I didn’t grow up trick-or-treating. It wasn’t something that was part of our church or family culture, plus we lived in the country, so there wouldn’t have been many houses to go to.
As an adult, I began to love the idea of trick or treat night. One night a year, all these neighbors who I never see would come knocking on my door and chat for a few seconds while their kids grabbed candy.
But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually had my first real trick or treating experience. We moved into a neighborhood with a lot of houses and a lot of kids. I was so excited to finally have my first (real!) Halloween. We did our research (asked the neighbors how much candy, how many kids), decorated our house and invited some friends over. That night we set up our fire pit in the front yard, set up some chairs outside and chatted with our neighbors as we got ready for the kids.
Family after family and kid after kid came by and I loved every second we had to chat with kids and families as well as connecting with our next door neighbors who were outside, too.
Now, several years later, we look forward to this night as a fun, non-threatening way to connect even slightly with the people who are living life right beside us, but who we may not know very well.
This year I’ve been challenged to think about what we could add to this tradition to be more intentional about meeting, knowing and welcoming our neighbors. So in typical fashion for me, I did a Google search on this and found a couple creative and fun ideas that I wanted to share with you.
As we consider how to be more intentional about connecting with those around us, maybe these ideas will help us as we make our Halloween plans.
1. Be Home – people are coming over to meet you!
2. Turn on the Lights or Move Outside – Introduce yourself and meet the kids who come by
3. Wear a Costume (and ask kids about theirs) – it’s a great conversation starter
4. Serve drinks or hot dogs and maybe a provide a place to sit and take a break for a second
5. If you have the budget for it, give out full size candy bars – you’ll be the house everyone remembers
6. Pray for each kid who stops by your house
It’s a small, but consistent connection that over time can lead to something more.
Alyssa directs and oversees Community Kids, our ministry to children ages birth - 4th grade, partnering with families and teams of volunteers to help kids grow in faith, wisdom and friendship. Alyssa loves working with kids and discovered this passion when teaching Sunday school as Middle Schooler. She is passionate about the church and believes we are uniquely positioned to create a loving, safe and honest environment for kids unlike anywhere else. She and her husband, Dan, live in East Petersburg.