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In Liz Curtis Higg’s book The Pumpkin Patch Parable, she describes Christ as a farmer, and we are a bunch of pumpkins. He chooses us, transforms us, and puts his light inside of us to shine his love to the world. As Halloween approaches, here are 5 ways we can shine Jesus’ love to our neighbors.
Carve pumpkins with your family and read The Pumpkin Patch Parable. Talk about the wonderful work God is doing in our lives, and how the Gospel is like carving pumpkins.
Dana from Sunshine Sensory has the brilliant idea of illustrating for littles what it means to share God’s light and love. She created this sensory bin with tea lights, candy corn, black beans, and mini pumpkin buckets. Each child recieved a light and had to name a way that they showed God’s love to someone (or could show God’s love to someone). For each way they could name they put a piece of candy in a bucket, and tmcould turn their light on.
Read Some Books
Lyndsey with Happy Little Reads has the most wonderful book recommendations on Instagram. One of my favorite books she has recommended is Pumpkin Patch Blessings. As she says “This board book is almost like an ‘I-Spy’ of God’s creation through the pumpkin patch.” A perfect read for those with littles learning about nature and that God created everything.
Visit Elderly Neighbors
If you are going out trick-or-treating, make sure to visit elderly neighbors, and those in your community you know may not receive as many visitors. Growing up, this was something my mom made sure to do. She knew of those in our community that may not receive as many visitors, because they couldn’t get around as well any more. However, they always bought candy, and my mom would always take us to visit them. Sometimes we were the only visitors that came to their door. However, we chose to be their neighbors and make sure they were seen.
Trick-o-Treat For Your Local Foodshelf
Consider taking this time to give back to the community. Since everyone is out and about, knocking on doors, trick-or-treat for the local food bank. Take your family out and ask for non-perishable food items. Then take them to the food bank. Make sure to call the food bank ahead of time to learn if there are any specific needs, and to let them know you are bringing a donation.
Pass Out The Best Treats
Pass out the best treats to Trick-o-treaters. That could be handing out cans of soda, or full-size candy bars. Christie Thomas, the author of Wise for Salvation, sits on her porch handing out hot chocolate to neighbors. Passing out treats helps connect with neighbors, sometimes neighbors you otherwise wouldn’t meet.
Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project
If you are passing out treats, consider participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project. With the rise of food allergies, Halloween can be stressful for many families. Consider making it a little less stressful by passing out non-food items. Glowsticks could be a great option if you’re planning to invite neighbors to your church, you could attach a note with John 8:12.
Have you ever been “Booed.” In this fun family activity, you fill up a basket full of treats for a friend or neighbor. Then you leave it on there porch for them to find (you can also ding-dong-ditch them). Ashley, from The Littles and Me, shares more about this fun family tradition, and has a free printable note to go with the basket! She also has free printables for giving “Boo bags” to community helpers, like police officers, teachers, the garbage men, etc.
Participate in Your Church’s Outreach
Is your church hosting an outreach? Get involved! A lot of churches have starting hosting parties as a safe, family-friendly alternative to Halloween parties. Be apart of your church. This may look like donating candy, inviting friends, organizing a carnival game, or simply showing up.
Host your own gathering
If nothing else, you can always host your own party. Maybe your neighborhood isn’t the safest, your church isn’t hosting a party, or you don’t feel comfortable with traditional Halloween activities. That is ok. But you may consider hosting your own party. You could invite friends to carve pumpkins and share the Pumpkin Patch Parable, or have a Monsters Inc. Party and simply host a safe family-friendly get together. The possibilities are really endless.