Halloween (Oct. 31) and All Saints Day (Nov. 1) are days of great importance to people all over the world. Halloween is an ancient pagan festival for the dead. While this autumn feast was tied to evil before, our culture celebrates it as an innocent night of begging and fun. People who believe in the good of the world can use it to celebrate the Light. “Hallow” means holy and the word Halloween refers to the night before the feast of all holies, or All Saints Day. This promotes all things good, joyful and pure, implying our children are “children of the light”. How do we celebrate this tradition the old fashioned way? Let’s find out.
Prepare your Costumes
Prepare for Halloween by spending an afternoon gathering dress-up goodies for your trick-or-treaters. Put old, funny-looking clothing, wigs, makeup in one place to keep you organized. On Halloween, let children create their own characters. Encourage them to be funny and outrageous while saving money at the same time.
Prepare a Halloween Party
Instead of letting your children go trick or treating, try hosting a party for your children and their friends. Give each child an empty bag. Have the kids earn their treats by performing nice tricks for the adults. Serve nutritious snacks for the bags as well as a few sweet surprises. Carve pumpkins, bob for apples, have a bonfire, enjoy the beauty of the autumn night without worrying about your children’s whereabouts.
Recognize Family Saints
Halloween is the night before All Saints Day, making it a great idea to explore the family saints on that day. Let your children know who their patron saints are and why they are remembered. They may choose to dress up like St. Joan of Arc, St. George the Dragon Slayer or St. Francis of Assisi. It would be fun letting their friends guess who they are by giving clues about their saint’s life and give them a reward for each correct answer.
Pumpkin Farm Visit
Go on a trip to a pumpkin farm or country market to pick out the family pumpkin. Grab a loaf of pumpkin bread (see recipe following) and a jug of apple cider. When you get home with the family pumpkins, ask your children to draw faces on paper. Decide on a winning face before the carving begins.
Pumpkin bread is an awesome way to bake something delicious to celebrate Halloween and the fall season. This recipe makes some of the most yummy pumpkin bread in the world!
1-2/3 cup flour
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water (or less)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup pumpkin
Mix dry ingredients; add nuts. Mix in egg, oil, water and pumpkin. Stir until blended. Bake in a greased loaf pan (9″ x 5″ or 10″ x 4″) 60 to 70 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
It is the perfect time to combine the sacred and the secular to enrich your childs’ faith. This occasion is a good time to teach the simple gospel truth that the light does exist.
All Saints Festival
Schools can also choose to hold an All Saints festival for children and their families on the occasion of Halloween. Children and parents can prepare booths and prepare fun-filled activities such as a ring toss, a fishing pond, “guess your weight” and so on. The money earned could be sent to a favorite mission or charity. End the festival with an outdoor parade in which all students dress up like their favorite saints and “parade” around the school neighborhood.