A monthly column on purpose, passion and power in Jesus.
Given half the chance, my kids would be jumping — and I mean jumping at the opportunity to participate in Halloween.
Dress-up, sweets, fun with friends- c’mon, what kid wouldn’t want to jump in! Often my two older children aged 6 and 4 will rope me in to play some pretend game with them.
Over the years, in various childhood development classes, we’ve been advised to encourage games that allow our children to use their wild imaginations.
It’s no wonder then that most kids get excited about school concerts and nativity plays. In those moments they are all sorts of characters, dressed up and for the most part having the time of their lives.
It’s this childhood fascination with dress-up and wild imaginations Angela Thomas, author of 52 things kids need from a mom noticed about her children’s desire to participate in Halloween.
Having being brought up in a Christian home, Thomas says she knew her kids didn’t want to get involved in anything that remotely resembled fear or evil — it was the dressing up and going around the neighbourhood with friends to collect sweets they wanted to be a part of.
So she decided that instead of participating in Halloween, she’d get some family friends together and they’d have a Hallelujah Party.
As the Halloween trend began to grow in South Africa, I thought it a great idea to have a Hallelujah Party instead of Halloween.
Over the years my husband and I have felt it important to consistently impart to our children what we believe as followers of Jesus.
Part of that has been sticking to what various observations in our faith actually mean.
One of those observations has been Passover.
Every year we remind our children of the very first Passover in the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfilled that shadow when He became our Passover Lamb.
It’s interesting to see how people react when we tell them we don’t observe Easter, we observe Passover. And we definitely don’t do Easter eggs or anything remotely connected to Easter bunnies.
Are we taking it too far? To this I have to ask, aren’t Easter eggs and the Easter bunny an extreme measure to utterly distract our children from a truth that is pivotal in their belief in Jesus?
I was going to mention Christmas but I think most of us agree about what that’s been turned into as well.
We of course get presents for our children for Christmas — but throughout the season we speak about what Christmas is really about: Jesus finally being born into the world.
That blows me away. I feel as though if the birth of Jesus was the only part of the Bible I had I could feed on that portion of Scripture till God took me home. It is that profound.
As believers we cannot be wishy washy about what the various observations in our faith mean. I also believe that as parents we have a great commission to our children to keep our observations as pure as possible, so they too can know what they stand for. If they do, they won’t easily fall for distractions.
For years we ignored Halloween because we didn’t think it was in anyway connected to our faith. That is until we discovered that around 1745 the Catholic Church is reported to have initiated Hallowed Day (or Holy Evening) for November 1. The day was meant to remember the saints who’d gone to Heaven.
Hallow’s Eve fell on October 31.
While our initial inspiration for a Hallelujah Party was Angela Thomas, we couldn’t resist including the stories of incredible people in the Bible as we shared with our children what our Hallelujah Party would be about.
In the process we’ve been reminded of various individuals in The Scriptures who stood their ground in the faith no matter what came against them — because that’s what tends to happen when we fall wildly and madly in love with Jesus.
The gift of Jesus is beyond our full comprehension. When we say “Hallelujah” we’re declaring: “God be Praised”.
In the scriptures the saints tells us over and over that through our lives, may “God be Praised!”
For our Hallelujah Party we’re dressing up — we’ll share with each other about our favourite Saints from The Scriptures- and of course… What would a party be without yummy treats!
We’re also planning a treasure hunt for the kids; with each find there’s a game to guess which Saint we’re talking about based on clues given.
Whether it’s just to give our kids a fun dress up party instead of Halloween or we remember incredible people who’ve made massive contributions to the Gospel, the point is we have so much to praise our God for during this season.
I’m hoping Hallelujah Parties will grow even more popular in Christian circles, not only as an “instead of Halloween” movement but as another opportunity to remind our children how incredibly blessed we are to know Jesus.