A Simple Idea for a Fun Family Halloween
Halloween is next month and today I welcome The Better Mom contributor, Jessica Smartt, to share how her family uses this occasion to connect with their neighbors in a fun way. -XO, Ruth
Growing up, we didn't celebrate Halloween as a family. To this day, it's not my favorite. I'm not big on costumes or even M&Ms (it's potato chips all day long for me!). And the creepy decorations? No thank you!!
When we moved to our current neighborhood, it become evident that these people DID love Halloween. It was the one day of the year that previously cooped-up neighbors would turn their porch lights on and peek outside. They'd sit in the driveway with a fire pit roaring, smile and introduce themselves to my kids, make small talk with my husband and I.
We realized that if we wanted to connect with our neighbors (which we do) then Halloween, like it or not, was a great an (albeit creepy) time to do it. Slowly we have come up with festivities that have actually made Halloween one of my favorite days in our neighborhood. No, I still don't like the holiday, but I believe we have actually, in a small way, redeemed this could-be creepy day. Here are a few things we do, just to get your wheels turning:
We throw a block party. We get the city's permission to blockade off the cul-de-sac and plop a bunch of folding tables, camp chairs, and picnic blankets in the street.
We have a giant chili cook-off with all the fixings.
We pray. We thank God for giving us each other, we ask His protection over the night, we praise Him because He is the Strong and Mighty One.
My brother-in-law builds a colossal maze made out of taped-together oversized cardboard boxes. It's epic, but a few really good yard games would be fun, too!
The kids do a costume parade while it's still nice and light outside.
We go door to door, making it a priority to visit a few of our elderly friends or neighbors we'd like to chat and connect with.
Is it perfect? No. Is it chaos? Yes, pretty much. But I'm grateful for this small way to engage with our neighbors and bring light to a sometimes-dark occasion.
I'd love to hear ways that your family or church has chosen to "redeem" Halloween!
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