3 Reasons Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween

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It’s the end of October and discussion on whether to celebrate Halloween or not is swirling. This was originally posted here at The Pelsers in October 2012. The topic is a bit controversial. I’d love to hear your comments and how you handle this in your family, but please remember to keep the discussion polite. Please keep in mind that these are our reasons shared to promote thoughtful discussion and we don’t judge your family if you choose to celebrate Halloween.

We don’t celebrate Halloween.

There I said it.

It’s never really been much of an issue for our family until this year. Sure, we’ve been asked in the past what the boys are dressing up as and we’ve just glossed over the question. This year, Jonathan asked why we don’t celebrate Halloween.

Why We Don't Celebrate Halloween

Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween

  1. The roots of the holiday are purely pagan. There’s not much, if anything, there that we feel can be salvaged.
  2. Half the candy that we would get from trick or treating would be thrown away because no one in our home would eat it. I’d rather take my boys to the store to get a treat that they really like.
  3. We have a goal to be debt-free. Spending our money on costumes and candy for a holiday that we don’t want to support doesn’t line up with our financial goals.

It’s pretty much as simple as that for us. As soon as we explained that to Jonathan, he understood and the subject hasn’t come up again this year. I’m sure we’ll continue to discuss it each year in more and more detail. The bottom line for us is that we can’t find anything in the holiday that honors God so we just don’t participate.

So we’re that family with the porch light off. Don’t bother ringing the door bell or knocking. We don’t answer. Some years we go out to dinner to avoid the annoyance.  If we’re home, we’re probably camping out at the back of the house watching a movie, reading together, or playing a game as a family. Oh, and there aren’t any pumpkins on our porch either – we’re too busy baking and eating pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin donuts. And don’t forget the pumpkin lattes and steamers. Yum!

How do you handle Halloween in your family?


  1. Hey! I love your post but I just wanted to give you a heads up that I followed the link you provided for the ‘pagan roots’ and my anti-virus blocked a trojan.
    We’ll probably be the party poopers with the light off in our neighborhood too :) Enjoy your day not participating!!! Blessings to you!

  2. MomsMustardSeeds says:

    I love you dearly and I don’t look down on families who do celebrate ‘halloween’… I prefer to celebrate Reformation Day. However,like you, we want to become debt free. Spending any money on costumes and candy that will probably be thrown away just doesn’t do it for me. I Know I’ve heard…’well, we don’t dress in anything scary’ and that’s what we did fora while…but the rest of the world does. I love that my children don’t like the scary stuff, thatit turns their stomachs and they ask why people don’t make a big deal about Baby Jesus…. but, I don’t judge others. I’ve been there, God broughtmy heart to where it is…. Love you bunches, sweet friend!

    • I dressed up and went out for candy as a kid. It was never a huge deal for us when we were little. I think some adults make a bigger deal about it than kids do. My kids don’t need to see scary or complete s*xually inappropriate costumes. As much as I’d like to say #1 is really our biggest reason, I think #3 is probably the bigger reason that we don’t celebrate.

  3. We don’t celebrate it either mainly because of the holiday’s origins, and we don’t want our girls to take “evil” as a joke. My girls are 7 and 10, so as you can imagine they love the idea of dressing up and getting candy. For us, it helps that our church has an annual Harvest Fair in early November (sometimes October, but never on Halloween). The focus is on “Harvesting for Him.” Every year all we hear is, “What are we going to dress up as for the Harvest Fair.” We’ve educated them enough on Halloween that they no longer ask “Why?” In fact, my girls really do not like the holiday and are always happy when it’s over. Let’s just say, it can get pretty dangerous and frightening for them where we live (Bronx, NY).

    • I agree… I can’t imagine taking my kids door to door in the Bronx! I appreciate churches that try to create an alternative and purposely keep it away from Halloween as much as possible.

  4. I guess with those particular reasons we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas either due to its purely pagan roots as well and the cost of food and gifts. (Even handmade gifts cost more than a made up costume. I understand but it would definitely go against the grain and be somewhat difficult to put that into practice with every pagan original holiday. I would feel somewhat hypocritical only choosing one to avoid. I mean we could say today’s Halloween doesn’t center around God whereas Christmas does but wouldn’t that make Christmas worse since we now involve God in our pagan celebration? I don’t mean to be argumentative in any way but these have been my mental dilemma in discussing these things with our children.

    • Dee, there are many rituals surrounding Christmas that were based in Christianity and lost their meaning or were pagan and have been redeemed. What’s in the Bible? Christmas DVD is a great resource for learning more about this. I can’t find anything to redeem in Halloween and would rather teach my kids about the real roots of Halloween and celebrate Reformation Day instead.

      • From what I have read that isn’t the case but I will look into that. I don’t think it is evil to have Bella dressed up as a cupcake and have a few kids over for pizza and treats, just as I don’t think other Americanized holidays are on their own wrong but if one is convicted of it I understand. Perhaps it comes off as one of those things I would stay away from discussing for the sake of unity.

        • Americanized and commercialized doesn’t help things either. Equip.org has some great articles about the origins that you should look at. While dressing up and having fun with friends is not in itself evil, I’d personally rather avoid it all and choose to celebrate something that is more worthwhile of my time and attention. And you know me – I don’t shy away from tough topics. I’d rather discuss them openly and politely.

          • It just came off a wee bit pompous and self righteous. I felt somewhat judged but I guess you are saying what you think is important. Maybe we can talk about it sometime in a loving way. I was raised in a legalistic background where to my grandfather even birthdays were a self important, idolatrous and sinful celebration. I enjoy the freedom God gives us and don’t dwell on the peripheral things but mostly on the essentials.

            • MomsMustardSeeds says:

              Dee, oh, legalism anywhere is so hard, isn’t it!? It causes such heart hurt and I am sorry to read that you have experienced that. I grew up in a home that believed in Jesus, but anything and everything was allowed and celebrated. It was very confusing for me. Your comment on Christmas is one that my husband and I have been discussing. You are right, there are some pagan rituals that many have brought into their homes. We no longer dress up or celebrate Halloween. We do celebrate Reformation Day. We don’t celebrate ‘santa’ either…but we do put up a tree (which has pagan roots) but, we call it a Christmon (spelling?) tree. We generally give each child three gifts and we send gifts to people through Gospel For Asia. We may continue to change how we celebrate Jesus’ birth, but I like that we do have that chance to celebrate his birth and reformation Day on two days that many forget the meaning of the Birth…and well…whatever it is about Halloween. We do play dress up…don’t get me wrong…just about every day of the year…cause it’s fun. I hate that you found Amanda’s post pompous. I’m curious…did you read her comment back to me? ” As much as I’d like to say #1 is really our biggest reason, I think #3 is probably the bigger reason that we don’t celebrate.” I think that shows her heart is not to judge….otherwise, she’d be on a soap box saying something that isn’t true. Her heart is to be debt free and love Jesus and share his love with others. Praying my comment helps ease any hurts and like you, I’m so thankful we live in a country where we can (still at this time) celebrate our heavenly Father and share his son’s love with others. Praying many blessings for you and hoping you are having a wonderful evening with your family.

  5. We don’t celebrate Halloween either. The last time we trick or treated was when my 21 year old was 4. My two youngest, have never done anything for Halloween. We could not find anything worth celebrating in this “holiday”, so we decided to not do it. We usually go out to dinner on Oct. 31st. to get away from the neighborhood.


  6. Kathy Balman says:

    Growing up I wasn’t allowed to particapate in trick or treating. But did dress up for school and sometimes our church had a “Fall Festival”. As an adult I’ve been to Halloween parties and have had a blast spending time with friends. And since the kids have been born we have gone trick or treating every year. I dont buy costumes we make them. And nothingI scary. The most Ive spent is $7 for accessories or dye. And I only spend $5 on candy. For us its just a fun day. In my opinion every holiday has different meanings for different people its what you make of it. Halloween for us is just another time to have fun with friends and family whether we are trick or treating or not. You can donate candy to most dentist offices which will send it to soldiers if you dont want kids having so much candy. There are lots of dentists in GA that do that. Ours goes into a big glass jar and kids only get it as a reward.

  7. Kathy Balman says:

    You could hand out bible tracts : )

  8. My children are grown now. when they were growing up, we did not celebrate Halloween due to it’s focus on evil and pagen beginnings. One of the things I did as my children complained more and more about “missing out” on the candy and other fun activities, is to turn the conversation into a teachable moment. I would talk to them about what it means and feels like to be different because of your faith. I believe they got some insight into what it is like to be persecuted or be in the minority due to your faith. I did not make it into an argument as they got to be older when they chose to participate in Halloween parties and dressing up. however, I would never fund their costumes and such so they had to think hard if it was a choice they wanted to make. It’s hard to know if it has made a difference in their lives, but it is a lesson that I wanted them to experience.

  9. I’m So thankful to see that you posted on this! :) I’m a bit behind in my Emails and was just able to get to this today! However, We have 4 kids, 8,6,3 & 2 and in the past have participated in Church events around or on Halloween. Every year I’ve felt confusion ( which is not of God) and almost Guilty for participating even in church events surrounding this Holiday. Well this year around the 1st of October my 8 yr old asked me to tell him what Halloween was all about, to be honest I knew bits and pieces but it was not something discussed in the pastor’s home I grew up in, We just attended church events and “trick or treated” family. when my son asked I started mentally debating whether we would participate and what I should share with him regarding it. My husband and I had already discussed the possibility of not participating but mainly for financial reasons at the time. As it grew closer to needing Costumes, The Lord kept tugging at me about it. I sat down with my husband we discussed a bit about the Origin of the day and whether we felt it was ok for our family to continue participating. We didn’t make any decisions but I felt the need to research the Holiday so I was confident I knew all it involved before sharing with my son. Set aside from the Pagan Holiday, it is considered a “New year” for those who practice Witchcraft. Those pagans believed the Portals of Hell opened up and all demonic power had free reign, They dressed up to Hide from them. Yeah…Not ok with that. First off, I believe too many people are one sided on the Spirit Realm (Not trying to go to deep with this but being honest!) Just as much as we as Christians believe the Good of the Spirit realm is real, so is the bad. Period. The Lord clearly showed me two things For MY FAMILY, 1. Stay away from the Appearance of Evil. With All that this day entails (Scary Movies, Haunted Houses EVERYWHERE and increasing in numbers yearly….and by Christians at that, Scary Decorations, costumes, Etc) We shouldn’t confuse others on where we stand and what we believe in.

    2. I believe it’s my Job as the Spiritual Head of my children along side my Husband, to Raise our Children with biblical principles and desiring to Honor God in ALL things, Every day, Even on “Worldy” Holidays. Romans 12:2 says Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    The more I draw closer to the Father, the more he reveals in ME the areas of Compromise that can’t exist. He will expose areas in each of us that need to be dealt with and convictions might look different for everyone, However, for OUR family this is one area he brought conviction to me. He also reminded me of Deut 18:10-12. By far this is not Judgmental on ANYONE who doesn’t have those convictions, I’m just sharing what the Lord showed me this year and what we have chosen to take a stand on, whether it’s the popular option or not. We played games, and I let all four pick out Candy they would like to eat while we spent time together. We played worship and spent time with the Lord as a family. Thanks Amanda for sharing that, it’s good to know we are not alone! :)

  10. We love Halloween. Its our favorite time holiday and time of year and our girls love it.

  11. Natasha Millard says:

    We do got trick-or-treating, and we do hand out gospel tracts from chick.com at our door (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1010/1010_01.asp). Another thing we do is, when we are out trick-or-treating and the person at the door hands the candy to the kids, my kids say ‘thankyou and this is for you’ and they hand the person a tract. We have never had anyone turn it down. I think it’s a super way to get the gospel into the hands of the unsaved on a night when they are willingly opening their doors to us.

  12. When our children were little, the costumes coming to the door scared them. Our homeschool group got together and decided to do something as a group instead. We chose miniature golf. It was hilarious to try to golf in scarves and gloves, but it was a fun time. The golf course had already closed for the season, but opened just for us. When we moved, we changed the tradition and will go out to a movie, or stay home and put on a DVD if there isn’t anything good in theatres. We turn out the lights and make a sign for the front door that we have no candy. We don’t get disturbed, but have a special family time instead.

  13. Jackie S. says:

    We do not celebrate Halloween. (I even had to look at your address to see how to spell it). The reason is similar to yours. It’s pagan and I am a Messianic Jew and my family is Christian. There is no other reason. I agree with your other statements it’s just when it comes to this discussion the fact that we are Christian is the only reason we need to explain why we do not celebrate this holiday.

  14. It’s kind of unbelievable that there is even a question about whether true followers of Yeshua the Messiah should be celebrating halloween!!

  15. OH my, our kids hate Halloween as much as we do. #1 is the only reason for our family. IMO, there is nothing that can “redeem” it and I see this as making excuses so that our kids don’t feel left out, said “no” to, and can still participate in the holiday. Satan must love this time of year – he doesn’t have to do a thing to disguise his evil, death, and destruction, it is all right there. God tells us to abhor and reject these things, as they are so vehemently opposite to His holiness and purity. I don’t get how it is OK to expose our children to severed heads, blood and gore, and horror at this time of year, and yet we would never do it all of the other times of the year.

  16. I wasn’t brought up in a country where halloween is celebrated. But lately it is showing it’s head everywhere in the shops, even in the country we immigrated to that didn’t celebrate halloween. It’s like it is being pushed on us.

    I totally agree with abhorring all appearance of evil, being financially responsible (accountable to God) and making healthy choices. Those are Biblical. I believe that if we, as Christians, are not a peculiar people, i.e. different from the world, then we don’t offer anything worthwhile. And it may be very hard at times to stand for your beliefs, but compromise will not only diminish your witness, but also weaken your family’s stand on their beliefs! A way that helps me measure if something is okay is trying to imagine if Jesus would do the same.

    I want to add that we are responsible for the safety of our children. I don’t want my children accepting candy from anyone. And it is just plain dangerous walking around in our old neighbourhood.

    Like I said. I have never had the opportunity to celebrate halloween and don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I am very greatful for this. Overcoming my sinful character traits are difficult enough!!

  17. We do not celebrate halloween either. I am a mom of three and we stopped when the girls were very small. We did this for several reasons. Why on earth would I take my kids out trick or treating when they are scared out of their wits at the sounds, the sights and the people. I remember standing at the end of the driveway with my two year old crying and my four year old clinging to me and thinking, “what am I doing” Then as you said, Where is the honor for God in all of this. I also at the time was ministering the love of Christ to a few who practiced satanism and hearing what halloween is all about for them and the fear that it brings along with all the evil associated with it, I realized no matter how innocent people think it is they are celebrating a day that has no honor to God in any way shape or form in it but celebrates evil and death. My faith is about life and the light of Christ and if Christ wouldn’t go around doing the things we do, why would we. So we stopped. My kids were fine with it, even my son who was 7 at the time and enjoyed dressing up just said… ok. And we never celebrated it again. We tried fall festivals, but it was the same thing. So we stopped that as well. I do not look down on people who celebrate, I look at it as “the more you know the more will be expected of you” and I know to much about halloween to participate in any thing involved with it. Thank you for letting me share this story, my family outside of my kids and husband do not understand my passion and conviction on this and it is nice to share. I get very upset when especially some people in my church ‘feel sorry’ for kids who do not participate and I have passionately told them they need to not feel sorry for them but respect their parents wishes to not be associated that they have their reasons and going against their wishes and bringing halloween to the children who do not celebrate because they feel bad for them is being very disrespectful and confusing the children.

  18. All the reasons you listed are valid and i like that you can stand firm for what is best for your family without condemning others. Anyone who feels judged by your stance may need to further examine their own convictions. We don’t celebrate either but are often judged and told that we are depriving our children’s childhood. I definitely do not agree that embracing a tradition that doesn’t celebrate anything good is depriving our children. There’s enough evil in the world everyday that they’ll come in contact with just because we live in the world, so we don’t need to celebrate it. Our children are happy and enjoy a rich, fulfilled life; one day is not going to cause them to feel deprived. We also get but what about Christmas? Well, you won’t find santa, reindeer, or a tree in our home either.


  1. […] son was seeing the world’s Halloween traditions and deserved a Biblical explanation. I wrote 3 Reasons Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween. You can jump over and read the whole post, but here are the […]

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