Britney Spears, Bounce Houses & Halloween

I love dressing up but this year I didn’t. Actually, I changed out of my sweats and my kids thought we were going somewhere special. My response ” No precious offspring, just to the front yard.”

My favorite “costume” I’ve ever displayed was when I was 9 months pregnant and my hubby and I went to a celebrity couples costume party. I impersonated Britney Spears with the school girl outfit, pigtails, and writing on my large belly which said “oops I did it again”. Travis was K-Fed. We had a blast. I actually went into labor later that night and Zion was born!! We love to have fun 🙂

If there’s one holiday I could do without… it would be Halloween. Maybe it’s because at the beginning of October some of my neighbors set their lawns up as a graveyard and hang bloody skeletons from the trees. As you can imagine, this provides quite the opportunity for conversation as I walk my boys (ages 7 & 5) to school each morning. 

The past few years, my husband and I have done what all “good” Christian parents do on Halloween and we pile our children in our locked SUV and escape the “dangerous” perils of this area we call home.

Last year as we were coming home from the fun trunk or treat event at our church and hanging out with our friends (a.k.a. church folk), we drove into our ‘hood and were astounded by all the people out, walking around. We hesitantly pulled chairs out into our driveway and began to talk to the families that roamed our streets and we met some of the nicest people! We handed out candy, offered hot chocolate, and made a commitment. A commitment to be home on Halloween to get to know our neighbors.

In the words of Jen Hatmaker, I’ve been too busy “serving the saved and blessing the blessed.” Truth be told, I am way too comfortable running to the church, serving, teaching, leading, and committing to another event.

All of this is not bad.

But in doing so… I have neglected my neighbors. The people who my kids sit next to in school, who play on the same soccer teams and who we share a mailbox with. I don’t even know their names and I can promise you they have no idea that we consider ourselves Christians and claim to love them like God loves us. 

So this year we were intentional. Operation “Meet the Neighbors” was ready to begin! We set up a bounce house so the kids could get their wiggles out (this was a huge success). We set up our fire pit with about 10 extra chairs so parents could relax while their kids bounced around. We had a table with smore’s supplies (almost all of which was consumed). I brought out our Keurig with a variety of hot drinks, and served cold water to whoever was thirsty. So simple, yet so much FUN!

I am keenly aware of the roots of Halloween and I know it is not all positive. I respect people who choose to celebrate (or not) in different ways. Every family is different and parents must decide what’s best for their children. I support that 100%. So for us, you could say we are trying to redeem the good parts of this holiday. On the one day of the year that our neighbors are out and about, ready & wanting to talk… I don’t want to miss this! 

My point in sharing this with you is not to belittle anything the church does. On the contrary… I LOVE the church and LOVE the people there. My own personal conviction as of lately however, has been to start living out the gospel by “loving my neighbor as myself” rather than just talking about it in the confines of a church meeting or Bible Study. 

I’d love your feedback on how you get to know your neighbors! How was your Halloween or Harvest Party?!

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7 thoughts on “Britney Spears, Bounce Houses & Halloween

  1. Have you read Randy Frazee’s book, Making Room for Life? He talks about how every week, he and his family would get into their car and drive through their neighborhood, waving at their neighbors, on their way to church for Bible study\ies, kid’s programs, serving opportunities… One day, he was like, “Why do we do this? We’re always going to church. We’re never home to interact with our neighbors. We should be doing something right here!”. So they did. Great book. 🙂

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  2. My mom and i were just discussing this last night. halloween is such an opportunity to be light on a holiday that has such a dark side. i actually even use all the scary imagery as an opportunity and metaphor of the death and evil God has rescued us from.

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