As the leaves turn brilliant shades of red and gold, October brings us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the season and strengthen our faith. This month is filled with beautiful outdoor activities and cozy indoor gatherings that can keep our hearts centered on the true spirit of the season.
Today, I wanted to share a few ways to make October a month of holiness and joy, without getting caught up in the commercialized Halloween frenzy.
Fall Outside Activities
Apple Picking: October is the perfect time for a family trip to the apple orchard. Spend a day in the crisp autumn air, picking apples and thanking God for His bountiful creation. Afterward, gather together and offer a prayer of blessing for your apple harvest while you bake a pie together.
Pumpkin Patch Adventures: Visit a local pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin to decorate or turn into a lantern. As you choose your pumpkins, discuss how they can symbolize the light of Christ in our lives. You can even carve a simple cross into your pumpkins as a reminder.
Hayrides, Corn Mazes, and Foliage Hiking: Embrace the beauty of fall with hayrides, corn mazes, and hikes through the changing leaves. Use this time to appreciate God’s creation and talk about His presence in every aspect of life.
Family Bike Rides: Explore your local trails or take a scenic ride through your neighborhood. Use the time to discuss the importance of staying active and maintaining a healthy body, which is a temple of the Holy Spirit. You can also take this time to say a rosary as a family too!
Cozy Indoor Activities
When the weather gets chilly, there are plenty of faith-centered indoor activities to enjoy:
- Autumn Farmer’s Market Bundle: If you are looking for some fun, inexpensive fall activities for your younger kids to do inside, look no further than our Fall Activity Bundle. Use code WILD10 for 10% off your order!
- Library Adventures: Visit your local library and check out a hoard of fall-themed books that celebrate the season’s beauty and spiritual significance.
- Mulling Apple Cider: Gather around the kitchen to mull apple cider and talk about the warmth and comfort of faith during the changing seasons.
- Fall Arts and Crafts: Get creative with your little ones by making autumn-inspired crafts like leaf rubbings or creating a thankful tree.
- Pumpkin Unit Study: Dive into a pumpkin unit study to explore the science, history, and spiritual symbolism of this fall favorite.
- Learn about Weather and Seasons: Take time to learn about the changing weather and seasons, reminding your children of the wonder and order of God’s creation.
Keeping Halloween Holy
Did you know that Halloween is actually a Catholic holiday? As we approach All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day, it’s essential to learn about the historical roots of Halloween and the truth behind Halloween.
Contrary to popular belief, Halloween actually does not have origins in paganism, Satanism, Samhain, Druidic festivals, or the occult. Instead, its roots can be traced back to the cultural practices of European Catholics who migrated to America.
When these Catholic immigrants settled in predominantly Protestant America, their traditions and customs were quickly labeled as pagan. This misinterpretation stemmed from a lack of understanding and a rising tension between the two groups.
While some people have attempted to link Halloween to the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, this connection is not based in history or facts. All Hallows’ Eve, which later became Halloween, was established as a Catholic feast day over 1,000 years ago. There is no evidence to suggest that Pope Gregory III or nor Pope Gregory IV, who instituted All Saints’ Day, had any awareness of Samhain.
In essence, Halloween’s origins are firmly Catholic and any Halloween celebrations you participate in or host should take this important fact into account.
Here are a few ideas:
- All Saints Day Party: Host an All Saints Day party, encouraging your children to dress up as their favorite saints and share stories about their lives.
- All Hallows Eve Prayer Vigil: Spend the evening of October 31st in prayer and reflection, commemorating the saints who have gone before us.
- All Saints Day Parade: Organize a neighborhood parade to celebrate All Saints Day, complete with costumes and a focus on the lives of the saints.
- Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): Because its origins are not Christian, not every custom or tradition of the day will be acceptable to celebrate, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate some key elements of the holiday in a very Catholic way. Día de los Muertos is meant to embrace death as part of the cycle of life and as something that need not be feared. Memento Mori (a Latin phrase meaning “remember you must die.”) is
Resources for Liturgical Living:
Here are some resources to help you make these faith-centered celebrations a reality:
Living The Seasons
Erica Tighe Campbell, owner and designer of Be A Heart, created this stunning, full-color guide to creatively celebrating the faith throughout the year. Living the Seasons is brimming with clever, doable, and beautiful crafts and activities, vivid photographs, and more!
The time-honored traditions of the liturgical calendar guide Christians through a year-long meditation on the life of Christ. Beyond just Christmas and Easter, each season of the church year offers special opportunities to remember and celebrate the work of God.
Catholic All Year
If you have been wondering how to bring the rich traditions of the Catholic Church’s liturgical year into your family life, this is the book for you. If you have no idea what the liturgical year is, but you are looking for ways to bring your faith home from Sunday Mass—in every season, all year long—this is the book for you too.
- Be A Heart: You can find an array of party supplies for hosting an amazing All Saints Day party on their website! From cups and plates, to printable banners, invitations, and more, you can find everything you need from Be A Heart.
- CatholicSaints.info: A comprehensive website for learning about saints. Find saints by their patronage, occupations and more!
- Catholic Bookstores: Find books and resources at your local Catholic bookstore or online at book stores like Sophia Institute, Tan Books, Holy Heroes, and others.
- Catholic Family Resources: Websites like Catholic All Year and Catholic Culture offer a plethora of ideas and printables for faith-centered celebrations.
This October, let’s focus on deepening our faith and cherishing the beauty of the season. By incorporating these faith-centered activities, we can create core memories with our kids while we strengthen our family’s connection to God during this special time of year.
May your October be filled with joy, faith, and the assurance of God’s everlasting love!