If you’re looking for Christian alternatives to celebrating Halloween, you’re in the right place.
It’s likely that if you’re here, you’re:
- Having personal convictions about celebrating Halloween
- You know someone else who’s saying they don’t want to celebrate Halloween
- Or, you’re curious about why Christians would have to celebrate Halloween in an alternative way
You might be:
- Maybe you’ve never heard about the controversy many Christian people face about Halloween
- Or, you might be looking for some other options as alternatives to the popular holiday
Halloween isn’t a word that’s in the Bible, so this post isn’t written to denounce Halloween or to say that it’s wrong. You can’t go to a Bible website, search for the term “Halloween”, and find a scripture that addresses it directly. As a result, it’s a topic that we each have to follow our own convictions about.
Halloween is Controversial for Many
Even among Christian circles, there’s a wide array of opinions about Halloween. Some people are completely against Halloween, and prefer to ignore the day as a holiday. Others, don’t want to make themselves or others feel excluded from the excitement of celebrating a holiday, and prefer to celebrate an alternative.
Many Christian people find themselves questioning how they approach the holiday, and even looking for Christian alternatives to celebrating Halloween. There are reasons for each position. Here are four…
1. Discomfort with the Symbols
Halloween typically has lots of blood, spider webs, coffins, corpses, bones, and other symbols that make some people feel uncomfortable.
2. The History
For others, they’ve done research and learned about the origins of Halloween. They know it originated from other religions, and they don’t feel comfortable with taking alternative religious practices and being involved with it.
3. Safety Issues and Crime Rates
In some areas, crime rates syrocket around Halloween. There have been cases of poison candy given out to children, vandalism or other crimes committed by people in costumes. Due to higher crime rates and safety concerns, some people don’t like Halloween.
4. Personal Convictions
For some people, they may or may not have other reasons (like safety, history, or discomfort with the symbols), but their biggest reason for staying away from Halloween festivities is due to their personal convictions. They usually just have “gut feelings” that it’s not something they should celebrate.
I’ve personally studied each position on Halloween and positioned myself within different camps.
GI was born and raised within a Christian household where we were taught about the history of Halloween, and warned against participating because “we shouldn’t merge other religions with Christianity”. Once I was old enough to decide for myself, I was very curious about what it would be like to wear a costume outside of the house or what it would be like to visit people’s houses (without being looked at as a solicitor), so I went trick-or-treating.
After going trick or treating once, the curiosity died off. I preferred not to go because I did notice a rise in safety issues surrounding the holiday, and I felt the benefit wasn’t worth the risk.
Now, I’m a mom of two, and my kids ask questions. They see halloween signs everywhere, have friends who celebrate, and think it would be cool to have a bag of candy and a costume if nothing else. For them, they like costumes of cartoon characters rather than witches or corpses, but considering my background, it’s still an inner controversy at times about where to draw the line.
If you’re like me, you might just want to approach Halloween from a position that satisfies God, so you’re reliant on your “gut” to help place boundaries. As a result, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to how you approach Halloween celebrations.
You might find it’s a good opportunity for evangelism, or that it doesn’t have the negative contraindications that some experience, and that’s okay. God has a different call and conviction for each of us. As a result, I’ve compiled some options that you can take a look at to decide if any of them satisfies your personal convictions.
1. Church Fall Events
Some churches host events where you can trick or treat, dress up, or gather with others to give Christian people an alternative, while eliminating some common problems (like violence or poison candy). If safety is a reason why you’re looking for an alternative, then going to a church hosted event might solve the problem for you.
2. Recreation Center Fall Events
Similar to the church hosted events, some recreation centers (like the YMCA) host events like pumpkin patches, hay rides, horse riding, and other fall-related events to eliminate violence and crime, but also to offer a fun outing. if you want to stay away from the religious or safety hazards associated with Halloween, going horse riding, exploring a pumpkin patch, or trick-or treating in a recreation center with a good reputation might be a good Christian alternative for celebrating Halloween that suits you.
3. Gathering with a Small Group
For some people, they simply don’t like to feel like the only one that’s alone on a holiday, so when people are gathering and barbequing, and you’re sitting inside alone, it’s no fun. In this case, gathering with a small group could be a nice option. You don’t have to have any religious connection in the small group. You can possibly even gather with people who have similar convictions.
4. Family Gathering
If your family is supportive of your views on Halloween, you might be able to have them gather together with you and have some fall fun. It can be something as simple as a game night that takes you attention away from the people trick-or-treating near your home.
5. Buying Candy
For some of my friends, they don’t like to dress up or trick or treat, but they like to ensure kids have safe candy to eat on Halloween. They’ll buy candy, and give it away to kids or to people who will have kids come to them for Halloween. If you simply want to contribute to making the holiday safer, you could consider buying candy to give or for others to give.
You could also buy candy for your own family to avoid your kids from feeling excluded.
6. Giving to a Anti-Crime Cause
Since crime rates are known to go up around Halloween, there’s an increased need in services who help to respond to crime: the police force, the sexual abuse hotline, or funds to help people recover from vandalism or burglary. If you don’t want to celebrate Halloween, but you want to be a part of the positive changes surrounding the holiday, you could contribute in organizations that help to mitigate crime. Volunteering or donating could be helpful.
7. Studying the History and Staying Reminded of Your Position
If you don’t want to be involved in the festivities at all, it might help to watch a documentary or study the history more, so you can stand firm on your position. A church I went to would gather on Halloween and study the history, so people (who were weren’t familiar with the reasoning for their position against the holiday), could understand the reasoning.
Ultimately, Halloween isn’t something spoken about directly in the Bible, so you’ll have to decide how you’ll handle it. The goal is to approach the Halloween holiday in a way that makes you feel like you’re living life by God’s design. Each person’s approach to living a godly life is likely to be different, to consist of different good and bad points in the journey, so the most important thing to do is to pray and seek God’s advice to YOU.
Hopefully, this article gave you some Christian alternatives to celebrating Halloween you might feel comfortable with. If you have questions or comments, leave them below.
If you’d like to learn more about living life by God’s design, get started with the By God’s Design Manifesto here.