GrowMama Roundup: Approaching Halloween

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.

F wrote:

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.

K wrote about her experience sending her preschool age daughter to school on Halloween day:

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!

  • Sadia

    I enjoyed reading this forum because it’s reassuring that there are other moms out there who feel torn about Halloween just like I do. I recently wrote about it too at: I am still torn about this day, it’s true that there is no escaping it if you live in the US. But I am continuously seeking creative ways to bypass Halloween but still let my child enjoy playing with other kids during this time of year.

  • Maha

    Great collection of perspectives. The idea of suggesting a fall harvest festival instead is great, and a lot of parents may not realize that could be an option.

  • Fatima

    A sister shared the following links on an e-list that I’m subscribed to. I haven’t watched them yet, but they sound interesting! They’re programs that the History Channel airs annually on the history of Halloween (The Haunted History of Halloween):—History-Channel-Doc.html

  • R.

    Sound Vision offers information and suggestions on the subject of Halloween as well.

    It is best to become well-informed about Halloween so that you do not come across as being ambivalent or conflicted about it. Your children will pick-up on this and will be conflicted, too. It is important that you are certain and convinced–and the best way is through researching the subject. The Haunted History of Halloween from the History Channel is an excellent source. Have your children research along with you. Utilize this as a teaching moment. I did this with my children when they were young and they came understand– and thus had no desire to participate in Halloween. They felt as though they were apart of the decision making process and from this realized that “truth stands apart from error”. They did not feel that they needed a substitute activity to replace Halloween. Trust in yourself and your children, parents. With Allah guidance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how smoothly it will go, insha Allah.

  • R.

    Here is a better link to the History Channel video on the history of Halloween:

    It is very infromative. Please share with others.