I must preface this post by saying that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. The ghouls and goblins don't really do anything for me. Plus, the theme of devils and death really isn't something we'd like to focus on as a family. Not to be a downer, but I think it's important to look at the meaning behind what we do and not just go with the flow. As a family I think we're going to celebrate Halloween as "All Hallows Eve," the night before the celebration of All Saints and the following All Souls day. Since All Saints day is a Holy Day of Obligation our new tradition will be attending mass together on Halloween night and then spending the night together as a family. Sure, our kids may be asked why they don't go trick-or-treating for candy, however they'll know the true meaning behind the days we celebrate and they'll associate this holiday with spending good time with family, adoring the saints, praying for those who have died, and, yes, having fun. Plus, I'd like to also start the tradition of trick-or-treating for canned foods before Halloween and then donating them to our local food bank.
At our parish, they do something really fun to celebrate All Saints. Instead of dressing in costumes, the children dress as their favorite saint, everyone gets together for food and a good time, and the kids have everyone guess who they are dressed as. Hmmmm...I think Avila will have to dress as her namesake next year!
That being said, I did dress Avila in a costume this year. Partly because her costume also acts as a mascot for the high school team that papa coaches for, the Bellarmine Lions! Avila wears this at the Unity Dinners, a dinner for the team and their families the night before a game. She is known as "the little lion."
So, Happy "All Hallows Eve" from the Mauss family and especially our "little lion!"