Five Halloween Alternatives

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Halloween’s origins are rooted in the occult. The ancient Druids believed that on October 31, Saman, the lord of death, called forth hosts of dead spirits to visit their earthly homes. They believed that demons masqueraded as fairies, goblins, vampires, and werewolves. People would set out food and drink to placate the evil spirits. Trick or treating is a direct outgrowth of these ancient practices.

But kids enjoy Halloween. So how do you provide alternatives to the “evil” aspects of Halloween and still allow kids to have fun? If goblins and ghouls haunt you at Halloween, try these fun-filled Christian versions of a not-so-Christian day.

1. Halloween Alternative One: Family Storytelling Retreat
Have a family overnight retreat at a camp, retreat center, or school. Start around 5:30 p.m. on a Friday. Tell each family to bring their favorite hors d’oeuvres for a potluck appetizer supper.

After dinner, lead the group in singing lively songs with actions. Then have people get together with their own family. Have each family decide on their favorite story about an experience that involved their entire family. Tell each family they need to prepare a skit about that story to present to the other families. Skits should be no longer than five minutes.

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After the presentations, form groups of four families. Have these groups each sit in a circle. Give them a story-starter sentence, such as “Once there was a man who couldn’t figure out how to…” One at a time, have group members add one sentence to the story until the story is complete. Start the story with the person who has the most gray hair (the wisest) in each family group.

Close your group time together by pointing people to Jesus as the consummate storyteller. The next morning, give each family a story that Jesus told so they can discuss what the story means. Encourage each family to be an important link in the chain of storytellers that spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Other ingredients for this Halloween Family Storytelling Retreat could include fun table graces, craft projects, free time for each family, large group games, get-to-know-you activities, outdoor games, team challenge races, face painting, a campfire, picnic meals, or a service project.

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