Happy All Saints Day! Your tiny Spider-Man costume is not welcome in this church

GateHouse — It turns out they don’t like Halloween at the boy’s day care.

This was probably to be expected: The boy attends a Christian day care, one that’s perfectly good and one we like reasonably well, although I must confess — having been brought up Catholic at all — to placing religion third on our list of reasons why we selected this particular day care, behind

  1. It had a spot open, and
  2. It was there.

If you have ever attempted to locate child care, you know what I’m talking about — there are easier things in the world to do than locate quality, convenient day care, things such as sewing the text of the Encyclopedia Brittanica on the back of a moving horse or baking a pie using nothing but mustard.

So last week, we got a notice from the day care, which says, in essence, that in lieu of Halloween they’ll be celebrating All Saints Day, which sounds very much made up but is, according to Wikipedia, legit, although not a holiday that they taught us about much in CCD. Actually, they might have taught us about it in CCD, but since this particular holiday does not involve candy or presents, I imagine that I tuned it right out and went back to wondering when I could have a doughnut.

Anyway, this costume change is going to be a problem for my son, who decided recently that he was going to be Spider-Man for Halloween, and by “recently” I mean “in the middle of April.” We have been hitting the Spider-Man thing hard. There was a period where the boy would spread out his arms and shout, “SPIDER-MAN!” at the top of his lungs pretty much anytime he found himself on a surface more than 6 inches above sea level. We have a Spider-Man costume; we have a Spider-Man mask; we have figured out a trick about how to drink from our juice bottle while wearing the Spider-Man mask (hint: it involves removing the mask); and we are fully ready to head out on Halloween night and fight crime on the streets, unless, of course, that crime is perpetrated by a small puppy or a Hulk, both of which scare the living daylights out of this particular Spider-Man (the Hulk thing he gets from Daddy, who to this day remains uneasy around Lou Ferrigno).

In place of costumes, the school is asking us to dress the child in the costume of something biblical. So we either have to convince a 3-year-old that a Moses costume is fun, or convince a school that Spider-Man appears somewhere in the gospels.

Now true, the phrase “Bible costume” is pretty open-ended — one friend suggested we send him as the devil, which totally fits the strict constructionist definition, and another as a pillar of salt, which would be really hard to pull off, especially when all the deer came over to lick my son.

But no matter our stance on religion, Halloween or Lou Ferrigno, I think we can all agree that, on the whole, Halloween costumes are way more fun than Bible costumes, and that’s how it’s going to continue to be unless they rewrite the New Testament to include the Pirates of the Caribbean or Darth Vader (I would like this to happen in the same book, but that’s just me). What we evidently can’t agree on is that there’s a giant gap between dressing your toddler up as a superhero or princess for a day and actively supporting sin. I mean, if I wanted to do that, I’d have him read Harry Potter.


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

6 responses to “Happy All Saints Day! Your tiny Spider-Man costume is not welcome in this church

  • Rachel

    Seriously – Spiderman is totally related to the bible. There’s even a study guide:



  • Jason

    I think you should keep him home, and then when the day care folks call to ask where he is, say:

    “He’s there, dressed as God.”


    Fr. Bob


  • Übermilf

    As a CCD teacher whose Religious Ed class has the day OFF on Wednesday so the kids can CELEBRATE Halloween, I can only conclude you sent him to a heretic Protestant cult preschool.

    So it’s your own damn fault.

    And putting potatoes in pierogies is pretty heretical, too.


  • Kent

    My son attends a Methodist pre-school, and the kids are encouraged to wear a costume on Halloween. The only suggestion is that costumes are easy to take off, in case the kid needs to go to the bathroom.

    As for All Saints Day, the first Sunday in November, it’s pretty much been celebrated in every Methodist church I’ve attended. The names of the church members, as well as relatives and friends of church members, who died in the past year are read.

    Of course, we heretic Protestants believe that anyone who believes in Christ is a saint. You don’t have to perform 3 miracles to achieve sainthood.


  • Übermilf

    I was only joking with the heretical protestant thing.

    I especially do not want to upset the Methodists, who serve the most delicious chicken pot pies and cream puffs at the Walworth County Fair.

    But I stand by my potatoes-in-pierogies statement.


  • Anonymous

    Seriously… find a different day care.

    Clearly religeon means nothing to you, by your moronic statement rating this as your #3 priority behind “it was there”.

    You really don’t deserve to be ALLOWED in a Christian day care program. You’re just like the other idiots who send their kid to a Catholic school and then complain when their kid is expected to actually PARTICIPATE in religeous ed.

    Put your kid in another program where morals and values aren’t taught and don’t complain when you have your child exposed to things you don’t want him exposed to….

    Fortunately, we have the gift of Freedom of Speech. Unfortunately, you abuse your gift by being offensive.

    I’ll pray that you find Christ before death finds you.


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