Millions of people, particularly in the United States and Canada, are privy to the commercialization of Halloween. Many families enjoy Halloween, and consider it part of the autumn experience, however, some choose not to participate in Halloween for spiritual, moral or dietary reasons. Increasingly, another group of people is emerging, with a slightly different position. These people choose to participate in family-friendly alternatives to Halloween. From fall festivals and dress-up parties, to treasure hunts and special crafts, alternatives to traditional Halloween activities, are plentiful.
Making it Green
Going green is more than just a catch phrase, it is becoming a way of life for many families. With increased media attention, green products and services are slowly taking the place of traditional items. Halloween is no exception. Several organizations promote green alternatives to Halloween.
In general, a “green” food product will be earth-friendly, organic, healthy and pesticide-free. Recycled items, and products made with recycled materials are considered to be green. Food and products created by workers who receive fair wages and safe working conditions (fair trade) are also green.
Families can celebrate October 31st with kid-friendly snacks and crafts. Instead of going trick-or-treating, parents can give snack-sized gifts of organic fruit snacks, terra chips, organic granola bars, organic juice boxes, organic cookies/crackers, organic agave sticks, organic pumpkin seeds, or organic dried fruit.
If children are looking forward to chocolate, parents may consider organic dark chocolate treats, like Green & Blacks, Endangered Species Chocolate and Nirvana. All brands are certified fair-trade items. Other green gifts include: soy crayons, seed packets, recycled coloring books, recycled whistles, seashells, pine cones, and acorns. Home-made crafts are another kid-friendly, green idea.
Dressing up is a fun part of Halloween. The green position on costumes is to use recycled clothing. People are encouraged to make their own costume by using old clothes, or conserve materials by doing a costume swap between friends and family.
Spiritual Alternatives to Halloween
In general, many main stream religions, like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, do not celebrate Halloween. Individuals of every faith choose to celebrate Halloween, while some do not. Those who are most outspoken about Halloween, seem to be Christians.
Christians have many different opinions about Halloween. Any general internet search on the topic of Christians and Halloween, will reveal opinions that are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum. Fortunately, there is a happy medium. If an alternative to Halloween is desired, several Christians groups promote alternatives on how October 31st may be celebrated.
KIngdom Parties are dress-up gatherings where guests are requested to dress as a biblical character. People play family-friendly games, share bible stories and bring home-made baked goods to share. Candy bags can also be given to the children at the parties.
Children are encouraged to dress-up more regularly in non-scary costumes, so that October 31st is not the only opportunity they get to dress-up. As an alternative to trick-or treating, children can go on a treasure hunt around their home for small snacks, candies and goodies. Parents can make the hunt more advanced for older children by using clues and age-appropriate brain twisters.
In additional to Christian alternatives, people of all faiths may choose to celebrate an alternative to the traditional Halloween by engaging is similar dress-up parties and treasure hunts, and by catering them to their particular beliefs.
Many people enjoy the autumn season. Apple picking, hay rides, corn mazes and pumpkin farms are all a part of the fall experience. Some people choose to celebrate October 31st with a family-friendly outing or activity. Friends and neighbors will often join forces, and create a general fall celebration for their children, while others choose to make this a special family time.
There are several ways to celebrate on, or around, October 31st. Depending on their preferences, families may choose to participate in a combination of family-friendly alternatives to Halloween. Whether it be a green celebration, a spiritual celebration, or a fall festival, law enforcement always advises parents to supervise children and accompany them during all Halloween-related activities.