Historically October isn’t a monumental month for Christian retailers. If we haven’t already set our stores for the Christmas season, October is the month for us to begin. We may have some Thanksgiving and other fall-themed items available in our stores but not much more.
On the contrary, in the general market, October is commonly referred to as the “Little Christmas.” If there’s any doubt in your mind about just how lucrative Halloween is, simply enter a party supply store anytime during the final three weeks before October 31.
As Christians many of us have avoided Halloween. We’ve come alongside our churches to support harvest festivals and the like, almost ignoring the commercial holiday season that’s popular with our communities, neighborhoods, and children.
LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
As Christians, we’re called to be light in darkness; we embrace the true light, Jesus. Why is it that we shy away from Halloween? Our absence could be misunderstood as fear. Are we afraid of the dark? Why is it that we appear to be more comfortable staying within our Christian bubbles instead of being the contrast of light in darkness? Let’s provide families a safe place to bring their children. Our children are faced with and surrounded by darkness in their everyday lives; you can show light through serving the entire family. Halloween is a great time to teach our children that they don’t need to be afraid.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
Rabbit Publishers, a new, traditional publishing house, has made their debut with a groundbreaking new series, “The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon.” These stories take place in the fictional town of Sleepy Hallow, Massachusetts, where every day is Halloween. The hero is Harry Moon, a regular eighth-grader who’s just like our kids—trying to navigate darkness.
One aspect of this series that has really appealed to me has been the unrelenting decision by Rabbit Publishers to embrace Halloween in both the general and Christian markets. They’ve understood that a great story, which provides a metaphor for spiritual things, can be a tale that makes an impact. The same type of story that can encourage these children to identify what an eighth grade hero looks like in their school and to determine for themselves what type of behavior a Christian eighth grader will process.
“CBA stores have traditionally steered clear of anything Halloween due to the potential darkness related to the holiday. As Christians who love the Lord and are filled with His light, don’t we have a responsibility to shine in the darkness? Bringing in product such as ‘Harry Moon’ to our stores is doing just that, offering children books that creatively confirm their power to shine in a dark world,” says Sue Smith, CBA board chairman and manager of Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Early adapter Mark Griffin of J. Farvers Christian Books and Gifts in Shipshewana, Indiana has this to say: “In the last month ‘The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon’ has been the No. 1 best-seller in our store. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark met a need in our store in how we sell product to children.” Griffin has identified that this is an opportunity to bring light into darkness.
The trendsetting of this project has certainly caused me to ask the question of what other products should be introduced into the Christian retail environment. It’s my hope that we realize that there is no space that we should be absent from when we are charged to go into the entire world. We are charged with bringing light into darkness. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).