Wednesday, 05 October 2016 12:57

What to Do When You Don't Celebrate Halloween

Written by  Gayla Grace
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“We haven’t celebrated Halloween for years but as my kids get older, they seem disgruntled as October 31st draws near. I don’t know how to manage the holiday anymore.” The comment from my friend, Lois, didn’t surprise me. As kids move through elementary school and hear about the fun their friends have on Halloween, they naturally question why they can’t take part in the celebration.


If your family has made the decision not to celebrate the holiday, whether for religious or other reasons, it is possible to divert their attention away from ghosts, goblins and haunted houses and celebrate in other ways. Here are a few suggestions.


Turn the focus to the beauty of a season worth celebrating, not just a holiday.

Ask your kids what their favorite part of the fall season is. Maybe it’s decorating the house, baking fall cookies together, or tromping through the leaves on a nature hike. Commit to a week of celebrating the fall season to promote an excitement that diverts attention from a particular day.


Create a neighborhood game night.

Instead of trick or treating with the neighbors, invite them to your house for an evening of games, crafts, and snacks. Light a fire in the fireplace and have apple cider hot on the stove. Ask others to help with homemade snacks and fall treats.


Consider the money saved from not buying costumes and candy, and spend a night on the town doing what your kids most enjoy.

Maybe it becomes a movie night or a bowling night. Gain input from your kids on what’s fun for them and hit the town. Talk about it weeks in advance so they know there is a fun activity to look forward to on October 31st.


Find like-minded friends and spend the evening together.

Whether it’s a boisterous hayride with friends or a picnic at the local park, gathering other families provides more fun for the kids. Ask your friends in advance if they’d like to skip Halloween and make plans together away from the house.


Turn out the porch light and migrate to the back yard with a blazing campfire.

Gather supplies for s’mores and meet outside around the fire. Ask your kids to share their favorite stories of family time or simply gaze at the stars together and listen to the sounds of nature.


Find a Fall Festival to attend at a local church.

Fall festivals are a popular way to spend Halloween without promoting the holiday. Check out the Fall Festivals Guide following this article for one close by that includes activities your kids would enjoy, such as inflatable bounce houses, face painting, and bobbing for apples.


When you choose not to celebrate, friends and family often ask for an explanation. No need to justify your decision with an answer that invokes conflict. When we model healthy responses, we teach our kids the value of open and honest communication and prevent them from getting trapped in a web of negativity about the holiday.


 Here are easy explanations to consider: “We prefer celebrating the beauty of the fall season over several days with family and friends, rather than a one-night occurrence in the neighborhood” or “Although we don’t judge others who choose to celebrate Halloween, as Christians, we don’t feel comfortable celebrating a holiday with pagan roots.”


There’s no need to dread the end of October and wish away the beauty of fall to get to November 1st. Find the perfect way to celebrate the magnificence of the season with the fit that matches your family.


Gayla Grace writes on family and stepfamily issues with a heart to encourage stable homes. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling, lives in the South with her husband of 20 years, and is a mom and stepmom to five children.





Last modified on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 13:10
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