Happy Halloween in April

Today I had a wild hair in me and had to post a picture of my painting, “Happy Halloween” on my Facebook page.  Halloween is a holiday that we celebrate to the extent that the children and I carve pumpkins and then walk around to a few close friends’ houses and share candy for the kids.  It’s a lot of fun and adds a nice variety to the season.  Like most families, Halloween represents a magical time for children to play dress-up, go outside after dark with Mom and Dad (which they hardly ever get to do), and eat a lot of candy.  My wife and I are overly protective parents and don’t even let our kids watch scary movies so you could say our Halloween may be a little different than others.

Some were surprised that I would paint a Halloween picture seeing the other kinds of art that I do.  For me, it was something relaxing and innocent to paint after doing very serious painting of Jesus.

One of my followers on Facebook said, “What do you think of halloween Jon? I dislike it to the fullest, shed some light please, to how you feel.”

I responded, “I'm not really a Halloween fanatic. What I like about Halloween is watching my kids dress up as princesses and sports heroes and watch their faces light up as they see the candy and lights. I know Halloween has a darker side to it...but that is not a part of the world I live in. Often Satan takes the good and twists it into the bad. In this case we're taking the bad and twisting it into the good! Happy Halloween!

His response was, “Nothing happy about happy halloween. The roots of halloween are pagan and evil, have you ever tried to make crap not stink.... its really hard to do, maybe in due time the smell will go away, but its still crap my friend Jon. I do not fall into worldly deeds, I try my best to follow Godly deeds as you try to do Jon. Does it say anything about halloween in the BIBLE?”

I appreciated his comment.  I know that the roots of Halloween are pagan and evil.  Did you know the roots of Dec. 25th were also a pagan holiday?  What about Easter?  We now celebrate the birth of Christ on this day in December which used to be a date to celebrate many of the Roman gods.  In April we celebrate Easter which also is also mixed with a pagan holiday.  My point is that it is not what it was then, but what it is now, particularly within our own families. 

I have chosen to center my family around Christ.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t carve pumpkins, have a Santa Claus and an Easter bunny for a little fun.  I have many good friends who are beautiful Christians who HATE Halloween and everything about it and I will not judge them.  It is their choice to do what they do.  I believe that God will judge me based on what is in my heart and the way I honor His name.  On Christmas we focus on the birth of Christ; at Easter we focus on the triumphant Resurrection; and at Halloween we talk with the kids about what they want to be when they grow up and what Jesus wants them to be.  In the Bible it says, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”  (Matthew 7:18-20)  This tells me to judge what I do by the “fruit” or the results.  My Halloween may be different from yours.  I suppose we should judge everything in our life by the fruit.  I don’t know of any commandment that says not to take my kids Trick or Treating, so until the fruit goes bad… Happy Halloween!!


  1. I grew up loving Halloween, before needles, razor blades and children disappeared. Mom would drive us into town and the 3-4 of us would walk with our pillowcases several blocks, trick or treating at homes we didn't know, passing by the dark places. Sometimes we'd hit the jackpot and get a whole candy bar! (before they had bags of mini-candy bars) Apples and popcorn balls were just fine! Since i was saved, at first, I rejected anything Halloween; then I chose to treat it as a harvest time festival/dress-up time, no witches, vampires, zombies, just fun and especially creative characters. I took my sons trick or treating when they were young, and still have candy for trick or treaters. Now I plan the fall party for my nursing home residents, alternating fall harvest with Halloween each year; of course, we don't use the skeletons/witches/ghost/vampire things (not a good idea in a nursing home, anyway). Last year, I did a "murder mystery" party with a mannequin; no ghosts or skeletons, though. I do realize that there are those who are serious about the demonic nature of the date, and even harm animals with their "sacrifices." Then there are those who aren't serious, but think they're having fun by copycatting those, or really want to scare someone. Those are real concerns. God didn't have to make the leaves turn so beautiful when they were doing their job dying and falling to the ground to create richer earth, but He did, for our enjoyment. I love the colors, the crisp air, the sound and scent of the leaves as you walk through them. That is what I experience at that time of year and I love it! So although I not longer love Halloween, I do put candy out for kids, watch out for them, and eat any leftover candy!! But at least you didn't put any skeletons or witches in your paintings, so I'm okay with that. But I still love that house and want to see the inside!

  2. Jon, I appreciate your thoughts... and my intent is not to change your mind... you feel safe with it............

    I, too remember the days when we only made halloween fun... about 30 - 40 years ago it became so scary for even adults to take their children out to the streets especially in the cities. And, I lived in the bigger cities when my child was small. I grew up in small town and it was just a fun evening out of a year that was mixed with a little not so bad pranks by the older kids.
    However, as I've matured in Christ, I think so much differently about this day.... the word Halloween itself dictates holiness... 'hallow' means to honor as holy; and 'ween' means to be of the opinion; think or suppose.

    However, there is one day that has been set aside as a day to 'hallow' and that is the Sabbath Day which God set in motion at the very beginning of time...... and man has tampered and "taken away" from God's word by designating other days as hallowed......It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. This is an awesome fear of God.

    Halloween has a deep dark side to it..... when I resist satan this day must be 'resist' as well for me..... I've been reconsidering all other pagan holidays that are listed on the calendar...... ~Galatians 4: 8-10.

    We all have to work our way through the things that enslave us. It's different with each individual.

    I so admire your paintings, Jon. I do like this Happy H......n painting as well. What I see is a Happy Autumn Night! I like big old houses, pumpkins, big moon, and yes, 'artsy' pumpkins are fun, too!

    Be blessed! Sandy Riffle

  3. Wow! I was really looking forward to reading your comments on this. I often get that question too about why we celebrate halloween when we are christians. This is how I have always felt but I guess I. Lacked the right words to say. Hallowwen is such a fun time for children and families. We have a lot of silly traditions and have created some fond memories of that time of year.. and there has never been anything evil about those times we laughed and enjoyed each other. so have fun with it and happy halloween :)

  4. I love this painting and I hope to buy this piece someday to hang in my family room during Autumn. Fall is my favorite season and we too love to carve pumpkins and trick or treat as a family. When we get home we put on our pj's and pop popcorn while we finish Eric Dowdles "All Hallows Eve" puzzle that we put together every year during October. The house also reminds me of my childhood home and stirs up sweet memories for me. I love celebrating Halloween and Christmas the old fashioned way.(We go up to Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Park every year and I served an LDS mission in New England where harvest festivals are big. The simplicity of that era is what is portrayed in this picture. A time where neighbors talked to neighbors and families sat on the porch after dinner instead of texting, watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the net. Sadly to say, we have moved away from these slower paced times filled with nostalgia and a sense of community. There are still a few towns out there that have this down home feel with main street storefronts and town greens.I hope to retire to one of these towns someday if they still exist.

  5. I too loved Halloween growing up, until a fatal plane crash on that day in 1974, in which my favorite brother was a passenger. It took me many years to even think about Halloween, but somehow becoming a mother changed it all for the good again. I love the harvest and growing pumpkins, and trunk or treat in the church parking lot with my children, and now a granddaughter. We have our traditional Halloween dinner before the trick or treats start of homemade cheese broccoli soup in bread bowls, sugar cookies and apple cider. I still have my walk in the leaves on that day and think of my brother, knowing that he is doing wonderful things since he left the earth. For me now, the autumn and Halloween day are a renewal. The past memories are a reminder to make each day count.

  6. I think, like any holiday, people have turned some parts into bad parts. Look at Christmas; the world does not even talk about Christ anymore during that time. Schools call it winter formal. Santa Clause gets big focus without any mention of Christ in the stores (who turned it into a money making day, as any holiday). Easter is all about the Easter Bunny instead of Christ's birth (stores making money on chocolate eggs). It is the same with Halloween. The difference is, Halloween does not normally represent anything to do with Christ. What I try to teach my kids (still a little young right now) is to think about Halloween as a reminder that we all die, but because of Christ, we get to resurrect with perfect bodies. Halloween is a reminder that this life is temporary and to make sure we are living right. I do not believe that there is any harm in having a little fun with "ghosts and goblins" and pumpkin carving. In fact, each year I do a talking pumpkin that makes Halloween very fun and sometimes a little scary for the bigger kids who like that kind of thing. My kids love it.

    Mainly, the point is this: I see people say things like "watch out for Halloween, it is bad". Then these same people go out and watch a violent movie, or a movie containing adult content and call it okay because it is "just art". Fanatics in one area and loose in another, and still try to tell those that "have a weakness" to shape up. We all have beams in our own eyes. Lets try to work on those instead of silly stuff like "ooohhh skeletons are bad and you are bad if you dress up like one on Halloween". Just my two cents. Great picture by the way. It doesn't need a skeleton or a witch, but I don't think it would have been a great sin to have one either. Keep up the good work,

    Anthony West

  7. Awesome picture and thoughts on Halloween. I have debated this same topic. I have the attitude you do...you reap what you sow. You, Mr. McNaughton,sow happiness, Godliness, and perspective. I don't give any credence to pagan holidays, so none of the day's past ever came into play for me. My kids dressed up, got candy, had fun. The day has nothing to do with a religous celebration to me and never will. Its a fun celebration of Autumn and that's all it is. You captured my visions of the holiday. Your mind-to-hand-to canvas talent is incredible. It always amazes me that each piece you do depicts a thought or ideal I've had. You add detail and meaning to my feelings. I've always enjoyed art, but was never 'into' it until I ran across your work. Thank you for causing deep thought and, in the case of this painting, simple pleasures.

  8. Ah, well said. I love Halloween personally. I love the feel of change in the air. I love the holidays that begin like a prayer. We start with asking for things, and then thanksgiving - being grateful, then graduate to Christmas giving and New Years making new resolve. I love the community of it, so little is left to us where complete strangers will open their doors and be connected on one night. I love being someone else for a night and the fun and joy of it all.

    Like you, I believe it is what we choose to do with something, not the something others have chosen to do with it. The internet also holds pornography. . . that doesn't mean I eschew the pages that are uplifting, enriching and delight me. Well said.