The end of October. That means one thing for school-age children: dressing up as their favorite saint for All Saints Day celebration. Well, thats what M. and C. did this week, since they attend a Catholic school.

C.’s program was Thursday. She went as Saint Catherine, who helped sick people. We dressed her in a rather minimalist costume consisting of the teacher-suggested pillow case smock and a veil. To help the sick people, she took her Fisher Price doctor bag.

If you drew a continuum that went from absolute minimalist to completely over-the-top, there was consistent representation along that line for costumes. Some kids clearly have parents that are far more artistic and have more time than S. and I. There were plenty who came in the pillow case smock with adornments.

C.’s best friend refused to dress up. Not sure if it was because it was also her birthday, and she didn’t want to take attention away from herself, if she’s already rebelling against the church, or she was just being difficult. But her mom said she refused to put her costume on that morning.

But the best outfit, by far, was a pre-K boy who came as Jesus. He had a big, wooly wig and a matching beard. To be honest, he looked more Arab than the classic western representation of Jesus. Not sure if his parents were trying to make a point or what.

Anyway, the kids all parade into the church and, one-by-one, walk up to the altar and speak into a microphone, stating their saint and what they did. As you would expect, most kids were barely audible. C. performed completely as expected: she stared at her shoes and didn’t say a word. She’s kind of in a shy phase around strangers now. When the priest asked her what was in her bag, she happily opened it and showed him all her doctor tools, but still didn’t say a word.

The highlight of C.’s day was during the priest’s brief talk about what saints are and why they’re important. He asked if the kids knew where saints lived, and lifted a hand above his head as a hint. C., being a literalist, looked up at the ceiling and began scanning each corner of the church, thinking there were saints flying around in the support beams. Which, I suppose, they are.

M.’s program was today. For the second-straight year she went as Mary, because I think all Catholic girls want to be Mary once they learn about her. And they realize you get to take a doll to school when you’re Mary. There were at least ten Marys both days. Sts. Luke, Nicholas, and Francis were especially popular with the boys.

The kindergardeners were a little more verbal, and I could clearly understand what M. was saying even from the back of the church. She was so proud of herself afterwards that she wouldn’t even look at me as they processed out of the church. At least I think she did that out of pride.

L. just got to watch this year, and the twos class doesn’t participate, but I’m pretty sure I know what she’s going to be in two years: one of M.’s classmates was Saint Lea. No Mary for her!

Happy Halloween and All Saints Day. Check back over the weekend for photos of the girls in their Halloween costumes.