What does Harvest Day in the Christian Family Look Like?

How Christian Families can Celebrate Harvest Day In Place of Halloween

For decades, children of all ages as well as adults have participated in all kinds of activities that center around the celebration of Halloween. Trick-or-treating, haunted houses, costume parties, and jack-o-lanterns have all been a regular part of the October 31 festivities. But to many Christians, Halloween represents more than just chocolate skulls and a plastic R.I.P. headstone in the front yard. It symbolizes an observance of the darker side of the spiritual world, and for this reason many families have chosen to celebrate the harvest season with more positive alternatives.

However, it is important for parents to realize that when they make the transition away from Halloween, young children initially may not understand why they do not get to do the things they see their friends doing. To eliminate festivities altogether may be more difficult for the younger age groups, making them feel isolated and out of place. With this in mind, a wise parent will seek different, creative ways to celebrate the season in place of the traditional activities. Children should not be made to feel like they are missing something just because they are Christian. While Christian families may choose to not participate in activities like decorating the front yard with glow-in-the-dark skeletons and cackling witches with boiling cauldrons, there are many other things to do that are just as fun that provide lasting memories for their children year after year.

Romans 12:21 states: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." One of the first keys to overcoming the negative connotations to Halloween is to teach children from the beginning why Halloween will be replaced with, a Harvest Day celebration. The truth is that many traditional festivities involved with Halloween do not bring honor to Christ. While it may be difficult at first for children to adjust to the differences, eventually the benefits will outweigh the awkwardness. Children need to know that parents are not condemning their friends who choose to celebrate Halloween in the traditional ways. Rather, they are choosing to follow the example of Christ who brought glory to the Father in everything He did. By parents taking the time to lovingly instruct their children, they will get a clear picture that their family is not weird or sheltered, but strong and Godly.

Initially, it may take some time to decide on fun and wholesome activities that the whole family will enjoy as annual traditions. But the time invested will prove to bring a tremendous sense of unity among all family members. For the younger children, arts and crafts are always a hit. Finger painting, construction paper scarecrows and leaf wreaths, even making pumpkins out of modeling clay are all great activities for little hands. Make the time fun for them, with music, cookies, hot apple cider, whatever kinds of things will make for wonderful memories as they grow older.

For older kids, pumpkin carving is always an exciting activity. Families can even roast the pumpkin seeds as a cool snack. Be prepared to take pictures as they all dig in with bare hands to pull out the insides. Then, after the pictures are developed, spend an afternoon with the kids scrapbooking their memories.

No matter what the age, kids love spending quality time with their parents. To know that they are loved and watched over brings them peace and a sense of security. Rather than spending the evening investing time in worldly celebrations, parents can better spend the time investing in the lives of their children, a much more profitable investment.

As the kids grow up, and as they interact with their friends, it will be inevitable that the subject of Halloween will come up at least once a year. But wise parents give their children the opportunity to share their faith in positive terms, with excitement over the cool things they got to do for their Harvest Day, rather than having to explain what they could not do because of their faith. Parents are to help build up their child's faith so they will never have to be ashamed of it. And in the process, they may even help influence other families to follow in their footsteps.

Written by: Amy Miller