Interestingly enough, one of the most common questions people ask me when they meet me in real life is “do your kids go trick-or-treating?” People want to know- is it ok to go trick-or-treating if you’re Catholic? Is it ok to celebrate “Halloween” if you’re in the “All Saints’ Day” crowd?
This time of the year, we do try to keep our focus on the rosary, and the Saints, but my kid do go trick-or-treating. The lovely mix we have found for our family is, when we go trick-or-treating, we dress up as Saints!
I actually know a lot of Catholics who do this, and the kids love it! They never complain about not dressing up as something else because we talk about the Saints, watch Saint movies, read Saint books, and listen to Glory Stories year round. So when Julian chooses to dress up as Juan Diego for All Saints’ Day, it’s like any other kid picking a cartoon character from his favorite movie to dress up as.
You can check out my extensive lists of Saint costume ideas for girls, and Saint costume ideas for boys here. There are a lot of fun ideas on there! You don’t just have to drape your kids in sheets to dress up as a Saint. 😉 Above, we have St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth, and St. Kateri, and they’re having a blast!
Going trick-or-treating as Saints is a great witness to the world! It’s interesting what people say sometimes. For instance, this year Lydia chose to be Saint Imelda (because we are studying her with our First Communion curriculum) and everyone kept saying “What a beautiful bride!” It’s pretty funny to see their face when Lydia tells them, “Actually, I’m St. Imelda”.
One year, Julian dressed up as Juan Diego. We were walking up a bunch of stairs to this one house, and a dad I didn’t know says, “Excuse me, Mam, he’s tripping on his, um, his, um, his, um… thingy.” Lol! That’s his tilma- duh! 😉
Then there are more “normal” things to be. For the last 2 years in a row, Violet has chosen to be an angel. Everyone totally “gets” that. But when your kid goes as St. Cecelia, she sure is going to get a lot of compliments on her “princess costume”. Because of these misunderstandings, I generally prep my kids ahead of time, and tell them that it’s ok to tell people who they are really dressed up as. They smile and think it’s funny. Sometimes, they don’t correct people. They just smile, get their candy, and move on. That’s ok, too.
I do know plenty of families that do Saint costumes for some parties, and other costumes for trick-or-treating. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this, but the reality is I’m not going to put together 2 different costumes for 4 kids each year. That feels crazy. The Saint thing is more important to me, and they truly are happy dressing up as Saints. Kids are easily convinced of what is fun, so it’s all in the presentation and the attitude.
In conclusion, Halloween has it’s roots in the Catholic church, and I think we need to work on re-claiming it! Even if you don’t have a big All Saints’ Day party to go to attend this year, you can still have some Saint fun. I hope you find a good mix that works for your family.Pin It