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By Mary Fairchild for

Many Christians choose not to observe Halloween. As one of the most popular holidays in our culture—for some more celebrated than Christmas—it can present a challenge for Christian families, especially when children are involved. Although I won’t discuss here all the “whys” and “why nots,” and what the Bible says about Halloween, I will offer some fun and practical alternatives to enjoy this year with your family.

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of Halloween, you can turn the holiday into a positive, relationship-building tradition for your family. These ideas offer alternatives to the customary Halloween activities. They are simple suggestions to start you thinking and planning. Add your own creativity and there’s no limit to the possibilities for family fun!

Fall Festival or Harvest Party

Offering a harvest party has been a popular Halloween alternative among Christian churches for years. A Fall Carnival or Harvest Festival adds a slightly new twist to this Christian alternative to the customary Halloween activities. Organizing an event at your church gives children and parents a place to go and benefit from celebrating together with other families. Bible theme costumes offer an endless source of amusing choices. A new variation to this old idea is to create a carnival atmosphere. With some well-thought-out planning, you can involve various established small groups from within your church to host carnival booths. Each group can creatively choose a theme, such as a “hoola-hoop” contest, or a gourd toss, providing a carnival midway of entertaining games. Craft booths and creative prizes can also be incorporated. You better get started now! For more ideas visit

Youth Pumpkin Patch Fun-Raiser

Instead of the usual youth car wash fund raiser, why not plan something totally different this year to raise money for the youth winter camp? Consider helping the youth group of your church organize a pumpkin patch and create an exciting Christian alternative to Halloween. The church youth can sell the pumpkins and the profits can go toward funding their next youth camp. To pump up the interest level, more pumpkin related activities can be incorporated, such as a pumpkin carving contest, a pumpkin cook-off, a carving demonstration, or even a pumpkin bake sale. Another option could be to organize the pumpkin patch project with your neighbors instead. One family might even sponsor such an event on a small scale in your own neighborhood as an alternative to trick-or-treating.

Family Pumpkin Carving

For a more subdued Christian alternative to Halloween, you might consider planning a family pumpkin carving project. This would be a more personal time of fellowship with the members of your family. Conclude the festivities by partaking in a slice of homemade pumpkin pie! Remember, family traditions don’t have to be gigantic, just memorable.

Fall Decorating

Another suggestion for a less adventurous Halloween alternative would be to plan a fall decorating event with your family. The changing season inspires just the right atmosphere for this occasion, and it becomes both meaningful and memorable to include the whole family in the process. For some great suggestions, check out these fall decorating ideas.

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