Before I became a parent it really never occurred to me that such a fuss could be made over Halloween. I knew the history and how it started out as a Catholic holiday and it's obvious that this once holy holiday has been distorted by the secular world. I've been criticized for allowing my kids to dress-up and trick-or-treat as well, being told that I'm allowing them to participate in this satanic day. But am I really doing that? Absolutely not! As children growing up in a Catholic home, my sister and I were allowed to dress-up and go trick-or-treating- our costumes had limits and THAT'S OK. We also participated in Saint's Presentations with our homeschool group. I have to admit, I really wasn't a big fan of the dressing up as a saint and presenting her biography that I had researched, but I did it nontheless and totally see the point behind it. In fact, one day I'll probably do the same...although the report may not have to be spoken in front of all their friends. My husband and I don't allow any evil, scary, or sleazy costumes. I try to turn the girl's eyes away from ghosts, goblins and other scary things. I've tailored my lessons about this day down to a 2 year old's comprehension and told her the real meaning of this holiday and of the great men and women we strive to be like who have gone before us. Leading up to Halloween we have been doing a lot of pretend play, imitating saints and Biblical figures from stories we have read. It is a time to celebrate people and God's creation. So yes I will let them go out dressed as a cow and a pig and go door to door; after all, God did make all creatures great and small! I think that as long as you keep the real meaning behind the holiday alive, it's ok to participate in these newer secular traditions if they're not sinful and turning one's thoughts away from God. We will be celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls Day the two following days after Halloween, making them special celebrations in our home as well. We will carve happy, cute little pumpkins and toast the seeds in the oven and focus on the harvest and the bounty God has blessed us with. When the girls are older we will have lessons on how these little traditions of trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins came into practice. For now, we're keeping things simple and innocent as they have fun dressing up with their cousins and visit their grandparents. In the future, I would love to have a "saint party" on November 1st where each child dresses up as a saint and brings a treat for everyone that has something to do with that saint. An example of this would be something like eye gumballs for St Lucy or cross cut-out cookies for St Helen... You get the idea. I was actually thinking of doing that this year but my kids only being 2 years old and 7 months, I don't think they'd really get much out of it. I'd rather save that for next year, when my daughter knows a little more about her namesake and is excited to share her treat with everyone and tell them why she chose it.
I have included a brief history of Halloween and the traditions that came about in case someone doesn't know them. Just click on the link below!
I would like to hear other parent's thoughts, whether Catholic or not! Just please, keep it civil.
History and traditions at Halloween
(Referring to the Communion of Saints) “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things” (#1475).
Let's remember our loved ones and those adoring Our Lord face to face in Heaven this "All Hallows Eve"!