We asked a couple of our awesome mamas: How does your family approach Halloween season? Following are their responses.
S wrote: We, as a parent group at school, request that the teacher have a Fall Harvest Celebration rather than Halloween. The primary reason is that the costumes are scary for little ones and the educational value is limited. Also, there are families that do not participate in the practice of Halloween. Many parents of all backgrounds like the idea, especially since we do autumn crafts, try new autumn veggies, plan trips to the farm with hay rides and trail walks. Last year for the Autumn party, my son and I traced leaves on red, yellow and orange construction paper. We cut the leaves out and pasted them on white paper party cups for the drinks. It was so festive and the kids adored them. With older kids, you could also talk about customs like salting meat for the winter, canning, sapping and making preserves. So many possibilities, why limit them to just costumes and candy.
For me, Halloween is a tradition that teaches things I don’t want my kids to learn- hoarding/greed, scaring/terrorizing people and dealing lightly with death (skeletons, ghosts). It’s an unnatural-anti-fitra occasion. I try to go through a long explanation of these feelings with my children, in different forms with each new year’s challenges.
And from our discussion board, U.O. wrote:
My kids are 13 and 9; from pre-K to 2nd grade I would pull them out of school; so they don’t see all the teachers and kids dressed up and parents coming in with all the yummy treats. It is better they don’t see, so they don’t feel left out or missing out on fun things. As they got older and understood why we don’t celebrate, I let them attend the alternate (school) activity.
I explained (to my daughter) that one of the activities that was going to happen (at school) was that all the kids were going to go to different stations and collect healthy snacks, they were going to say “trick-or-treat” and what that meant was you either give me a treat or I’ll trick you (harm you). I asked her if she was going to harm anyone if they didn’t give her something and she obviously said no. So I told her that a better idea would be to say, “May I have one please?” She agreed and liked the idea walhamdulillah.
Alhamdulillah, (my daughter) visited all the stations and collected all the treats and every time she was reminded to say trick-or-treat, she would say, “No, I don’t want to. Can I have one please?”
(Later) I explained to her (teacher) that I spoke to my daughter in the car and suggested that she just ask for a treat. The teacher then asked if in the future it would then be more appropriate to have a harvest festival instead of Halloween? What a wonderful idea!
How does your family approach this season?
And don’t forget to visit our discussion board for a deeper discussion of how to approach Halloween season!