Christian Halloween ideas. As I typed that I couldn't help but think that it sounds like a good oxymoron. I have spent my entire life conflicted about the celebration of Halloween as a Bible-believing Christain. There is always a healthy tension to being 'in the world, but not of the world.' Where do we draw that line as believing Saints?
Thankfully, I'm not setting out to tackle that question today. For these purposes, we are going to move forward with the assumption that you are looking for alternative ideas for Halloween that do not necessarily celebrate that holiday but allows your children to participate in some of the beloved holiday crafts, activities, and fun.
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What can I do instead of celebrating Halloween?
Throughout the years, I have seen a few diverse ways that Christians decide to celebrate Halloween. Maybe you have seen similar ideas and followed their example.
- Celebrate the holiday just like everyone else with the logic that it's just 'fun for kids.'
- Shun the holiday and resolve not to appear like you're celebrating anything.
- Celebrate with an alternative to Trick or Treating such as Trunk or Treating.
- Have a fall celebration with friends and family.
- Enjoy the celebration of Hallows Eve instead of Halloween
- Celebrate Reformation Day instead of Halloween
Although this list is not complete, it does cover a lot of what Christians do for the holiday.
How did Halloween Start and Why?
I claimed that we were not going to dive into the history or reasoning behind why to celebrate or why not to celebrate Halloween, but I would be remiss if I didn't cover at least a few things as an explanation for why this is even an issue.
There are varying opinions on what historical event started the celebration of Halloween, but there is no doubt that it is rooted in pagan and dark traditions. Samhain was a significant fire festival that has its beginnings in Celtic tradition. It marked the beginning of the harvest and the start of the fall equinox.
In addition, there were many myths and stories about the barrier between worlds being breached during October 31st-November 1st, which lead to people leaving sacrifices and offerings on their doorstep for fairies and other mystical creatures.
The other celebration that is commonly referred to as the backbone for Halloween tradition is Day of the Dead which is a Mexican holiday. On this day people welcome those relatives that have passed away back for a brief reunion.
Finally, All Saints Day is rooted in Christianity, which commemorates the Saints and Martyrs that have gone before in Christian tradition.
How can I bring Jesus into Halloween?
Halloween does not surprise our God. It does not decrease his sovereignty, omnipotence, omnipresence, or diminish his glory.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.Colossians 1:16-17
If you do not wish to celebrate this holiday, as we will see, there are plenty of ways to weave in the story of salvation into some fall activities and fun. Although not all of these Christian Halloween Ideas will have a redemption spin on them, many of them can be modified to add a redemptive spin to it yourself!
Is it a Sin to Celebrate Halloween?
I hate this question, but it is one that many Christians have been forced to answer for themselves. We live in grace and considering that I think we can conclusively say that Halloween in and of itself is not a sin. Yet, there are activities, mindsets, and traditions that can lead us down the road of temptation or create in impressionable minds wrong ideas.
On one side there are little kids enjoying trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, and eating a ridiculous amount of sugar. Yet don't forget that there are also a frightening amount of creepy religious celebrations, crime, murders, and other various dark deeds, whose recounts don't belong in this article.
I've heard many parents claim that they don't want their children celebrating such a dark holiday. Can I remind you of something? The darkest, dreariest, scariest, most gruesome event that ever took place on this earth was the bloody sacrifice of the perfect body of Jesus Christ.
We shun the scary parts of Halloween with the explanation that it's scary and gross, yet we forget to remind our children that nothing that Halloween has to offer can compare gory death of Jesus.
The difference between the scary traditions of Halloween and the scary death of Jesus is that the death of Jesus leads us to the resurrection and victory of Jesus. There is redemption offered! Ultimately the pagan traditions of Halloween, just lead us down to more darkness.
So, is there a way to redeem the holiday of Halloween?
I'm not sure I can answer that question, you'll have to answer that for yourself. Is there a way to take some of the darkness, still celebrate, and teach children how things are brought to light? It just might be a fantastic opportunity to integrate the salvation story into your child's life.
Yet, I can offer some Christian Halloween ideas for taking the holiday and making it more about turning darkness to light, than celebrating the darkness.
15 Christian Halloween Ideas
Christian Halloween ideas do not have to be complicated. As you are planning some traditions to do with your kids, think through these questions,
- How can this activity or tradition teach 'from darkness to light.'
- Can I integrate the salvation story into this?
- Is there redemption in this holiday tradition?
Some of these questions will apply more to one tradition than the other.
#1 Carve Pumpkins with a Pumpkin Prayer
We are starting this Christian Halloween Ideas tradition this year! I have seen varying renditions of the pumpkin prayer, so I decided to create my own! The idea is to level up the pumpkin carving tradition into carving it with your kids while saying a prayer. Each line pertains to a separate part of the pumpkin carving.
You will start by cutting off the top and asking your kids to open their minds we can all learn more about Jesus through this pumpkin carving session. It's a little cheesy and might work better for little kids, but I think the concept could be pretty effective as you mold it into something for your own family.
You can get the FREE printable PDF of this through the link here.
#2 Watch Holiday Shows the Offer a Redemption Story
I gauge my own TV watching on one principle: Does this storyline offer redemption?
It does not have to weave the Gospel into its storyline, but it does have to offer some sort of character redemption. Did the characters in the story grow and learn? Was there any sort of moral lesson?
Here are a few Halloween or Holiday shows that I have watched and enjoyed during the fall season.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- Spookly the Square Pumpkin
- Fly Away Home
- October Sky
These are tame fall movies that have a good storyline without being exclusive 'Halloween' in nature.
#3 Make Gratefulness Pumpkins
This idea is a bit more on the Thanksgiving bandwagon, but the reason I mention it is that I like to start this tradition around the middle of October and let it continue throughout Thanksgiving. It is a super fun activity for little ones and can even integrate some literacy learning, which as a previous literacy teacher, I LOVE!
The idea is to take a bundle of small pumpkins and set them out in a well-used space of your house. For us, this is our living room on an end table. If your children are old enough, you can place sharpie paint markers about. Ask your children to start writing on the sides of the pumpkins what they are grateful for. For smaller children, I have even placed crayons in a basket with the pumpkins. You can read more about the activity here.
You can even integrate my FREE gratitude coloring cards into this activity. Another idea is to take what your kids write on the gratitude pumpkins and turn them into Thanksgiving place settings with this FREE gratitude printable.
#4 Read Some Stories of the Saints
Another great activity for this time of the year is to start teaching your kids about the martyrs and saints that have gone before us and the sacrifices that they have made for Jesus. There are many kids books that walk you through heroes of our faith like Amy Carmichael, William Wilberforce, Gladys Aylward, Jim Elliot, St Augustine, and the list could go on!
- Everyone a Child Should Know
- 10 Girls that Changed the World
- Jim Elliot, He is No Fool
- William Tyndale: The Smugglers Flame
- Gutsy Girls
#5 Dress up as Bible Characters
I've heard all sorts of different versions of this idea. This certainly does not have to be a Christian Halloween ideas, you could do it any time of the year!
One way to do it is to have your own Fall celebration and invite a bunch of friends. Each family could dress up as a Bible story. Or each child could dress up as a Bible character. The renditions of this idea could be endless!
Here are some fun ones to get you started!
- One of the Three Wise Men
- Deborah (the Warrior)
- King David
#6 Reverse Treating
I love this idea, but I have not yet done it with my own children as they are still a bit too little for the full impact of the activity.
Instead of your children getting candy and treats, why not allow them to give candy and treats. There are many ways to do this. You can package up little bags or boxes of candy, treats, and fun items, make sure you include a little note about why you're doing 'Trick-or-Treating' this way. You could even add one of the Halloween Scripture Cards printables (that is available at the end of this post).
#7 Decorate Cookies or Cupcakes
If you want to put a Christian Halloween Ideas spin on it, you can add some scripture to your decorating or cut out in crosses.
#8 Learn More about Reformation Day
This is truthfully one of my favorite Christian Halloween ideas. Did you know that Martin Luther nailed his 95 these (concerns) on October 31st? This makes for a lovely alternative celebration idea. If your children have never learned about Reformation Day, here are a few books that will help teach this important day in Christian history.
#9 Nail the Theses to your Door (Sort of)
There are some really cute Christian Halloween ideas out there for celebrating Reformation Day. One of my favorites is nailing the 95 theses to your own door. If you are curious what the 95 theses were, you can read more about that here. Another idea would be to just nail the 5 Solas and teach the importance of those to your children.
You can print out the 5 Solas printable through this link, or get the entire vault by subscribing here.
Have your children write out the 5 Solas and place them into a paper bag with double-sided sticky tape on the back. You can then place the bag on a door and the children can pound the bag into the door with a soft hammer. It's a fun activity they won't forget!
#10 Diet on Martin Luther Worms
Did Martin Luther go on a diet of worms?! This is a fun little history lesson that you can integrate into your Reformation celebration ideas. Martin Luther did not in fact eat worms. After he nailed his concerns onto the church doors he had to appear before the Diet of Worms religious leaders in Germany, 1521. The name of the religious leaders have created quite the confusion among little ones that Martin Luther actually ate worms!
Here is a delightful little book to help with your teaching.
After you learn about this little historical fact, you could eat gummy worms or have a gummy worm relay to see who can collect the most gummy worms the fastest.
If you are a Trim Healthy Mama fan, you can use this recipe for gummy bears and make them into Sugar-Free gummy worms.
#11 Listen to Halloween Audiobooks
There are some really fun audio dramas that can accurately explain Halloween and bring some entertainment to your little ones! During my childhood, I remember listening to Adventures in Odyssey's "What are we going to do about Halloween" on many occasions.
#12 Carve some Fruits of the Spirit Pumpkins
Not all pumpkin carving has to be creepy! You can make some really creative pumpkin carvings that are happy! I was astonished to find these Disney pumpkin carving stencils online.
However, a Christian alternative would be to carve a pumpkin for each fruit of the spirit! Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control! What a wonderful lineup of pumpkins you would have on your front porch.
I have also really enjoyed doing pumpkin painting with little ones. All you have to do is set them loose with some good quality paint and a pumpkin. This also is an easier way to do the fruits of the spirit pumpkins. You can write with Patio Paint the fruit of the spirit and then have your children illustrate it.
The Patio Paint allows for the paint to be weatherproof. It won't last forever, but it lasts longer than washable or acrylic paint.
#13 Attend a Fall Celebration of Trunk-or-Treat Party
Chances are there are at least a couple of churches in your area that do an alternative to the Halloween celebration. At my church, we do a Fall Celebration, which includes a Trunk or Treats option. It is such a fun activity and outreach for our community. Maybe you can even start one at your church!
#14 Add some Christian Fall Yard Stakes to your Yard
Yard decorations during the Halloween season, but become quite scary looking. Want to put a Christian Halloween Ideas spin on it? Add some Christian Fall Yard Stakes to your own yard. You could even make your own!
#15 Go Bobbing for Scripture!
My final idea for my top 15 Christian Halloween ideas, is to go bobbing for scripture! Are you wondering what that possibly could be?! Have you ever done the classic apple bob in a pool of water? What about doing a bob with scriptures? You can get creative with this, but the easiest way is to get some rubber ducks and write scripture on the bottom. The 5 Solas would work well for this too.
You could even laminate the printable scripture cards and put those in the pool of water!
The Best Christian Halloween Ideas
Would you like to gain access to the Christian Halloween Ideas Vault? All the printables that I have mentioned in this post can be found in this exclusive vault. Just sign up below and it will bring you right to the link to grab all the goodies.