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Redeeming Halloween: Celebrating Without Selling Out

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Christians face a dilemma every year on October 31: “What should and shouldn't we do—and let our kids do—in observance of Halloween?” "Redeeming Halloween" answers all the questions Christians have about the origins and meaning of the holiday, and it provides fun, guilt-free ideas that will help you enjoy it. From costumes and decorating hints to original party suggestions Christians face a dilemma every year on October 31: “What should and shouldn't we do—and let our kids do—in observance of Halloween?” "Redeeming Halloween" answers all the questions Christians have about the origins and meaning of the holiday, and it provides fun, guilt-free ideas that will help you enjoy it. From costumes and decorating hints to original party suggestions, the authors offer a godly approach that will help Christian parents balance love with conviction and create treasured memories for their children.


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Christians face a dilemma every year on October 31: “What should and shouldn't we do—and let our kids do—in observance of Halloween?” "Redeeming Halloween" answers all the questions Christians have about the origins and meaning of the holiday, and it provides fun, guilt-free ideas that will help you enjoy it. From costumes and decorating hints to original party suggestions Christians face a dilemma every year on October 31: “What should and shouldn't we do—and let our kids do—in observance of Halloween?” "Redeeming Halloween" answers all the questions Christians have about the origins and meaning of the holiday, and it provides fun, guilt-free ideas that will help you enjoy it. From costumes and decorating hints to original party suggestions, the authors offer a godly approach that will help Christian parents balance love with conviction and create treasured memories for their children.

38 review for Redeeming Halloween: Celebrating Without Selling Out

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    It was refreshing to find a Christian book about Halloween that didn’t condemn the whole day as “the Devil’s holiday.” I don’t give any of my days to the Devil. I think people who abandon Halloween (or any other day) as belonging old slewfoot have more fear of Satan than trust in God—and that’s a shame. I view Halloween with mixed feelings. I love to dress in costumes, and usually this season’s festivities are the only excuse I can find to do so. I love welcoming neighbor kids who come to my door It was refreshing to find a Christian book about Halloween that didn’t condemn the whole day as “the Devil’s holiday.” I don’t give any of my days to the Devil. I think people who abandon Halloween (or any other day) as belonging old slewfoot have more fear of Satan than trust in God—and that’s a shame. I view Halloween with mixed feelings. I love to dress in costumes, and usually this season’s festivities are the only excuse I can find to do so. I love welcoming neighbor kids who come to my door, admiring their creative costumes, and pleasing them with compliments and candy. Some years, I also hand them homemade tracts that invite them to experience the treat that lasts forever: eternal life through a relationship with God. At the same time, I identify completely with the authors’ confession that the creatures they’ve feared most were not vampires, werewolves, or ghosts, but the creatures in the pews, who may judge them for letting their kids go trick-or-treating and with whom they wouldn’t dare discuss costume ideas. (Once a “properly indoctrinated” young child told me, “We’re going out tonight so they can’t come to our door!” I want to share the second chapter, “Halloween’s True Story” with many people I know, including Halloween humbugs. It traces the origins of All Saints Day and All Hallows’ Eve to the days of the early church, when Christians suffered severe persecution until the changes made by Constantine in the 4th Century AD. I hadn’t known how early a day was set aside to remember those who faced imprisonment and death for their faith in Christ, or that All Saints Day and Halloween were originally celebrated in May. Not much is said about Samhain except that it’s “the pagan festival of death,” and that in 741 AD Christians decided to claim the day as their own. The rest of the book presents ideas for teaching your children and others about God and the martyrs around the time of Halloween—and to have a fun time doing it. Examples include costumes reflecting mission field groups (learning about those cultures and praying for those people), themed parties (which though called “simple” actually involve hard work and a lot of physical space, like a church building or a large, upper-class home), movie nights (centered on Christian heroes or other admirable people), and going the extra mile for trick-or-treating neighbors with refreshingly non-judgmental hospitality. Redeeming Halloween is not your typical Christian killjoy fear-based book. I enjoyed it to the end, even though my only child is grown; reading it was something of a healing experience for me. I recommend the book to Christian parents everywhere.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I stand corrected. This book got me to the bottom of the halloween debate. Traced it's history all the way back to the foot of the cross. Enjoyed learning about the history. Although that part of it was just a chapter long, they spent the rest of the book mostly side tracked. But i learned alot. Our traditions of carving pumpkins and trick or treating came from the Irish. Had some good ideas. I skimmed over most of their "tips" at the end of the chapters for how to make your traditions more chri I stand corrected. This book got me to the bottom of the halloween debate. Traced it's history all the way back to the foot of the cross. Enjoyed learning about the history. Although that part of it was just a chapter long, they spent the rest of the book mostly side tracked. But i learned alot. Our traditions of carving pumpkins and trick or treating came from the Irish. Had some good ideas. I skimmed over most of their "tips" at the end of the chapters for how to make your traditions more christian, which some I thought were a bit overboard. overall fast read, i feel i learned something from it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    My husband and I were raised with polar opposite viewpoints on the subject of Halloween. This book was very helpful to me as I tried to wrap my mind around the idea that Halloween could be celebrated in a God-honoring, and even evangelistic, manner.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    Focus on the Family and authors Kim Wier and Pam McClune offer a brief historical account of Halloween along with practical ideas to honor this holiday as early believers intended it to be honored. Early Christians commonly took pagan holidays and claimed the date as their own--finding redeeming value in a day that otherwise would be used in non-Christian ways. Samhain, a pagan festival dedicated to the harvest and to the dead, originally preceded Halloween on November 1st. In 741AD, All Saints' Focus on the Family and authors Kim Wier and Pam McClune offer a brief historical account of Halloween along with practical ideas to honor this holiday as early believers intended it to be honored. Early Christians commonly took pagan holidays and claimed the date as their own--finding redeeming value in a day that otherwise would be used in non-Christian ways. Samhain, a pagan festival dedicated to the harvest and to the dead, originally preceded Halloween on November 1st. In 741AD, All Saints' Day or All Hallow’s Day (hallow means sanctified or holy) was moved from May 13 by the early church to November 1st to help change the focus to more positive ideals. Judeo-Christians counted days from sunset to sunset so the eve of October 31st became All Hallow's Eve (AKA Halloween). While both holidays honored those who have passed on from this life, Samhain focused more on ghosts, spirits, demons, and death. Halloween ("The Eve of the Holy Ones") was intended to honor past saints and martyrs in the early Christian church for having carried and protected the gospel even to their death. Later developments in this holiday included jack-o-lanterns and trick or treating which weren’t necessarily part of either original holiday. Through the years, American Halloween has become a melting pot of different cultural celebrations and beliefs. However, early Christians do have a hand in its roots. The larger part of this book was dedicated to providing ways to honor past believers who gave their lives for Christ. The book asks: What other day of the year will half of the town come knocking on your door? This may be an amazing opportunity for you to grow closer to those living in your community. Be friendly and ask trick-or-treaters their names (don’t just mundanely hand out candy), walk out to the street and meet the parents waiting at the corner (offer them hot cider or cocoa), and be Christ-like as generous gift-givers (in your treats). This book brought to life the understanding that there is nothing inherently evil about any day of the year. We can always glorify Christ and serve our neighbors while enjoying the festivities of the season. The same harsh battle raging against Halloween (often by well-meaning Christians) has been fought in church history against many other Christian holidays like Christmas, which was purposefully placed on December 25th not because it was Jesus' birthday (it's not), but instead to counteract the pagan holiday Winter Solstice.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    A bit more Born-Again/Evangelical than my personal religious slant. Also, I never had any qualms about Halloween though tried to steer clear of the gory/spooky parts. But I really like how this book points out Halloween can be made into a spiritual holiday similar to Christmas. Halloween started as a day to honor saints/religious martyrs and heroes. So teach your children to honor heroes on this day, or use this day to try to be better saints ourselves. Examples: take teens on a Halloween excurs A bit more Born-Again/Evangelical than my personal religious slant. Also, I never had any qualms about Halloween though tried to steer clear of the gory/spooky parts. But I really like how this book points out Halloween can be made into a spiritual holiday similar to Christmas. Halloween started as a day to honor saints/religious martyrs and heroes. So teach your children to honor heroes on this day, or use this day to try to be better saints ourselves. Examples: take teens on a Halloween excursion to a local cemetery to do a scavenger hunt for noteworthy epitaphs (honoring cemetery etiquette throughout of course) and then end with a chat about how this short time between birth and death matters! Call it a "fill in the gap" party--fill in the gap between your birth and death dates with something meaningful. Another example: encourage your young children to dress up as either heroes OR people they would like to invite to come unto Christ (since it is good to try to see from the perspective of others while talking to them about the gospel). Then, on Halloween the kids can pray specifically for that group they are representing. The book used the example of a young boy who chose to be a football player, and prayed that night for all the athletes who knew not God. Or two kids who were ninjas, and then prayed for the underground Christians in parts of Asia. =) Maybe a little hoky, but I think it couldn't hurt to try some of these ideas. OH, and it has some good points about making Halloween a time to strengthen relationships with friends and neighbors--not pushing religion at the time, but being good examples of Christlike generosity and joyful living.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Even though I'm a Christian, I've never had an issue with Halloween or had a problem celebrating it. I got this book because I was looking for a book on Halloween. It has some good party ideas, and I really liked the chapter on Martin Luther. Beyond that, unless you are a Christian who is looking for Christian-themed Halloween party ideas, I'd skip this book. Even though I'm a Christian, I've never had an issue with Halloween or had a problem celebrating it. I got this book because I was looking for a book on Halloween. It has some good party ideas, and I really liked the chapter on Martin Luther. Beyond that, unless you are a Christian who is looking for Christian-themed Halloween party ideas, I'd skip this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    Good book. Tells where Halloween really comes from and give ideas for how to celebrate it without having to do the witches and other things not very Christian. The problem is that my husband doesn't find anything wrong with Halloween so many of the ideas for little kids won't work in my house but I plan to read it again as my boys get older. Good book. Tells where Halloween really comes from and give ideas for how to celebrate it without having to do the witches and other things not very Christian. The problem is that my husband doesn't find anything wrong with Halloween so many of the ideas for little kids won't work in my house but I plan to read it again as my boys get older.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Pennington

    Favorite quote in the book: "What persecuted group of people will your guests be role-playing?" Favorite quote in the book: "What persecuted group of people will your guests be role-playing?"

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I wish it had included more of the "selling out" argument, but very full of "safe/Christian" ideas for the holiday. I wish it had included more of the "selling out" argument, but very full of "safe/Christian" ideas for the holiday.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tag

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lucee

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sonya

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Thompson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Miller

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenessa Rossi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angel Snowberger

  25. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Reid

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shana

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Bradley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa M

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

  30. 5 out of 5

    Star Upton

  31. 5 out of 5

    Mollie

  32. 5 out of 5

    esther

  33. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  35. 4 out of 5

    Shari

  36. 4 out of 5

    Pat Bretheim

  37. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

  38. 5 out of 5

    Brian

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