Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween and All Saints' Day Celebrations in our Home (Keeping it Hallow)

It has been a blessed and fun-filled weekend for our family! My sons had a great time celebrating Halloween and All Saints' Day!

We do not participate in trick or treat activities. (You can read why here in my previous post.) We do not decorate our home with spooky/scary objects. My kids do not dress up in popular Halloween costumes like scary characters or super heroes.

My kids dress up as Saints or Bible heroes instead. Our activities during these days are centered on things that are hallow or holy. Our discussion is centered on the Saints. You may read my previous posts on why we celebrate Halloween or All Saints' Day differently here and here.

I learned about this alternative celebrations of Halloween (short for All Hallows' Eve) and All Saints' Day when my husband and I decided to pursue homeschooling as a way of life for our family. I "met" Teacher Mama Tina (Truly Rich Mom) through her blog and through her blog posts, I discovered the Catholic Icing blog maintained by another blogging and homeschooling mama. These women behind these popular blogs opened my mind to alternative ways to celebrate these holy days with my family/young children. It was also through Teacher Mama Tina that our family became part of ROCKERS, a Catholic homeschool group. We've been participating in the All Saints' Day party organized by ROCKERS in the past years. These activities have blessed our children a lot! I'm so grateful to God for leading us to this group! Finding other parents who have the same beliefs and stand on these topics is truly a big blessing!

Now, let me share how we celebrated these holy days in our home this weekend.

1. Saint Dress-up - I gathered the costumes and props that the boys can use for this activity early on Friday morning. Since we had been  participating in All Saints' Day parties in the past couple of years, we have some costumes already. Add to that the costumes that they will wear this year. (Our ROCKERS activity for All Saints Day will be on November 7.)

I'm so thankful to God for inspiring me with this activity. It was very simple but the boys had a blast playing pretend the whole two days! They just could not get enough of this pretend play.

Mateo as St. Michael Archangel minus the wings.

Mateo as St. Peter.

Yanthy as San Lorenzo Ruiz.
Yanthy as St. Joseph.

While they enjoyed dressing up and pretending to be little saints, I enjoyed taking photos of them in their costumes.

2. Guess the Saint Matching Game - I also prepared a simple game for the boys to help them become familiar with the Saints in a fun way. I gathered some of their toys and other items in our home that we can use in this game. Then, I printed out some photos of Saints. (I got the photos from Happy Saints website.) I lined up the toys/props together with the corresponding photo of Saints.

I briefly introduced the props and the Saints to the boys. Then, after playing pretend for some time, I asked the boys to identify the Saints by simply looking at the items/props. I asked my eldest son to match the photos with the items/props. As for my toddler, I asked him to simply voice out his answers. I was one happy and proud mom last Friday! My eldest son answered our matching game almost perfectly, making only one mistake but correcting it quickly afterwards. My toddler (2-year-old) was also able to identify a number of Saints! These are days when I'm so thankful to God for leading us to homeschool our kids! I felt rewarded and honored by God by simply witnessing these 'achievements' in my kids. Seeing them enjoy learning about our Catholic faith and living it out gives me a sense of fulfillment.

3. October Saints and Feast Day Word Search - I got this free printable from this website. I asked my eldest son (6-year-old) to answer this last Friday. He started answering it in the afternoon but he was not able to finish looking for all the words that day because he was too eager to play pretend Saint. So, I asked him to finish it yesterday.

4. Saint-Themed Food - I got most of my inspirations for this from Catholic Icing's posts. Thank God for the internet and for blogger moms like her! The kids and I enjoyed our 'feast' of Saint-themed food in the past days.

That's me with little St. Joseph the Carpenter and little S. Matthew the Tax Collector.

Little St. Matthew and little San Lorenzo Ruiz.

5. Participating in the Holy Mass - Our main activity for our All Hallows' Eve celebration was participating in the Holy Mass. The boys and I went to Mass in our parish. My eldest was dressed up as St. Michael the Archangel. My toddler wanted to dress up as Moses but I convinced him to dress up as San Pedro Calunsod instead.

Our cute San Pedro Calunsod.

Our little Saint Michael the Archangel minus the wings. ;)

After the Mass, my eldest son invited the priest celebrant who has become our friend to have donut with him at home. The good priest granted my son's request so as not to disappoint him. My son was so happy and proud to share to our priest friend that he has been pretending to be Saint Michael and other Saints that day. He also shared about the Saints that his younger brother pretended to be in our past costume parties and in our upcoming party.

6. Praying the Holy Rosary - It was really part of my plan to pray the rosary with our whole family on All Saints' Day but initially I thought of doing that at home. But since we got to the church where we were supposed to attend Mass yesterday very late (I forgot that the traffic to the church would be horrible on November 1 since we need to pass a cemetery on our way there.), we've decided to pray the rosary in the church instead.

7. Cloud of Witnesses Art Activity - After some more pretend play yesterday, we officially closed our All Saints' Day celebration by doing this activity. Before packing away all the toys, props and costumes, I asked my eldest son to draw a cloud. I cut the white cartolina and asked the boys to glue the photos of the Saints that we used on the cloud. I asked each child what they know about the Saint that they choose to stick to the cloud before letting them glue it on the cartolina/cloud. It's like asking them to make a recap of our lessons on Saints. Again, I was so proud of my little saints. They remembered a lot of what I have shared/discussed with them. All my efforts in preparing for these holy days and in homeschooling them primarily to mold their faith and character paid off. I felt so blessed! 

The boys with their cloud of witnesses.
8. Singing of Songs - Of course, we had to sing songs! haha My boys love music so I let them enjoy songs that are related to our celebration of All Hallows' Eve and All Saints' Day. We played worship songs in the background as we engaged in our activities. One of our favorites during Halloween or All Saints' Day is Friend of God. I let my sons sing San Lorenzo's song over and over. My eldest son even played it in the keyboard repeatedly in the past days.

9. Watching Saint Videos - We also watched videos of Saints on our pc and in my laptop. We watched their favorites -- St. Matthew and St. John the Baptist. (Click here to watch these videos.) They were named after these Saints. I also showed them other videos of Saints and Bible heroes.

10. Reading and Storytelling about Saints - We read books about Saints and I told them stories of holy men in the Bible. My sons could not get enough of the story of Moses and how God used him to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians. They repeatedly asked me and my husband to read about this miracle from our book One Mighty, Awesome, Incredible Rescue. The boys kept pretending to be Moses and Aaron most of the time! 

Mateo as Moses and Yanthy as Aaron.

They also loved the story of Daniel and the lions. Good thing, I found a video in YouTube about Daniel.

Below are the books we read in the past days.

Before I forget, let me mention that we also invited one of my kids' playmates to our house. I told the boys that they can invite our neighbor who usually plays with them to have snack with us last Friday. The boys happily shared our Saint-themed food and toys with their friend. It was during our conversation with their playmate that I realized that my husband and I truly made a wise decision to homeschool our kids. At 2 and 6 year old respectively, our sons know much about our Catholic faith already. They are familiar with a number of Saints and the Holy Mass. Their playmate who is already 7 years old and who is studying in a Catholic school inside our village was not able to identify/recognize any of the props or Saints that my boys were playing with. He also didn't know what Holy Communion is although he said that there is a Mass in their school every Wednesday. I felt sad for the little boy. I asked my eldest to introduce the Saints to his friend/playmate. My son eagerly introduced the Saints and their props to his friend and they played with these toys afterwards. We also shared to their playmate briefly about how we celebrate Halloween in our home. Their playmate went home just before we went to Mass.

It has been a grace-filled weekend for us! We didn't have  a perfect celebration but it surely filled our hearts with joy and made our spirits soar. We are looking forward to our homeschool group's celebration next week and our celebrations again next year. I'm hoping and praying that next year, there would be an All Hallows' Eve or All Saints' Day celebration for kids in our parish so my sons can participate there. 


  1. What fun ideas. I am pinning them at Thank you for sharing! I LOVE All Saints Day