For many years, we were the fortunate attendees at an "All Saints Party," hosted by one of our homeschool group's wonderful families. With a parade of saints, potluck dinner, hayrides, tree swings, saints' candy path (you knew there had to be candy, right?), bonfire, and a late night music jam, there was something for everyone, from toddlers to teens. As the beneficiaries of this fabulous evening, we never really ran into the dilemma of "Halloween costumes" vs. "All Saints costumes."
After nearly 20 years of welcoming well over 100 people to this festive annual event, and with their children all grown, that family understandably has retired from hosting it. God is so very good, however -- another family generously has stepped up to open their home and continue the tradition. (Thank you!)
The new "All Saints Party," however, will be held the weekend after Halloween.
"But, what will we do on Halloween!?" my children wailed (yes, we get plenty of practice with scary noises around here).
Trick or treating, for me, absolutely is out of the question. There are far too many literally evil cultural influences on display and afoot on Halloween night to throw my lambs to the wolves just for the sake of a bag of candy. The devil requires only the slightest invitation to.... (*shudder*). Ugh. Perish the thought.
But, because my children are well-schooled on the actual origins of "All Hallows' Eve" (the Eve of the Feast of All Saints, or all holy [holy being "hallowed", as in "Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name..."] souls), the interest is there to dress up and indulge one's sweet tooth.
So, welcome to The Great Costume Debate!
It's actually not a huge problem around here. My children still all are Lilliputians, who have neither the exposure to nor the stomach for the nauseatingly macabre costume fare available on the general market. But, they still want something with the appropriate "wow factor" for the season.
Hellooooooo, St. Denis!
If you have a boy who is looking for a Halloween costume, while you are looking for his All Saints costume, then St. Denis is the man for you! While many male saints can be represented in costume with a wide and varied assortment of masculine accoutrement and dangerous weapons, I've only seen St. Denis justifiably portrayed carrying around his own decapitated head.
No, really! It's true! Look here:
Catholic Icing. She has costume ideas for both girls and boys. She even has lists of groups of saints for family dress up!
And of course, here's an awesome list of saint costume ideas, from kilts to crosses and peasants to priests!
A blessed All Hallows Eve! Enjoy!