BOO! Tonight is Halloween night. And if you’re just realizing it, you know what fear feels like right about now! Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.
Every year my wife Lois and I scramble to figure out what we should do with Halloween. We want to reach out to the families who live around us but we don’t feel comfortable supporting this holiday the way it gets celebrated by some of our neighbors. I’m thinking right now about one home with a lawn ornamented by a 20 foot diameter spider web equipped with a life-size person stuck in the middle.
Last year we bought some candy and, although we didn’t have our kids go out to other homes, we let them greet the trick-or-treaters at our door. Big mistake. People thought we were torturing our kids, forcing them to give away all our candy and never getting any of their own.
We’ve also tried the duck and hide approach. You know, turn out all the lights, eat supper in the dark, pretend you’re not home and hope people ignore you. But it always feels like we are in the witness protection program. Then there is the cut and run method; find a good harvest party and get out of Dodge before it gets dark. But that approach doesn’t give us a way to reach out on Halloween.
This year we’ve decided to try a modified duck and hide. I will give out candy to the neighbors while the rest of the family spends time together downstairs. That way I can relate to the neighbors without them reporting me to the sugar deprivation authorities for cruelty to my children. We’ve learned not to place a lot of stock in Halloween as the perfect evangelism opportunity. Sometimes the adults don’t even come up the walk. But who knows what outreach opportunities are lurking just on the other side of our door – opportunities that can begin small on Halloween, but be followed up on in the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons ahead. I just I hope I don’t scare anybody with my ‘suburban dad’ costume.