Good stewardship tips for this tricky holiday
Pumpkins, candy, and costumes take center stage for Halloween festivities across America every year. As this particularly tricky holiday for Faith Driven Consumers rolls around again, our kids will clamor to hit the streets with masked faces in the quest for a bag-full of candy and the thrill of shouting “Trick-or-Treat!” to their neighbors and friends.
Despite the seeming fun and playfulness of Halloween, have you considered the deeper spiritual implications Halloween carries in our increasingly secular culture? Do you ever feel spiritually oppressed as a Christian during Halloween and wish your children weren’t exposed to costumes and occult-based themes celebrating ghosts, demons and witches?
According to this article, a 2012 National Retail Federation survey found a record 170 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year. More than seven in 10 Americans (71.5 percent) will get into the Halloween spirit – up from 68.6 percent from last year, and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history.
Consumers are set to spend nearly $80 this year on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy – up from $72 in 2011. Total spending on this holiday alone is expected to reach $8 billion.
According to a recent opinion article by Bloomberg, “People value Halloween, like Valentine’s Day, because they can tell themselves that it’s not merely secularized, it’s secular, which is to say not Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Muslim.”
So while Halloween is little more than a night of innocent fun and trickery for most Americans, many Christians who are Faith Driven Consumers are increasingly concerned about how this holiday has morphed into a cultural orgy of demonic themes – including the requisite Hollywood movie offerings of box-office hits focusing on the supernatural and paranormal.
And then there are the darker and more sexually oriented trends seen in recent years with Halloween costumes. The increased demand for “sexy women” costumes are marketed not just to women, but teenage girls as well.
These cultural shifts are causing many consumers who hold to a biblical worldview to reconsider their participation – and their children’s – in Halloween. As with most consumer product options, Faith Driven Consumers are able to proactively make choices that align with their deeply held faith and values – all while sending a message to the marketplace that a more wholesome and family-friendly Halloween is what most Americans want for themselves and their children.
As Halloween quickly approaches, be a wise, discerning and prudent consumer and keep in mind how this holiday has deeper spiritual implications on us and our families. Find new ways to steward well this festival and still uphold your values and worldview.
And in doing so, we can let retailers know that we care how they promote Halloween in our culture and in their stores.