Happy Halloween from the Desperate Irish Housewife!
This past Saturday I took my kid to her cute little Catholic grammar school's annual All Saints' Day bash.
An All Saints' Day party, for those of you who may not have had the pleasure, used to be a kind of Catholic school answer to Halloween. While the public school kids got to wear their Halloween constumes to school, we had to come dressed up like saints. Little girls showed up in long white robes and light blue veils- we were all Virgin Marys, it seemed- while boys tended to wear long brown ones ( they were St Joseph).
There was the occasional bit of imagination, of course: one year a boy in my brother's class came to school dragging the family's backyard hibachi with him, explaining that he was St. Lawrence, who was roasted to death and famously quipped before he expire, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side."
The public school kids used to snicker at us, but we had the last laugh: November First, All Saints' day, was a holy day of obligation. Which meant the parochial school kids always had the day after Haloween off. Ha ha ha, you little heathens
Well, All Saints' parties have come a long way. My daughter's school was transformed into a carnival, except the standard carnival games had all been "sanctified." There was the Halo Toss, the Sea of Galilee boat race, and the Fishers of Men competition.
I thought for sure they'd topped out witht he Padre Pio Putt-Putt, but that was before we went down to the cafeteria and saw every little boy in the school lined up for his turn inthe Glardiator's Ring. It's not every day a kid in a saint suit gets to beat the crap out of one of his teachers.
And of course there was that breathtaking moment when about six St George's decided to take on the St Michaels in armed conflict. The Georges won (better armor).
My daughter, who is 5, wore a flamenco dress my parents brought back from a trip to Spain and went as Teresa of Avila (The Early Years.)
My favorite this year: The boy who came wrapped from head to toe in Ace bandages and expalined that he was St. Lazarus.
And yes, there was a kid with his backyard grill strapped to his back. There'll always be room for St. Lawrence.