There's a warmth to all those autumn evenings my family spent Trick or Treating many years ago. Decked out as a pirate, I'd join a motley crew and travel door to door demanding candy! Parents would oblige us and by the end of the night, my siblings and I would begin the anticipated candy trade. We swapped Sixlets for Skittles and Peanut Butter cups for Pay Days until my parents ended the bartering and "checked" our candy for safety while we tromped off to bed.
Years later, the roles have changed and I have a son who cannot wait to don his racing pants, red Honda shirt and racing helmet on October 31st! I want to be excited for him, but my desire to participate in Halloween diminishes by the minute when I scan the costume aisle: demonic clowns, devils, sharp toothed monsters and skulls too numerous to count. I don't want to celebrate that. I think that's where a lot of Christians find themselves. There's a tension between the festive and the freakish. Halloween has been a day of controversy for quite some time. Should the church protest or participate? Before you decide, take a moment and consider these numbers:
157 million Americans will celebrate Halloween
2 Billion dollars have been spent on candy each year for the last three years
2.8 Billion dollars are spent on kids' & adults' costumes
78% of 18-24 year olds will participate
Last year, consumers spent 7.4 Billion dollars on Halloween
It's clear that a lot of people celebrate Halloween. What does this mean for the us? It means that just about all of us will have parents and kids crowding our streets on October 31st. Can you think of a better time to meet your neighbors? Instead of choosing to protest or participate, you can choose to Light The Night! Transform your front yard into a welcoming place to meet your neighbors, feed them treats and most importantly, engage them in conversation.