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Family Harvest Fun
Photo: Studiomill
Before my family became Christians when I was ten, we celebrated Halloween without giving it a second thought. We decorated with “cute” witches, ghosts, and skeletons. But then we discovered that Halloween was really a dark holiday, with its roots in the occult.

When my own daughter was little, we always had to stay clear of the Halloween isle. The scary masks, tombstones, and other decorations frightened her sensitive soul. And now that our world has seen so many acts of violence, often the Halloween yard decorations and costumes remind of things that we don’t want to think about.

Maybe you feel the same way. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a lot of fun celebrating harvest time with family and friends! It’s a great time of year to enjoy all that autumn offers. I recently asked some of my “mom friends” what they’ve done for better activities on Halloween. Here’s what some of them shared:

Better Activities
  • “Every year my kids go door-to-door and collect canned food to give to the local food bank.”
  • “I organized a school-wide Harvest Party for students and their families. We all watched a family-friendly movie, played old-fashioned games, ate popcorn and caramel apples, and enjoyed a sing-a-long hayride in the brisk autumn air.”
  • “My kids dress up like Bible characters and give out candy at our door. When the trick-or-treaters ask who they’re dressed as, they get to tell them.” “We have a pumpkin painting contest at our school every year, and display them in the hallway.”
  • “I wanted to make sure that my kids didn’t feel left out when they were growing up, so we created our own holiday. We call it Harvest Fest! We decorate our home with pumpkins, gourds, colored leaves, and corn. Then we make it extra special by looking for local autumn events. Once we attended a church harvest party where we enjoyed cider, donuts, apples, games, and a piñata for the kids. Another year we went to a church festival that had a variety of food and game booths. We’ve also visited local pumpkin farms. The main thing is to give our kids something wholesome to celebrate, and to make it fun!”
  • “We’ve started the tradition of a ‘reverse trick-or-treat.’ We make homemade cookies and breads and take them around to people in town who need cheering up. Maybe they’re sick, or lonely, so we visit for awhile and leave them treats.”
These are just a few creative ideas. If you want to do something different from traditional Halloween this year, talk with your family, get together with other families, and come up with some fun ideas. Then your kids won’t feel left out, and will be celebrating something wholesome. And I think that wholesome is a good word nowadays.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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