Seven Quick Takes
With All Saint’s day fast approaching, and our own DIY saint newly minted and ready to roll, we are looking forward to another awesome celebration. I love All Saint’s Day, having gone to a school called “All Hallows” (another way of saying All Saints), where each year we’d get the day off school on this feast to do something fun, like going to a water park etc. I assume being a Catholic school there was some sort of Mass to mark the occasion, but in my youthful indifference to anything religious, all I really remember are the fun outings with my schoolmates. The night before All Saint’s Day was just not considered as something to take note of at that time.
For the past month or so, however, there have been many preparations in the supermarkets to cash in on All Hallows’ Eve (popularly referred to as Halloween).
My 10 yr old daughter has come to me begging to go “Trick-or-Treating”. She sees it as an essential for next week, and has some friends who will be doing this. I declined to allow her. I don’t have a big opinion about it, it’s just that I didn’t grow up with a concept of it, living childhood through the 70’s & 80’s in Australia, where my experience of North American culture came via Brady Bunch and I Dream of Jeannie episodes. The closest thing was the boy’s prank on the “Fright night” episode of the Brady Bunch.
Having vetoed going around our dodgy neighbourhood knocking on random strangers’ doors, I now have another idea which my husband and I did do a few years ago on All Hallows’ Eve.
We had moved into a neighbourhood which, as mentioned, would be considered “dodgy” (Australian term for generally unsavoury, not entirely normal, perhaps with some level of illegal activity and/or accompanied by police raids and sirens). For some reason my Mum and Dad had the kids for the night, so my husband and I decided to go for an evening walk around our neighbourhood with a stash of Miraculous Medals in tow which had been blessed by a priest. As we walked we recited the Rosary. We were able to use a normal speaking voice as the noise level was quite high that night despite us being the only ones walking around. There was a cacophony of noise, in fact. Dogs howling, parties, people shouting at each other, televisions and stereos blaring. As we walked, every block or so, we would pray for the people living in those houses and plant a medal on the nature strip as a small gift to all our neighbours that they would be blessed, whatever their life circumstance. We reflected as our suburb is perhaps only 20-30 years old, there may never have been anyone walk around and pray for God to bless the houses and the people living in them.
Our walk took us up and down a quite a few blocks, circling around and ending up back in our own street. The funny thing was, that by the time we were saying the last decade of the Rosary, perhaps 30 minutes after we began, we had to whisper our prayers as the silence was astounding. We both looked at each other and commented on it. It really was amazing after such a start. The silence confirmed to us more powerfully than any other thing could have done, that our prayers were needed in our neighbourhood.
The suggestion of not going “Trick or Treating” was not met with much enthusiasm by my daughter, but perhaps I can modify to assist her compliance? I can take my cues from generations of parents who have used bribery in a highly successful way to instil compliance in otherwise unwilling children. It even worked for the witch with Hansel and Gretel.
My idea involves lollies, so I am sure it’ll be hit. It’s been quite a few years since that Halloween Rosary walk my husband and I did together, and now I am thinking that perhaps we might do this as a family this year. Perhaps with a bag of lollies doled out to the kids at the end of each decade. That’s the whole point of the night, is it not? The lollies? I guess we could also dress up while doing so as that seems the other point of the night. I could let my daughter wear her home made “Pinky Pie” costume (from the latest obsession with My Little Pony). Perhaps scattering Miraculous Medals while pretending to play the drums?
My husband and I could go as.. ourselves.. because that would be considered fancy dress if we lived in, say, Iceland. It would be quite out there to wander Iceland’s streets in thongs (Australian for “flip-flops”), a t shirt and shorts. My son could also go as himself, posing as a teenager who is not walking around with his family in public, praying, and trying to pretend he’s not related to us. He could pretend he’s from a country where teen angst doesn’t happen, like China, according to this source:
For the most part, Chinese teenagers don’t rebel. They are too busy preparing for the national university entrance exams.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, full of your own opportunities to bond as a family and shower your own neighbourhoods with blessings.
Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.
Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!