The goal of the party is this:
for the ultra sanitized Harvest Party and the horribly secularized and even evil Halloween* to meet in the middle and be Catholic. I want it to look like a Halloween party at first glance but to be filled with opportunities for parents and kids to have fun and learn about their faith - to give parents an opportunity to teach their kids about their faith in a way that's not lame or dorky but fun.
We want things to be a little different this year so the kids who came in the past won't think it's the same old thing. We're not throwing everything out, just rotating some out, some in, and lining up some other things to be rotated out next year. This year I think we may have a bouncy house shaped like a castle for the little kids. Maybe it'll be St. King Wenceslas' castle. One of the women in the group suggested crowns for all the saints, which I think would be a great craft station. We're going to have a soccer game in honor of our athletic JPII and in my dreams we'd have rock climbing wall for Pier Giorgio.
You can see all the games, food, and decorations we had at last year's party if you're looking for some ideas, but I'd also like your help. Do you know of any cute games or craft stations? What about food with saint tie-ins? Like St. Francis' animal crackers and that sort of thing.
Also, tell me what you'd want on your tombstone.
I had the idea of making a cemetery for the guests to walk through as they entered the party. Instead of the evil and scary tombstones I wanted these to be old looking, yes, but also Christian and, more importantly, to have saint names on them. So Teresa of Calcutta, Fulton Sheen, Maximilian Kolbe, Edith Stein, and so on.
Another woman in the group dislikes that idea and thinks it will make the party guests focus on death and not on the eternal life that the saints are enjoying. She would prefer a graveyard with puny names.
And the third option, of course, is that it's just a bad idea and we shouldn't have a cemetery at all.
What do you think? What do you vote for? If you were coming to the party what would you prefer?
Thanks for your help.
*I'm not saying that every Halloween celebration is evil. We do Halloween with decorations, trick-or-treating, kid appropriate but spooky stories and tv specials. Just so you know, I am not anti Halloween. Not at all!
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I am a HUGE fan of Dia de los Muertos. I think it's health to talk about and see and even joke about death so we lose our fear of it - after all, it's not death we should fear but hell. I think a cemetery with the names of real Saints is great! After all, they have to DIE to get to heaven.ReplyDelete
I don't think I would want a cemetery. I think your idea is a good one. Just personally, I know my kids equate "scary" and "tombstones" together with Halloween so I don't know that it would matter much what they said. The older ones might get the take on it. I think all of your ideas sound great. It is hard to find the balance with the secular expectation and the Catholic beauty in this particular holiday.ReplyDelete
Oh! Amanda said Dia de Los Muertos! Instead of tombstones, maybe people could bring a picture of a loved one who passed away. You could set up a table with treats and goodies in honor of them. That would be better than silly tombstones with puny names on them! And the kids might really enjoy seeing the photos of loved ones they miss and celebrating them.ReplyDelete
hmm... I like that idea but I think the parish wants the focus to be on All Saints' Day (celebrating) and less on All Souls' Day (praying for souls). I'll look into it, though. We already educate about the difference and teach about praying for the dead at the party through a coloring book we made.Delete
I'd probably compromise and do both--tombstones with saints names and maybe a fun (or funny) fact about them underneath as their epithat. Then have some tombstones that are punny. Most people won't associate saints (even saints' names on tombstones) as focusing on death because we all know saints are great examples of the promise of eternal life!!!ReplyDelete
I once saw a real-life tombstone that had the person's name and then had their dates in this way:ReplyDelete
Born again through Baptism: XX-XX-XXXX
Born into eternal life: XX-XX-XXXX
That might be nice if you did the saints, even if you had to make up baptism dates for them.
I really love the "Born into eternal life" bit! I'll have to share that with the women in my group! Thank you!Delete
Bouncy castle - could you be any more brilliant? I don't think so. Wow, I'm so excited to steal this idea for our All Saint's Party. ;)ReplyDelete
My husbands family is part Mexican and he grew up in a largely Mexican neighborhood, which we are still near, so Dia de los Muertos is huge around here. We have never actually celebrated as a family, this year might be the year!ReplyDelete
My last pastor told me about Bendictine monks who had "Here Will Rise" inscribed before their names on their gravestones. It might have been in latin, maybe not - but I thought it was the most bold and inspiring message! I love it.ReplyDelete
Oh wow! I LOVE that! How beautiful! Maybe we can have them say, "Here will rise St. Padre Pio. Born into eternal life MM-DD-YYYY."Delete
Can I come for the bouncy castle? I've got a really great penguin costume and I'm really popular with the under-7 set.ReplyDelete