We just finished our annual "big bash" Halloween party. Every year for the last who can remember how many, we've had family and friends over for a big Halloween celebration. We've always lived in a close neighborhood, so the Trick-or-Treating is good. Even before we had parties, it seemed that we ended up with friends over who crashed the neighborhood because they lives so spread out.
This year, we were worried because normally we meet with the Youth at church on Sunday nights. It didn't seem right to cancel a Youth meeting for Halloween, but we felt like we would be letting our friends and family down if we didn't have our annual trick-or-treat party. So we did the reasonable thing and just invited the Youth.
So we had an interesting mix of pre-schoolers, third graders, fifth graders, teenagers, and parents. We cleared out our garage, set tables on the driveway, and rigged a projector and speakers in the front yard. We ate, sent kids out for candy, and watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" all while giving candy to the passers-by.
There are lots of hang-ups surrounding Halloween, but this evening allowed us to open our home to not only our friends, but the entire neighborhood. We went door-to-door, talking to people we normally see through a car window travelling at 25 mph. People who we only know from passing came into our yard and conversed. It seems to me that we need more, not less of this in our world. So if it takes Halloween to facilitate this, I would say it is time to claim the holiday and redeem it for something good.