Halloween is fast approaching, along with All Saints (November 1st) and All Souls (November 2) days. Halloween decorations can be seen everywhere and have been visible for weeks. It’s hard to separate the Christian aspect of these days from the secular no matter how hard we as Catholic home-schoolers may try. We may not want to banish Halloween completely, but at the very least, we’d like to restore or make known its Christian roots. There’s the challenge.
So, what to do?
How should Halloween and the Holy Days that follow be celebrated? I know when we were homeschooling we opted to attend All Saints Parties at the local Church or Home School group, rather than do the conventional trick or treating. The kids were allowed to dress up, but they had guidelines. Saints, innocuous creatures and animals were allowed, violent, gory, scary or death affirming costumes were not. Of course we went to Mass on the Holy Day, and tried to make both if we could. We did not hand out candy since we were most often not at home. Later we just didn’t hand out candy.
Some of our friends gave out holy cards and other religious items such as miraculous medals. My husband and I talked this over, but eventually decided not to give out these types of items. We were afraid many trick-or-treaters, disappointed in not getting candy, or not understanding what they received, would toss cards and medals onto the sidewalk or into the trash can, or that their parents would throw them out when the children got home. Maybe we should have considered commercially made and individually wrapped fortune cookies with scripture verses inside. We might have missed an opportunity there, but we just didn’t think of it.
Our celebration of Halloween and All Saints and All Souls Days ran together into a sort of prolonged holy day/celebration. We attended Church parties for children, said prayers for the faithful departed, watched special movies and had candy. During the school week we also tried to tie some of our lessons into the season, especially during art, music and religion classes. We did our best to ensure our children did not feel they were missing anything while still maintaining a Catholic Christian flavor.
There are so many different ways of celebrating the season, carving pumpkins, roasting the seeds, bobbing for apples, praying for the dead and attendingMass. If you wouldn’t mind sharing some of your traditions for celebrating Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Days with different age groups and as a family, we’d love to hear them. They could provide just the idea someone is looking for.
You can learn more about Halloween and it’s Christian Roots here:
God bless and I hope you have a wonderful holiday…
Header Image CC ladybugbkt