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Using the Halloween Season to Teach Life Lessons

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I love October, but admit I don’t get into all the spooky and haunted hype around Halloween. When my husband and I first had our children, we discussed what level, if any, our involvement would be in the holiday. He grew up the son of a pastor who did not take any part in it. I grew up having the fun of dressing up, trick-or-treating, and going to parties, even though I was never attracted to the darker side of the celebrations.

Our solution? We landed on the choice to allow our family to take part, but with a certain perspective and set of guidelines in place.

Many houses in our neighborhood go above and beyond with Halloween décor, incorporating gory scenes, makeshift cemeteries with zombies and villans on guard. It is enough to riddle any active imagination with endless nightmares. As a mom, I have done my share of shielding little eyes or creating clever distractions, going as far as to even avoid driving down certain streets.

We landed on the choice to allow our family to take part, but with a certain perspective and set of guidelines in place.

We don’t believe death or darkness is something to be so casually, or even humorously, portrayed therefore our family stays away from ‘spookifying’ our home. In contrast, we look for ways to celebrate the goodness of the season, the changing of nature’s colors and the beauty of harvest. That may be done as simply as carving the jolliest faced pumpkin on the street or only selecting costumes that reflect goodness, humor, or ambition instead of death and darkness—an encouragement our children willingly adhere to.

There comes a point when we can no longer shield our children’s eyes, but must instead take up the challenge to talk about the darkness encountered. Doing this has allowed us to have thoughtful conversations with our children concerning the differences between good and evil and light and darkness. We tell our kids that Halloween is a reminder of all the things we don’t have to fear because of our beliefs, and we find comfort in the fact that the darkness around us just makes the light that much brighter.


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Geinene loves thrift finds and dumpster diving, has always wanted to go on a great North American road trip in a souped up RV, and can use power tools like a boss.

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