You may be someone who wrestles with this spooky holiday. Kids and their parents parade around the block—dressed as ghosts, witches, Tom Brady, and all things ghoulish. Halloween festivities and trick-or-treating is seemingly everywhere.
I know Christians who wholeheartedly go all-out for this candy-collecting holiday. I also know some who board up their houses and hide like a hurricane is coming. When it comes to Christians and Halloween, we have a scary opportunity.
If you don’t want to duck out all together from the four-foot zombies or pint-sized superheroes who live down the street, why not stand out? Try offering large sized candy bars! Yes, you heard me: give out something that kids and their folks will remember you by. If not large candy bars, give something that says, “I am glad you came by.”
You don’t necessarily need to carve pumpkins, drape cobwebs, or place plastic spiders on your porch. Just be a good neighbor… No, be an extraordinary neighbor, by offering treats with a welcoming attitude. It is not to impress them or to give the impression that you’re wealthy. You’re simply welcoming neighbors into your yard with a hospitable heart.
There are families in my daughter’s neighborhood who have front yard campfires and offer drinks to the grownups passing by. If it is a chilly evening, you can offer coffee and hot chocolate. Think about it this way: you’re extending your home beyond the living room to the front porch, and even into your yard.
The bottom line is that you can use this dark-spirited holiday to fully engage with your neighbors. So, why not let them know who you are? Doing so could open the door for a future dinner or get together with the family.
I love what author Rosaria Butterfield, who wrote a book on hospitality, said about hospitality:
“I look at a person as an image bearer of a holy God and I am not in any way spooked by whatever worldly identity that happens to be attached to that image bearer.
Think about Halloween as a holiday to wisely and strategically connect with those who live around you. I mean, when do that many people actually walk around your neighborhood at once?
“Hospitality is about meeting the stranger and welcoming that stranger to become a neighbor—and then knowing that neighbor well enough that, if by God’s power he allows for this, that neighbor becomes part of the family of God through repentance and belief.