The subject of Halloween is a touchy one for Christians. Some believe we shouldn’t celebrate it because it has demonic roots; others believe it’s just a cultural holiday like Thanksgiving or Elvis’s Birthday or The First Day of Buck Season.
At any rate, for years clever Christians have found ways to celebrate Halloween while technically not celebrating it. After all, it’s fun for kids to dress up and go around collecting candy. And if our kids are deprived of this childhood memory, they might grow up warped and depraved and steal pumpkins off their neighbors porches and smash them and run away laughing maniacally.
So we creative Christians solved the problem. We don’t celebrate Halloween. We celebrate Harvest. Or Autumn Leaves. Or The Squash Festival. We dress up and have parties and collect candy – we “harvest” candy. Get it? We don’t say “trick or treat” – we say, “Happy Harvest to Ya! (wink, wink). Any candy we can reap?”
Of course we won’t dress our kids up like witches and vampires and ghosts. We dress them like cowboys and ballerinas, princesses, dinosaurs and C.S. Lewis. All “nice” edifying costumes.
But what if your kids don’t want to be cowboys and princesses? There’s plenty of blood, gore and scary stuff in the Bible. Here are a few suggestions for biblical Harvest costumes:
Goliath. He was pretty scary right? 9 feet tall. Evil Philistine face. 6 fingers on each hand. Get a broom, stand it on end and mount an evil looking jack-o-lantern for Goliath’s head. (Don’t worry, it’s ok to carve a jack-o-lantern for a biblical character). For an extra creepy effect, include a stone sunk right into the center of his forehead and make his eyes slightly crossed, as they would have been the moment after impact. Be sure to paint some blood dripping from around the stone.
Revelation has a number of great costume possibilities, like the “living creatures” in Rev. 4. You have 4 kinds – a flying lion, a flying ox, a flying eagle, and a flying man-face. Each one has 6 wings covered with eyes. Get some cardboard and foil for the wings and glue on about 3000 sets of doll eyes which can be purchased at your local craft store.
There are the Scary Riders from Revelation 6. Like the Rider on the Red horse with a great sword. Simply purchase a horse from your local equestrian club, and paint it red. Make a sword out of wood (if you can’t get a real one) and be sure to put plenty of red paint on it for blood. The Black Horse Rider is scary too – though he carries a pair of scales. Not quite as exciting as a bloody sword, but how often have your neighbors had a kid come on Halloween carrying scales? Or you could go for the pale horse whose Rider is named Death. Borrow a skull from your local college biology department, and paint the word “Death” across the forehead. If that doesn’t capture the spirit of Harvest, I don’t know what does.
Perhaps the scariest Revelation costume is the Creepy Locusts. First, create a large grasshopper body out of paper mache (see an insect book for details). Give it a human face and put a crown on its head. Buy a wig because the creepy locusts have women’s hair. Then get some fake fangs like lion’s teeth (shame on you if thought of vampire teeth – remember it’s a Harvest festival – a Harvest Festival with man-sized locusts with men’s faces and women’s hair and lion’s teeth). Complete the outfit with a breastplate of iron , and a large scorpion tail, which most people have laying around in their basements.
Finally nothing says “Happy Harvest” like a kid dressed up like a church father. And to help you out, we give you 3 masks for you to print and cut out yourself – In addition to Spooky Spurgeon above, we give you Monstrous Martin (Luther) and Creepy Calvin. Your 6-year old will love scaring the neighbors with them!
Happy Harvest Festival to ya!