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Our Children Enjoyed Giving OUT Candy on “Halloween”

November 2, 2013

Sarah and I both grew up in homes (and a community) that did not celebrate Halloween and so neither of us went out trick-or-treating during our growing up years. Over a week ago as “Halloween excitement” was gearing up, I was concerned our children might become disappointed that they weren’t going out to get candy like some of their friends as every advertisement they were seeing was about getting candy and dressing up. There was a little talk (especially from our 5 year old son Caleb) about “Halloween’s coming” though we don’t really talk about it at home. However, in the last few days, not much has been said and so I was glad for that. I confess, I was wishing for the days when one of the local church’s ran a “Halloween Alternative” party. Oh well! We’ll just have to try to make the best of the day.

Thursday morning, the children got up extra early and the first show on was a special Halloween “Umi Zoomi.” Not scary, but not really the first thing I wanted to “remind” them about in the morning.

Anyway, I went off to work and Sarah took Caleb, Rachel & Anna to Caleb’s swimming lesson and then came back and had a “play date” with their friends (another mom & three kids). After lunch, I took Rachel to pre-school and then went to my college class where a handful of the college students were dressed up for Halloween. We had an interesting discussion as they went through a couple articles, related to Christian’s participation in Halloween. After class I did some more work at the office before doing some errands downtown and heading home. We had an uneventful supper and were finishing up dessert with ice cream and some candy “treats” of our own when Caleb spotted the first trick-or-treaters across the road. Caleb & Rachel watched them finish getting their candy across the road and soon the costumed visitors were at our home. Caleb & Rachel bounded down the stairs, one going ahead to open the door and the other right behind with the candy bowl. After sending our guests off with their treats, Caleb & Rachel pulled up a chair and started Sep-Oct 2013 pic 084watching for the next trick-or-treaters to come. Sure enough a few seconds later, they saw more children across the road and got ready to give them their candy. We were actually having to tell both Caleb & Rachel to wait to go to the door until the children actually came to our house as they would see potential new visitors and start the rush to our door. Soon enough Anna wanted to join in the excitement and add her shrill squeal to the mix as someone came to the door. She needed someone to hold her hand so she could “run down the stairs” to help meet the guests too.

After a steady stream of guests for 20-30 minutes, all five of us sat down and all played UNO in the living room. Regularly the doorbell interrupted the game and then Caleb, Rachel & Anna, rushed to get the candy bowl and get to the door to open it for the next guests! Once in a while it was someone they knew and they had a brief chat with them. Usually Sarah or I would also say “hi” to the accompanying parent. Then it was back to the games of UNO until the doorbell rang again. Each time they were so excited to give out candy and as we sat down to resume the game talked about how many more people might be coming to trick-or-treat. Rachel described to Sarah the next day (much to her surprise) how each of them had a role (a job to do) as they welcomed the trick-or-treaters… and they were so excited to do their task each time.

After a long day, our children settled into bed, each of them quite tired from a full day. I had prayed with Caleb in his bedroom and told him I was going to pray with Rachel in her room and then I’d be back. As I knelt down next to Rachel who was already asleep, the doorbell rang and sure enough I heard him rush out to the hall and grab the candy bowl to share with our final guest. As he came back to his room he was smiling, “Good thing I was still awake to give the last trick-or-treater their candy, eh, dad?”

I am so blessed that my wife is such an incredible mother. She set up all these things to make sure the evening was not a “how come I can’t do…” but instead was a “we had so much fun today/tonight.” Even more, I am grateful to God that He is beginning to develop in each of our children an excitement about sharing & giving to others, not focusing on “how much can I get.” The Steve Bell article we discussed in the college class earlier in the day was beautifully depicted by my children. I trust that Sarah and I will be faithful to raise our children to be individuals who understand the culture they live in and demonstrate the love and generosity of Christ.

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