Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
It’s hard to believe that there are families out there who do not “celebrate” Halloween. Some of us might respond that Halloween is not a religious holiday. It’s a space for children to dress up, be creative and imaginative, and to get a special treat. There are others of us whose religions do not permit the observance of Halloween, who don’t want their children to come home with two tons of sweets, or whose children just don’t get into Halloween.
If your family is one who does not participate in Halloween, there are alternatives (if you even need one):
Go for a walk. Take your children to the nature preserve or botanical garden. Find leaves and do leaf rubbings. Explore the season of Fall and talk to your children about the cycle of seasons.
Visit a pumpkin patch.
You can go before or after the Halloween rush if the Halloween décor bothers you. Pumpkins make good food. You can bring some home and make pumpkin seeds, muffins, or other tasty treats. Aside from the holiday-typical haunted house, the pumpkin farm may also offer hayrides or corn mazes.
Create a scavenger hunt.
Arrange a scavenger hunt the night of Halloween when trick or treaters are coming to your door. Invite your children to follow clues throughout your house to arrive at a little treat at the end.
Pass out candy.
Even if you do not dress up or collect candy, consider passing out candy to neighborhood children. Your children may enjoy seeing their friends and neighbors dressed up in costume or dropping some candy in the open bags. It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss how different families do different things.
Collect food cans.
There are many families who do not trick or treat for candy but ask for food can donations instead. Armed with a wagon to carry their load as it gets heavier, these families turn the night into doing something good for others.
Engage in conversation.
As your children grow older or start going to elementary school, they may question why they do not “observe” Halloween. Rise above the fear, the social pressure, and the friends who think you are crazy for not being a part of this secular holiday. Help your children understand your reasons and help them feel good about the choices your family makes.
If your family does not participate in Halloween activities, you do not need to replace them with something else. As a mother, the most important thing you can model for your children is to stand firm in your beliefs…even when you stand out from the crowd.