Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it’s been a while since I experienced Halloween as a child. I don’t have many clear memories of Halloween, though the one when I lost three teeth on a giant Sugar Daddy sticks out. But I have faint impressions that have endured through the years.
I remember a big, spooky house in Savannah with a long dark driveway that I was too frightened to visit. I remember people laughing as they startled me with sound effects and surprises. I remember the faces of people who seemed to be annoyed that I was standing at their door.
I also remember some experiences in a positive light: the people who leaned down and smiled; the people who praised my costume; the people who seemed glad to enjoy Halloween with me. Even as a little kid, I formed impressions of people and places where I was welcome.
My wife, an educator by the way, excels at meeting children at our door. There’s joy in her tone. There’s a twinkle in her eye. She has the gift of communicating to kids that they matter. Me? I’m the grumpy dude on the couch who mumbles everytime the doorbell rings. But I digress.
What can you do to make your neighborhood presence a witness for Christ, a sign of the hope of the gospel for your neighbors? Allow this reluctant fan of Halloween to offer a few suggestions:
- Wear a friendly costume as you answer the door.
- Make sure that kids and parents know that you are happy to see them.
- Have upbeat Christian (or at least positive) music playing on your front porch.
- Light up your porch, your house, and your yard to make it the brightest home in the neighborhood.
- Show the kids that your home is a place where joy lives instead of fear.
BONUS: Introduce yourself to parents and plant the seeds of a future relationship.
Who knows? If you celebrate Halloween through the eyes of a child, you might just come into that child-like spirit that Jesus talked about.