Friday, October 30, 2009

All Hallow's Eve Approacheth!


Sunday is All Saints Day!  I love the feast of All Saints, because it fills me with hope.

On All Saints, we feel the power of inclusion in this great cloud of witnesses ... we experience the hope and anticipation of one day joining them in God's presence.

And about All Hallow's Eve?

Well, for the record, we're a family that does Halloween.

It's become quite the Daddy-daughter thing over the years. Atticus and the girls plot out the best candy routes (amidst much giggling.) I emphasize the Catholic roots and connections (we also read about "souling" or "soul caking") and we often refer to the day as "All Hallow's Eve" rather than "Halloween" to reinforce what it really is.

We talk about both All Saints and All Souls Day as they approach, and we discuss why we don't want to do evil-looking costumes. We plan our evening around Mass, first and foremost.

And then we have the chocolate-related fun.

Post-Mass, the kids don their costumes. And yes, I'll go in my usual costume: I dress up as a homeschooling mom, but no one ever guesses what I am.  We often trick-or-treat at the local convent -- the sisters love to have visitors, and it's especially fun to see the elderly sisters take such joy in children.

Then, we execute The PlanCandy Galore. Door to door, neighbors we know, family fun.  For several years now (thanks for the idea, Fr. Dunne) the kids have said,  "Thank you! God bless you!" to everyone and the reactions range from delight or surprise to odd looks. Anne-with-an-e, of course, has gotten too old for trick-or-treating, so she helps me hand out candy while Atticus leads the Chocolate Brigade down the street.

And, yes, we eat lots of candy. I let them eat it for breakfast the next day and I rarely give any of it away or complain that it causes cavities. We just enjoy it. That's what feast days are for, as noted in this fun article by Jeffrey Tucker.

One year, Ramona observed, "You can never have too much candy."

I replied, "Well, sometimes you can have too much at a time, but ...."

"But," Ramona said solemnly, "you can never own too much candy."

Not on All Saints Day anyway. It is indeed a day to celebrate.

And, just for fun, here's a virtual pumpkin to carve  (h/t, from a couple years ago, to Danielle Bean.)

9 comments:

Catharina de Bononia said...

Hi. That link no longer goes where you think it does...

Either that, or my computer needs to have its mouth washed out with soap.

My babies are all too young for trick-or-treating yet... but thanks for the positive message that one can celebrate the FEAST of All Souls with the CANDY of Halloween!

Charlotte (Matilda) said...

Treating a convent to some All Hallows Eve fun sounds like a blast! And even though souling was done mostly by the poor on November 1st or 2nd and primarily in Europe, what a great idea to have your kids offer a prayer or a little "God bless you" to those offering them treats. Have fun!

Charlotte (Matilda) said...

And that link to the virtual pumpkin carving was bad for me too.

Skysaw said...

Karen, just wanted to make you aware of this:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6467253/Vatican-condemns-Halloween-as-anti-Christian.html

I don't think they're saying don't celebrate at all, but certainly to do at least as you're doing - no evil or spooky costumes, and probably ruling out jack-o-lanterns and such. I would think Ramona could still enjoy her candy, and I would think that saints costumes would be especially awesome.

Charlotte (Matilda) said...

Here is a virtual pumpkin carving link that my Dad just sent me.

Karen E. said...

Yikes, I'm so sorry about the bad link, folks! I fixed it!

Karen E. said...

Skysaw, don't you think that this seems to be another case of the Telegraph trumpeting one article/some individual opinions as "the Vatican says"? It sounds like there has been encouragement to embrace the good and reject the bad, but that's always been the case, don't you think?

Skysaw said...

I had honestly never heard of anyone in the Holy See specifically attacking those aspects of Hallowe'en. The day itself certainly isn't addressed in the Catechism. I think it's pretty big news and worth attention and thought. I do agree with you on the score of accept the good and reject the bad...

Karen E. said...

Oh, yes, I agree -- I think the whole approach one takes to Halloween is worth attention and thought! Definitely.