First, a few things I've been reading about... Since the 800's (or thereabouts, don't quote me!) Halloween has been observed by Christians as "All Hallow's Eve," or the 'eve' before the Feast of All Saints (back then it was called the Feast of "All Hallows"). All Saint's Day is the holiday when the Church remembers the Saints who are now in Heaven. It was intentionally placed on November 1st to try to redeem that particular time of the year, because pagans were celebrating their own festival of "the dead." It was a way for Christians to bring more Light into what was a dark world.
So, this year, we decided not to celebrate Halloween, but instead "All Hallow's Eve" as a way to bring a little Light into our corner of things! General and Rose each chose a Christian from history to read about, and then we made costumes to represent their person. I ended up re-using some cute costumes leftover from past years for Little Monkey and Peanut...although next year, I think I will have the little ones pick out a Bible character for their costume.
General, true to his nickname, chose Sergeant York, a Christian soldier from World War 1. (Actually, we counted this as his 4th year of being a soldier, lol!) This was a very easy project to pull together, since we already had everything he needed. Two years ago, I bought the book Sergeant York and the Great War as a Christmas gift for General, but ended up saving it for when he was older because of its higher reading level. So this was the perfect time to finally bring it out for him to read! For fun, we also watched the classic movie Sergeant York, since we had it on-hand (another Christmas gift).
Rose chose to be Gladys Aylward, a missionary to China - also from World War 1, after our family recently watched the classic movie, Inn of the 6th Happiness (about Gladys' life). I found a biography written at Rose's reading level, which she loved - No Mountain Too High, from the Trailblazers series. Her costume was a bit more of a challenge, since we didn't have any Chinese dresses on hand! But I did find a fairly easy tutorial for making a Kimono, thanks to google...and we had quite a bit of extra fabric that I picked up at garage sales over the summer, so I was able to sew one together at the last minute.
We were so excited to see both sides of our family for "All Hallow's Eve" this year! Sunday night we visited with my parents and siblings at my sister's house, which was so much fun...and yesterday, we visited with Hubby's side and had a blast while trick-or-treating with all of the little cousins. I think we now have enough candy in our house to last us through Christmas!