Why I Celebrate Halloween (Even As A Christian)

Why I Celebrate Halloween (Even As A Christian) |theprimarilyinspired.com|

Every year when October 31st creeps up I always come across articles and blog posts on the subject of Halloween and the decision to participate or not. Either you’re on the side where it’s all in good fun or the complete other side and shelter yourself until November 1st. As always, what a family decides to do (or not do) is completely their choice and I stand in support of that, even if I may disagree. But, hey…that’s what’s so great about raising your own family. I recognize this discussion is a sensitive one because it ties together two major topics: religion and family, but today I’m attempting to, at the very least, get discussion started about how families celebrate Halloween and how we can end the stigma surrounding this holiday.

First, I should mention that I am guilty of feeling, what’s the big deal? Just because my family might dress up as characters from Harry Potter one year doesn’t mean I’m shedding my faith for an evening and taking up witchcraft. Or if I watch a scary movie that all of a sudden I should be shamed by others or God about that choice. Instead, I choose to celebrate Halloween for the fun that comes with establishing those family traditions that incorporate gathering, creativity, and keeping God first through my attitude, dress, and level of participation. Here’s how I do that and questions I ask along the way:

Family Traditions

Halloween, or really any holiday, is made up mostly of the family traditions in which you start and share with one another. Just because you decorate your home with harvest decor and scented candles or take your kids to the pumpkin patch doesn’t mean you have to go trick-or-treating, visit a haunted house, or otherwise participate in the scary side of the holiday. I agree that everyone has their own interpretation of this holiday and what is considered scary; some are lighthearted and fun whereas others can be over the top and borderline obscene. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to remember that anyone can establish what their traditions will be and the extent to which you choose to  participate.

I would say to ask yourself each year: “Are my family traditions in keeping with how God wants us to live as Christians?”

Halloween’s History

Although, if we want to fully discuss Halloween one must come to understand it’s historical, and even Christian (All Saints Day), beginnings. With an understanding that like most things over time this holiday became muddled and evolved into something completely different. For example, death is a consequence of our early sins dating back to Adam and Eve and is an unfortunate circumstance in which we will all experience eventually. Historically, death played a large role in the early churches across cultures and prayers, feasts, and other acts of remembrance were ways in which family members could help the souls of those who passed prepare for heaven. Down the line, various forms of these customs were established and, again, evolved into some of the traditions we participate in today.

Did you know trick-or-treating is a variation of early begging in America? With a flood of Irish immigrants (thanks to the potato famine), children would dress up and go door-to-door asking for food or money. Women even believed they could nab themselves a husband by doing various tricks! via

So why is death something we need to shelter ourselves and our families from on this day? What is the harm in dressing up in family costumes and snacking on some candy?

Celebrating Halloween as a Christian

The Bible indeed does tell us a lot about keeping away from the darkness, the occult, devil worship and so on. The Bible is our sword and armor against such things and it is our responsibility, or any believer of Christ, to continue living out our faith – even on such holidays as Halloween. However, I believe I can still live and reflect a redeemed life for my son and family by how I/we choose to participate. Even some churches have their own Halloween-esque celebrations! I remember my old church back home on the east coast who every year hosts a Trunk-Or-Treat evening and it was always a lot of fun – especially for the little kids. Many churches around the country do the same and still manage keep God’s glory in the center of their activities.

Is there a way to glorify God even in participating in some aspects of Halloween?

Moving Forward

Regardless of whether or not I agree or disagree with how you choose to participate in Halloween, it’s vital that all of us keep Romans 14 in our hearts about this subject and the many others that divide our opinions. As a Christian I find celebrating the fun and lighthearted side of Halloween to be an enjoyable part of the season and especially so as Greyson grows up.

Why I Celebrate Halloween (Even As A Christian) |theprimarilyinspired.com|

What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate Halloween or ban it? How do you explain your family’s choice to others?

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A Pumpkin Patch Filled Sunday

pumpkin patch

This weekend was all about pumpkin patches! We love going to our favorite spot, Underwood Family Farms, which is just down the road a bit from Ventura. They have a whole setup of animals, tractor rides, pumpkin launching, and events leading up to Halloween. Families from all over make their way out and for $20 a person (kids under 2 years old are free) it definitely pays for a fun, and new, experience for Greyson!

Now, taking a seven month old takes timing and planning before getting on the road. Luckily Greyson enjoys riding in the car ever since we upgraded his carseat and like always, he fell asleep during our 30 minute ride to the farm. This was the first #parentingwin of the day since by the time we arrived he was well rested. Then it was all about managing the stroller (we haven’t received our Tula carrier in the mail yet) and diaper bag which, of course, is filled with toys and his Lil’Beanies snacks for those fussier moments. Thankfully though we didn’t need them as Greyson really seemed to enjoy the pumpkin patch!

pumpkin patch

pumpkin patch

pumpkin patch

He was so curious about the animals such as the chickens and piggies! Underwood also had baby and mama goats too! Although he wasn’t quite sure what to make of them yet, he did seem to want to watch them. Perhaps a petting zoo in the future? It was a fun memory because Philip grew up taking care of the chickens at his grandmother’s house in Texas.

pumpkin patch

I was curious to see how he would do on the tractor ride around the farm (they even have pick your own fruit and veggies!) and as you can tell by the picture he loved it. He mostly sat on our laps but also enjoyed peeking over to look around. I know this will be one of our favorite things to do as he continues to grow up!

pumpkin patch

After the tractor ride we stopped off to the actual pumpkin patch area where we tried to get a few photos of Greyson with the little pumpkins (we bought our pumpkins for carving earlier) and of course getting a seven month old to pose for cute framable photos was next to impossible. I mean, I don’t blame him – hay and pumpkins are a new thing to touch and feel.

And I can’t leave a pumpkin patch post without sharing these yummy rice krispie treats I made…wait for it…in the shape of pumpkins! They turned out so adorable considering this was the first time I’ve ever made them. Such an easy recipe and I’ve adapted it a bit from the original recipe found on Pinterest. You can find my recipe below.

Make these easy pumpkin shaped rice krispie treats! I’ve adapted the original recipe a touch which makes the perfect treat within minutes!Original Recipe

My Recipe:

5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 7oz Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
Red and yellow food coloring
Tootsie Rolls

Instructions:

  1. On medium heat melt butter until slightly browned.
  2. Add vanilla and marshmallow creme. Stir using a rubber-ended spatula until marshmallow becomes smooth then add food coloring until desired orange color. Continue stirring – making sure not to burn. Turn down heat if needed.
  3. Stir in rice krispies one cup at a time. Keep stirring until all krispies have been blended in and take off of heat. Once cool enough to handle, form into pumpkins using your hands (don’t worry, you won’t get orange on you) making them whatever size you’d like. Cut Tootsie Rolls and place on top as pumpkin stumps.

Linking up with Emily over at Ember Grey.

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Baby Snuggles & Gratitude

Seriously how has this little boy gone from just this itty-bitty baby to an almost grown child? Well, he’s still my baby and officially 7 months old today (monthly update is running a touch late this month!). In 7 months this kid has five teeth already and I somehow can’t keep him still. Whatever happened to those all day snuggles? But, amidst the chaos it’s the snuggles he chooses to give me now are the ones that melt my heart.

Today I am grateful for those snuggles – and those smiles aren’t too shabby either.

I am grateful for firsts like these playground swing rides.

I am grateful for my Pumpkin Spiced coffee thanks to Trader Joe’s.

I am grateful for my husband’s happy participation in all the Halloween ideas I have planned #verydanielhalloween.

Our Hocus Pocus movie night: witches broomsticks, witch fingers, and dead man’s toes.

I am grateful for wine tasting trips with my little family. Proving your life doesn’t stop just because you’re a mom – it just makes you a better planner.

I am grateful for DIY projects. And said husband who happily participates in those activities as well #hesakeeper.

Final project photos coming soon – promise!

I am grateful for Harry Potter (more like J.K. Rowling…) and all of the magic, adventure, and friendship. Also, Dumbledore really knows how to slay the perfect affirmation in one sentence. So wise.

I could seriously keep going with all that is filling my heart and soul with gratitude today. Thank you to the beautiful Emily for hosting this Grateful Heart linkup once more!

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Finding The Perfect Family Costume

My Halloween costume last year when pregnant with Greyson.

Anyone who knows me know that autumn is by far my favorite holiday. Just the mere thought of PSLs, pumpkin patches, and an entire month dedicated to scary movies makes me happy somewhere deep inside. Oh, and don’t forget the boxes stuffed away in our storage of fall themed home decorations I get to dust off (you’re welcome, husband), new dollars spent on every scented candle that makes me feel like we live in the woods, and the beginning of my journey into seasonal diabetes due to the amount of baked goods I make. Each year it’s been a little tradition of mine to really plan ahead and find fun themed activities for us to do as a twosome and this year I am even more excited because we have our little guy to celebrate the season with.

When it comes to Halloween, we know that planning a family costume is something that takes time, extreme thought, and creativity. I used to always love dressing up and even though my husband isn’t really into costumes, this year and every year for the next forever he will be forced into fun participation of dressing up with Greyson and I in cute coordinated outfits. That is until Greyson is too cool to dress up with his mom. But never mind that because he’s never growing up 😉

After scouring the best of Pinterest searches here are my top favorite ideas for family costumes this Halloween. Which are your favorite?

Jurassic Park
This is most likely going to be our costume choice this year. I love that she was able to find their outfits from local thrift stores (Ventura has plenty of those) and who does not find her daughter’s dinosaur costume to be just the most adorable thing ever. Also, we should all take a moment to remember the greatness that is the ORIGINAL Jurassic Park film.

Image Source: Emily via Cupcakes & Cashmere
Image Source: Emily via Cupcakes & Cashmere

Ratatouille
I love a good Disney rendition for a family Halloween costume and the key is to finding the cutest baby outfit to match. I just adore their costumes and love how simple they are to put together! This is also a fun costume for us since my husband and I both love to cook!

Image Source: The House of Cornwall blog
Image Source: The House of Cornwall blog

Finding Nemo
You seriously can’t deny just how great this costume is! I love the take on Finding Nemo that isn’t your traditional fish theme. The fact this family went with Darla and the dentist is just perfect!

Image Source: Elizabeth Parrett Instagram
Image Source: Elizabeth Parrett Instagram

This family who wins at life…

The Lego Movie
Did I mention I’m a fan of Disney/family movies? This family just blows my mind with how they recreated the popular Lego characters straight from the movie! I hope to one day find the time and effort to put into creating this costume. #parentinggoals.

Image Source: Randomama Instagram
Image Source: Randomama Instagram

Beetlejuice
Both my husband and I are avid fans of the Beetlejuice movie since it played such a fun part in the movies we saw growing up. We had discussed a Beetlejuice costume for a little while now and it was so much fun to see what other families interpreted this movie! I think the below photo may just be too intense for my little guy at the moment, but I couldn’t help but share how awesome it came out!

Image Source: Stephanie via costume-works.com
Image Source: Stephanie via costume-works.com

Aren’t these parents awesome for planning and putting together some pretty great costumes for the family? #momgoals. I still have some time to figure out what we’ll be doing – but I’m curious, what costumes are you planning??

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