By D. Lanier Shook October 1, 2013
Have you started planning for Halloween yet? Whatever you think about the holiday’s origins or implications, kids enjoy it. It allows them to express themselves through their costume choice and get free candy. (Hey, I can’t blame them for that.)
But Halloween can be stressful for parents. You’re gearing up for the holiday season and worrying about your child’s safety — and health — isn’t what you need right now. The good news is that there are folks in every community willing to help you out with some of this.
I’m talking about Fall Festivals that local churches hold on or near the end of October. This is when the congregations take the time to collect treats to hand out to children who stop by. Here are four ways these events can make your Halloween easier.
1. They’ll save you time
If you’re going to accompany your children as they trick or treat then having a list of locations and times will be easier. Unless you’d rather walk from house to house or slowly creeping along a street as the kids run from the car to the front door and back again. Local congregations want to make it easy for you.
Many churches hold “trunk or treats” where members park their cars and open the trunks. Children can walk from car to car and collect treats. Usually churches will have well lit parking lots equipped with folks to keep the traffic moving.
2. The kids will have more fun
If a local congregation decides to hold an event like this then they’re probably not going to go halfway. This means they’ll be a lot more candy than your neighbors can collect. It means there may be games and bounce houses. It means there’ll be a lot more children, turning it from candy collection to a social event.
A few years ago West Asheville Baptist Church went all out, turning their entire educational building into a huge fun factory. Each Sunday School class filled their classrooms with games and attractions. The gym featured a bounce house and a Ferris Wheel for stuffed animals. It was loads of fun. (And the bounce house helps burn off sugar, making it easier for you.)
3. The people will be friendlier
If a congregation is going to do this then they want children to come. If someone volunteers to help put on this event they’ll be glad to see the kids. The people who bring the candy and set up the bounce houses want you to bring your family. These are places where you will find smiling faces and your children will notice.
4. It’s a great example for your children
We live in a self centered culture. As a parent it’s getting harder and harder to encourage your children to give to others. These fall festivals and trunk or treats will show your children people giving to others and enjoying it.
To find an event watch the church signs in your neighborhood or on your usual commuter routes. If a church is holding an event they will try to let you know. These events can be a great way to make your holiday season much easier.