween without the gore smile

NattyTile Fri 23-Sep-16 16:48:59

We have a light party at church.

Fancy dress optional, nothing scary/no witches and wizards. But anything else goes.

Families all invited, baked potatoes cooked en masse, beans and cheese and then piles of cake.

Crafty bits with a Light theme - Jesus as the light of the world, tea light holders or stained glass window things with tissue paper or whatever seems relevant.

Then a glow stick worship party. It's ace!

BackforGood Fri 23-Sep-16 17:04:22


^I don't ' celebrate ' Halloween.
I think it's all pushed on by retailers.
My DC have never dressed up, done trick or treating etc.
We don't do anything else why would we?^

Not sure why you'd have to 'do something else' for every festival you don't celebrate.

Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 17:14:26

Natty that sound lovely and very autumnal! Autumn is my favourite season so doing things like that just appeal so much!

Toofondofcake Fri 23-Sep-16 17:20:53

Also has anyone been to anywhere like homebargains or b&m recently? The Halloween displays are so full on, zombie with eyes bulging out, leather face type masks and chainsaws, bloody straight jackets, skeletons, knives, fake blood, plus loads more.

It's so OTT and in your face I can imagine most small kids being scared stiff. There were some pretty inappropriate girls outfits too. It doesn't seem to be like what Halloween is actually about at all or what it was like when I was little and you'd have a witches hat and a cape(or binbag for a cape) and your neighbours would give you 2p peices or penny sweets.

horseymum Mon 17-Oct-16 17:33:45

Any other light party ideas from folks would be handy as we are having one at our church

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