Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014: All Saints' Party

I read a humor piece comparing Halloween in the 1970s (my childhood being the 1980s) to that of today and it sure rang true for me. While my parents weren't so much smokers or servers of TV dinners, as in the article, the freedom described is quite accurate. Back then, kids, for the most part, made their own costumes. When I was a tiny tot, my father sewed me a wonderful bear hat, and I dressed up on Halloween as a bear (the hat + a black leotard) for years. Then when I was older, I went either as a witch or a homeless person--both costumes I could create myself on October 31st--until I aged out of trick-or-treating. Of course, I went trick-or-treating alone, dragging my pillow case, which I'd fill to the brim, wandering those dark streets till probably nine or so, then gorging on the candy back at home. It was fabulous! And the mere thought of letting my kids do that now makes me freeze up with panic . . . which is probably not a good thing.

Our current Halloween celebrations do mimic the mockery described in that article rather closely!

Waking up on Friday, I felt like this mama needed "Rocky music" to spur me on. We had no school, swim, or co-op--just party preparations.
  • Bake eight dozen Molasses Sugar Cookies for the cake walk. (Some years I have to simply buy the baked goods, but this year I was able to bake!) Add prayers for the faithful departed on cute tags to the cookies.
  • Remember to take the boom box for the Cake Walk.
  • Finish creating the costumes for the children, down to the toddler (any of them make their own? no). How am I going to make Mary's crown?!
  • Catechize each child on his or her saint and teach them three questions about their saint to ask at the Guess-the-Saint game.
  • Prepare certificates and prizes for the pumpkin-carving contest.
  • Prepare our "Fishers of Men" game for the party. Remember to take the candy.
  • Cook and deliver a meal for a sweet local mama who had her baby during Halloween week!
Mary drew her own tracing pattern for a cat pumpkin.

I kept the toddler out of our way by giving him free reign with a miniature pumpkin,
which he proceeded to throw vigorously around the house. Perfect!

John insistently carved his entire design (which I traced) by himself. It was a level 4 of 4 for "difficulty" in the pattern book, so quite the pattern to pick the first year he was allowed to carve!

Margaret is a Mini Mary, so she immediately drew her own cat tracing pattern.
Mama tried to be faithful to the artist's vision in her tracing and carving.

John carved (from a kit) a crow sitting on a tombstone.

Mary designed a cat.

Margaret designed a cat.

John carved a smiley face so Joseph could have a pumpkin too.

This year I told the children I couldn't sew costumes from scratch, so we dug through our collection of costumes to find items that would work. The only item I sewed this year was a pair of moccasins for John who laid awake at night worrying and planning about how he needed authentic Indian shoes for St. Juan Diego. (I know a thing or two about laying awake at night worrying and planning, so I thought it best just to make his shoes so he could get some sleep.) I did not tell him that I know some North American Indians of one particular era wore moccasins, but I really have no idea what Mexican Indians of that era wore, so we'll just hope for historical accuracy here.

The shoes that kept John awake at night

Mary wrote me instructions on what she needs for her costume: "Cape and Shaks Baers [Shakespeare] Dres and a Cross on a Neckless." Each item is labeled 1, 2, and 3.

Mary's instructions for me

Chris sneaked up on me and documented my photo shoot.
As my mom was famous for saying during our agonizing photo shoots, "Look natural!"

St. Juan Diego, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a lion

We had a few more preparations to complete . . .

It's really cool having an old-enough child to ask her to decorate a sign for me.

All the stuff to take to the party, not including the costumes. Phew!

. . . and we were off to a really fun All Saints' party! This might have been the day at which Joseph (22 months) discovered what candy is. So he learned the word candy immediately. Only a few times has he strung together two words, but at the party he kept demanding of me, "Candy, please? Candy mine!"

Bonus Reading that is interesting food for thought and opens up more for Chris and I to research ourselves:

1 comment:

  1. They look adorable! My family had lots of fun romping around the neighborhood as well ;) Happy All Saints and Souls day! -Emiliann W.