Halloween. A time of candy, endless Hocus Pocus reruns, and pumpkin guts on your fingers. For the most part, Halloween is a pretty harmless holiday. Still, many people wonder how they can celebrate Halloween and still enjoy the Spirit. Here are 10 tips to help you keep your festivities positive and focused on the gospel!
1. Celebrate the provisions of God. Halloween occurs during the time of the harvest. It is a great time to talk about how God provides for his people. Take your family to a farmer’s market or pumpkin patch. Make some yummy meals with the fresh fruit and vegetables you find.
2. Turn scary monsters and ghosts into a teaching moment about gospel truths. Many Halloween characters can be used to talk about the gospel. Evil is real and it can be hard to address in an appropriate manner. Halloween can be a good opportunity to explain some of these things. If it is appropriate for your child or group, take the opportunity to talk about the realities of a fallen world. Vampires can explain the thirst that comes with addiction. Ghosts can be used to talk about the Plan of Salvation and how Satan is angry with us for having bodies. These would be especially could for an FHE lesson or when older children have questions about some of the symbols of Halloween, such as if things are “real” or not.
3. Tricks vs. Treats. In a similar vein, you can also make a list of the tricks Satan and the world tries to use to distract or deceive us. Use gospel truths to represent treats.
4. Halloween is about receiving…just like grace. Christ says he will always answer the door if we knock. Relate this to knocking on doors during trick-or-treating. Discuss how the sweetest gift, more than candy, is the grace and love of a God and Christ. We need to be humble and open to receiving and using God’s grace in our lives. Our Savior is the ultimate gift!
5. Use the time to send out treats! Focus on treats instead of tricks. Spend time making yummy goodies for those who might be alone or who may not be feeling like life is really sweet.
6. The Jack-o-Lantern Poem. Jack-o-Lanterns can be an allegory for how Christ uses us to do his work. Here’s a great poem you can use while creating your Halloween decorations.
You are like a pumpkin! God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He cuts off the tip and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts his light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.
7. LDS Costumes. Just as many people dress up to perform the Nativity at Christmas, consider picking some LDS-theme costumes. Some good examples would be an “armor of God” costume, a generic Biblical character, a pioneer, loaves and fishes, and Mormon celebrities. Avoid figures such as Christ, current prophets and apostles, and missionaries.
8. Wrap yourself up in the Lord’s work. Missionaries often have to go home early on Halloween. Prepare them early for the long night with a fun mummy craft and treat. You can find a good example here.
9. Trunk or Treating. Many wards hold trunk or treats to help encourage a positive environment while still letting kids have fun. If your ward is not holding a trunk-or-treat, help create one with the people on your street or among friends.
10. Stick to spooky, but not scary movies. There is nothing like a good Halloween movie! Here is a great list of movies that celebrate Halloween, but aren’t too frightening or dark.