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:

  1. Wear a friendly costume as you answer the door.
  2. Make sure that kids and parents know that you are happy to see them.
  3. Have upbeat Christian (or at least positive) music playing on your front porch.
  4. Light up your porch, your house, and your yard to make it the brightest home in the neighborhood.
  5. 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.