I think the three greatest days in the life of a kid are Christmas, their birthday and Halloween. Of course, for a children that places their faith in Christ, the day of salvation is the greatest day in their whole life -- but rarely does a little one understand this. What they do understand is presents and candy.
My previous post presents my view on Halloween. I do not think that we should celebrate the evil and dark aspects of the holiday, but I do like letting my kids dress up, roam the neighborhood and get tons of candy that I can steal from them when they're sleeping. My dad used to raid every one of my Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as soon as we got home from trick-or-treating when I was a kid (Me - "Hey, why are you doing that?" Dad - "Um...because I'm the dad"). And, as a good son should do, I am passing on the family tradition as I just scarfed down a few of my kids Snickers bars.
I know that Christians hold different views on what to do with Halloween and I respect the different perspectives. Halloween has come to us in its present form by drawing from many different elements of history -- both sacred and secular -- just as other holidays like Christmas and Easter have done. There are some positive elements to it, and, unfortunately, many that glorify and celebrate death and the occult. But like many aspects of society, we can seek to redeem the good from what appears to be evil. Lori and I have decided that we are not going to hole our kids up in the house or at church on the one day throughout the year that everyone goes to each other's houses and talks to their neighbors. Our kids are not going to dress up as witches and goblins and skeletons, but positive heroes like The Incredible Hulk, a cowgirl and...ahem...Darth Vader.
I think that Halloween is one way that we can engage the culture through the building of relationships and not setting up yet another form of Christian isolation from those we're seeking to reach. For those that choose not to participate or do something at their church, that is fine by me. I respect their reasons. But I really don't have time to debate that right now. I have some Skittles and Hershey bars to swipe...