There’s nothing cuter than a baby dressed up in a Halloween costume, but don’t get your hopes up when it comes to seeing Gideon Forsyth dressed up as a little cowboy or Ivy Jane Seewald rocking a butterfly costume. When it comes to the spooky holiday, the Duggars have one simple rule: Just say no.
Mom Michelle Duggar was the first to reveal the family’s feelings about the holiday in a now-deleted 2011 blog post she wrote for TLC. Though she admitted the Counting On crew is happy to enjoy the autumn atmosphere, they don’t indulge in the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve.
“While we do go to pumpkin patches and corn mazes, we don’t do the Halloween thing,” Michelle, 55, wrote in the blog, speaking on behalf of her kids with Jim Bob Duggar. “From the beginning of our marriage, we just kind of felt like we didn’t want to celebrate that holiday. But we enjoy the harvest celebration. Our church fellowship has had different celebrations through the years that we’ve been a part of, ones where the children can play games and receive candy and toys and do all kinds of fun things, like a cake walk.”
By celebrating at church, the TLC stars don’t have to worry about “things that go on during Halloween,” like pranks or mischief. Even simple trick-or-treating is looked down upon. But that doesn’t mean the family’s never gone knocking on doors on October 31. In their book Growing Up Duggar, Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger opened up about one year when they found themselves campaigning for their dad during the holiday.
“We don’t celebrate Halloween, and everyone totally forgot what day it was,” they wrote in the 2014 memoir. “So that evening as we girls walked through the neighborhood with an adult, all of us wearing our ruffly dresses and hair ribbons and carrying our bags of campaign leaflets, people were offering us candy and telling us they loved our dresses. We eventually caught on and suspended our campaigning efforts till [sic] the next morning, but that day we received the friendliest greetings ever while knocking on doors during a campaign season!”
The kids can’t even get in the Halloween spirit by watching a spooky flick or even something as family-friendly as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
“One specific thing that our parents have always been careful about is magic, which often shows up in children’s movies,” the Duggar girls explained in another section of their book. “As harmless as it may seem, it’s not a joke in God’s eyes. Magic, sorcery, witches, spell-casting and the like are all part of a demonic realm that God wants us to stay away from. No matter how ‘good’ a film containing magic may seem, God speaks seriously about this throughout the Bible; it is not something to be glorified or portrayed by any means as something fun or attractive.”
All this isn’t to say that the Duggars never dress up in costumes. But you’re more likely to see the family playing dress-up on Chick-fil-A’s cow appreciation day or wearing swashbuckling gear to head to Krispy Kreme for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Now that the girls are all grown up and making their own rules about wearing pants and shorts, we may see that start to change, but we’re not holding our breath. After all, even Derick Dillard has shot down suggestions about trick-or-treating despite growing up with the holiday himself. But hey, now that Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo are living their Los Angeles life, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Felicity Vuolo dressed up like a little avocado.
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