Then I had my princess. The first couple of years I had fun getting her a Halloween t-shirt (usually a pumpkin!) and dressing up was about as far as I would go. Then she turned 3. We decided to take her to a fall festival on Halloween night at church and she had a ball. She dressed up as the princess that she always is and of course she was adorable. We left after about an hour as she still had fairly early bedtime and since it was still slightly light out when we got home we decided to go on a walk. And in taking that walk we by default ended up Trick or Treating.
I learned something that night (after I got over the scared that lighting was going to strike me dead!)…Halloween isn’t about the candy, or the dressing up, or the scary parts, or the witches. It’s about community.
You see the princess and I frequently (almost daily) took a walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes with the stroller, sometimes with family, but it was a habit that we delighted in. On those walks we never met a neighbor, not even one. The neighbors we met that Halloween night who offered us candy all recognized us from our walks! They were excited to share candy with the princess, they thought she was adorable and they liked sharing a few minutes with us as we walked around gathering candy. It was like a giant neighborhood block party.
One of my concerns was that my impressible little daughter would be scared by some of the costumes we saw out there. I needn’t have feared. All she talked about all night and almost the 365 days since was how we walked all over and asked people for candy and they gave it to us! “Remember how much fun it was Mommy? When can we do it again?”
So now I know. Halloween is not so scary that I need to hide in my house and not turn any lights on for fear that “they’ll” see me. It’s a community event! Why should Christians miss out connecting with neighbors that they otherwise wouldn’t even see the rest of the year?