Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Let Halloween be Halloween

A Small Totoro

One of the advantages of having older kids is that we're able to hit Halloween in waves. First Shackleton, Thing 1, and and a Skunk went off with a group of friends. Then Eliza Schuyler headed off with a friend. And at last Angelica Schuyler and a Swashbuckler in Black headed off with another group of friends, leaving me and a little Totoro to hand out candy.

What we didn't have any of is saints costumes.

On a few occasions, they've participated in homeschooler or parish All Saints Day parties where kids dress up as saints, but even in those years they've also had a Halloween costumer for trick-or-treating.

There's no harm in kids dressing up as saints, of course. My objection is not to that. But it does bother me when Catholic groups feel that they need to do holy counter-programming to Halloween. There is, at root, nothing wrong with kids dressing up as something fun or scary and going from door to door collecting candy.

No, it's not satanic. It's not superstitious. And there's no reason why good Catholic kids can't dress up in fun costumes and go door to door like everyone else.


Christina said...

I'm thinking of my Polish maternal grandparents, who upon coming to Canada were horrified by the thought of Halloween. My Babcia spent the night locked up in her room, praying that God disregard such a horrid disrespect for the eve of All Saint's. My Dziadzius planned to do likewise, until my mother mentioned the part about handing out candy to children.
Dziadzius:You give out candy to children? This is what Halloweenki is all about?


Dziadzius immediately started checking his pockets and badgering Mum to go to the store and buy enough candy for all the little children. Up till he died he gave away the biggest candy bags on the block.

Darwin said...


That's such a cute story. We were just reading it aloud to the kids.

Finicky Cat said...

Christina's story is delightful.

What we value most about Halloween is the community involvement. In our semi-rural neighbourhood, our volunteer firefighters tend a spectacular house-sized bonfire down at the firehall -- they had a stack of 250 pallets to feed it this year! -- and put on a really amazing 10-minute arial firework display. Fireworks are traditional for Halloween here in Canada. Between that and the trick-or-treating, we see neighbours that night we might not have met since the last costumed gathering. And we love how exotic these familiar streets and houses look walking through them with a lantern after dark. And of course the kids love the dressing up, and the great candy-trading party at our dining room table afterwards. About ten years ago, with only very young children in the house and right after my entry into the Church, we decided to ignore Halloween. On the last Sunday of October, driving home from Mass, we were all overwhelmed at the contrast between the beauty and holiness of what we had just left and the hideous front-yard displays in town of bloody guillotines and brashly evil monsters and dead brides and so forth. We wanted none of that. And yet we later came to the realization that our own family enjoyment and traditions had none of those overtones, and neither did those of the community around us -- not to quite that extent anyway. So here we are now, set to spend the rest of the month once again rationing candy...

A long comment! I always enjoy your posts, you two. Thanks for taking the time to share your writing.

Foxfier said...

One of the moms at our All Saint's party came up with a brilliant one-- kid wearing a white robe and a dust mask. Keep the stuff in the normal configuration, he's a doctor.

Put a red cape over it, shift the dust mask up so it's a white hat on his head, and accessorize with a large, gold cross, and Pope Pius X!

My only limits so far is that the three year old can't choose to be a male superhero, no glamorizing evil*, and absolutely no slutty** anything.

* Can be a cool, evil character, but not one where he's cool because he's evil. Hasn't come up so far, partly because we try to monitor their intellectual diets.
** You'd think this wouldn't be that hard, but seriously, whiskey tango, over.