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Mommy and the Joyful Three

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Erin James is the author of a mom blog on She is a mother of three whose passion is helping other moms and dads with positive parenting.

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Trick or Defeat: A Christian Mom’s Struggle with Halloween

What is your stance on Halloween? Do you feel your children should not participate in any Halloween activities?

Honestly, I have struggled with this holiday since year one of being a mom. I love the concept of dressing up, becoming a superhero or a princess for a day. As a child, I so looked forward to Halloween and finding that perfect costume. Mostly, I enjoyed the idea of carving pumpkins, making scare-crows and the excitement.

This year has been the hardest because my oldest, now almost nine, has been invited to more than one Halloween party. We went to a fall family fun fest, which said “family fun” on the brochure, but sadly zombies and chainsaw-toting ghouls jumped out of the woods during the hay ride. And they didn’t scream “family fun”. I felt horrible that I subjected my children to that nightmarish event. We huddled in the middle of the wagon praying it would end.

This is where I struggle… Why does Halloween have to be so scary? Why do we have to “out-scare” each other? And why does it have to be a holiday that causes us such stress as parents?

It is so hard to shelter our children from darkness these days. My daughters see and hear so much at school alone. Stores have displays that scare my four year old, leaving me answering questions about ghosts and other such haunts.

Some churches try to offer alternatives, such as “Trunk-or-Treats” or less scary and ghoulish fall focused events. Still, that does not mean our children are safe from Halloween fright.

My neighborhood alone is creepy. A sadistic display of hands coming out of graves and bloody body parts meet us every morning on our way to school.

I don’t remember such carnage in the Halloween displays I saw a youth. I don’t remember Halloween being about murder at all. Sure, there was that occasional house that over did it, but this now is the norm my kids see every fall.

So, parents and fellow believers, I am asking for your advice and your thoughts on Halloween. How do you shield your little ones?

When our children are surrounded by what seems to be the fright how do you keep in mind we must be careful what these little eyes and ears hear and see?

I have decided so far to stick with my pumpkin seed making and fall crafts. The only knives we see are to carve our happy little pumpkins; it just does not seem to do the “trick” though.

I am struggling big time. I want so badly to protect my children from darkness that I feel around every corner there is another battle to fight.

Can we ever protect them enough?

Short of staying inside and not shopping or venturing down the scary street I am at a loss.

What is your advice and what is it that bothers you most about Halloween?


Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 4:37 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Trick or Defeat: A Christian Mom’s Struggle with Halloween

I agree that we should protect our children, but it seems to me that you are over reacting a bit. I can't see how keeping your children from participating in Halloween is the answer. You won't be able to shelter them forever. Why not just explain and really point out the positive and down play the negative? They seem to be at ages where they can understand your reasoning and explanations. And you said that short of staying inside and not shopping, etc. that you are at a loss. I can't imagine that things are that scary that you are seriously considering this. One day they will face the world without you. Give them the confidence to do this, not fear of reality and society. I'm confident that you can be a great leader and teacher to your children and help them navigate through decorations and store displays with confidence. I think you will all regret it if you keep them from partaking in the fun.
Left by sweet_home_chicago on Oct 30, 2013 2:15 AM

# RE: Trick or Defeat: A Christian Mom’s Struggle with Halloween

Erin,My husband, myself and many others we know do
not like the Halloween scary costumes for children or adults. Maybe in trying to "shelter them"... as they grow older they will see the evil in the holiday. Christians that celebrate dressing up like devils, to me, they are double minded. How can one say I love Jesus and want to...well, enough said. Enjoy reading your blogs. Motherhood is not the easiest job in the world, but so gratifying.
Left by smeejud on Nov 04, 2013 6:15 PM

# RE: Trick or Defeat: A Christian Mom’s Struggle with Halloween

I agree that I can not shelter them from everything and I also know that God protects them. I try my hardest to combine a World full of things that can harm our children with the faith that comes with the love of God. Thank you both for your insight and comments! And yes Smeejud it is so gratifying, failures and triumphs alike can be lessons and beautiful milestones.
Left by Erin James on Sep 25, 2014 9:31 PM