I’m tired of baptizing “secular” things in Christian language to make it acceptable to participate. Either I can do Halloween as a Christian or I can’t.

Am I the only one who is exhausted by all of the rationalizations Christians feel compelled to make so their kids can dress like a pumpkin and get some candy?

“We’re actually celebrating Reformation Day! My kid is dressed up like the ghost of Martin Luther!”

“Well, tomorrow is All Saint’s Day–so this actually like a Christian thing the wicked pagans have hijacked.”

“We’re putting the ‘hallow’ back in Halloween. You know. Like ‘hallowed be thy name.’ Yeah, Jesus said that.”

Ok. I made those up. I don’t know that people actually say that. But there is more than a little guilt and shame that gets tossed around every October 31 when Christian families dress up their kids and start knocking on more doors than a Jehovah’s Witness. Why? It’s insane!

Here are three reasons Christians should trick-or-treat:

Candy.

My kids are still little enough that at least half of the spoils are going to mom and dear old dad. Halloween is about one thing: candy. If you’re going to make a Biblical claim against Halloween, do it in the name of gluttony. The costumes, the pumpkins, all of it are a prelude to the star of this holiday: sugar. We go trick-or-treating because at our house, we don’t have a doctrine against candy.

Fun.

We like fun at my house. Life is too serious. Life is too hard. There aren’t too many days where you get full permission to dress up and ask strangers for candy. My son has enjoyed every spider, pumpkin, witch, mummy, ghost craft and game he’s gotten to do all month. The kid has been singing “Five Little Pumpkins” since August. Halloween, especially for kids, is fun. We go trick-or-treating because in our house, we don’t have a doctrine against fun.

Family time.

Halloween takes parents who tune out from their kids on a regular basis and turns them into June and Ward Cleaver. They walk the neighborhood with their kids, and share their excitement when they come across the crazy house that gives out full size candy bars. They hold their kids’ hands. America jumps back five decades for one night a year, and we collectively remember that we have actual neighbors who live in our actual neighborhoods. Families are families on Halloween. We go trick-or-treating because in our house, we don’t have a doctrine against family time.

Dear Christian friends, be free this year from the guilt and shame of enjoying Halloween. For certain, Christians should trick-or-treat and not feel bad about it at all. Is there shady stuff? Are there dark themes? Sure. But for the love of candy, people, just have some fun with your family tonight.

No need to justify it to me. Just have a great time.

Happy Halloween!