All Saints’ Day, Halloween, and fall fun


Fall brings us many fun celebrations. This week, let’s talk about Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. These can each be a beautiful way to highlight and celebrate our Catholic faith with a wide range of ages. (Yes, I’m including adults in that age range!)

My kids usually start plotting and planning their costumes when school starts in mid-August, and over the years, I’ve learned to set a firm deadline for costume choices. When we have saints’ costumes thrown into the mix separately from Halloween, my brain can threaten to explode.

Here are some finds I found delightful and that I’ll be using with my family.

Understand and share the beauty of the holy-day

Halloween (All Hallows Eve) is rooted in the holy days of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. Share that story and history with your kids!

Halloween is called that because it is the vigil of the feast of All Saints or “All Hallows.” But that feast was not founded to accommodate British Celts; it was founded for Roman Christians. The problem was Italian logistics, not “How do we get the Druids on board?” The Church by the seventh century was swimming in martyrs and saints, popular in various locales. If we celebrated all their feast days, nobody would get any work done. Solution: have a feast to celebrate all the saints popular in different Italian towns and villages all at once.

You don’t have to give them the graduate coursework, but isn’t it fun to know the history? Making Mass part of the Halloween experience is also a family tradition we have, not least because, most years, All Saints’ Day (November 1) is a holy day of obligation.

Celebrate and share the fun

A few that I loved from the list that Elizabeth compiled:

  • Make donuts as a reminder of the holiness each of us is called to.
  • Reverse trick-or-treating with the homebound or nursing home residents.
  • Share saint-themed snacks to remind us of our patrons or as a way to introduce new saintly friends.

Inform, inspire, and celebrate this holy-day trifecta with the kids in your life.

Carve yourself a “saint-o-lantern” or “Cath-o-lantern”

Every year, we clear the kitchen table and I brace myself for a mess of massive proportions. Why am I so excited about the goo and the final lit product? I can’t even explain it…but seeing these ideas for saint-o-lanterns and Cath-o-lanterns has me even more excited!