~ From Alicia’s Cob-Webbed Cauldron files…..
Happy Halloween! This has to be one of my favorite times of the year! Leaves are falling, the air is crisp and all of the Holiday’s are lining up before us. I get all excited and sentimental just thinking about it!
The last ten years I’ve spent the month of October helping my kids plan out their costumes. I won’t lie. I am totally reliving my childhood through my kids with each holiday, especially Halloween, and I love it! And yes, I’m one of the silly parents that does a bit of a costume as well with the kids. I don’t go all out though, just enough to have fun and embarrass the kiddos. Ha ha. Anyhow, I’ve enjoyed all of their costumes over the years. Harrison’s 1st Halloween he was a “baby,” as he was only 6 days old. The next year he was a Spotted Dragon and then he was Tiger (from Winny the Pooh) and he was OH so cute! Since then, he has been Spider man several times, a few Batman and recently Anaken Skywalker.
Madalynne’s first Halloween consisted of reusing the Spotted Dinosaur costume and I remember her being obsessed with the tail. Ha ha! For the next four years, she was Cinderella. What can I say, she likes to stick with what she knows! She did make a beautiful Cinderella and I loved curling her hair and putting the crown in! Last year she broke tradition and was the Queen of Hearts, inspired by the Storybook Parade she was in at school, in which she chose to be the Queen of Hearts! That was very sweet as well!
I did have a bit of a panic last year, however, as Harrison was exhibiting signs of being “too cool” for Halloween. He wouldn’t pick a costume to save his life. I even broke tradition and took him to the costume store to get him excited. Nothing. Oh my word, how can this be?! What child doesn’t want to go out and get free candy? That’s where I was wrong. He still wanted the candy, but without the dressing up part. No, no, no. Over my Zombified Body I say! I told him that if he was Trick-or-Treating, he had to dress up. Somehow, we landed on Tony Hawk (the famous skateboarder) thanks to Scott. Harrison was down with that because he just had to dress like a skateboarder. The problem I had was he didn’t look much different than he did every day: jeans, Tony Hawk shirt, and a cap! So he thought he’d carry a skateboard around.
I put the kibosh down on that one as we all really knew who would end up carrying that sucker around! LOL My alternative to the skateboard was a CARDBOARD skateboard that he could carry: lightweight, easy to maneuver. He looked at me like I had snakes growing out of my head! Apparently we hadn’t done enough creative costuming in our household for him to appreciate that idea at all! So he went sans skateboard and still had the night of his life! I ditched my traditional witches hat last year and bought a few wigs. Somehow, Scott and I both ended up wearing wigs and we all had a fun night!
That experience made me realize the one thing I do NOT like about what Halloween (and many other holidays) has become over the years. So many holidays have become commercialized and are filled with marketing for the toy and candy companies. Somewhere along the road, we switched from homemade costumes being to norm to store bought ones. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it myself almost every year with my kids! I buy the store bought costumes too, so please don’t think I’m knocking on anyone. But I just remember that when I was a kid (uh oh…sounding like my awesome parents there!!) we had to be creative and make our own costumes! We would spend WEEKS working on our outfits. When we got older, we’d spend two hours right before it was time to go out! Ha ha! I also came from a large family and we didn’t have extra money laying around to spend on store-bought costumes either.
We had some great creative ideas come out of those years of making our own costumes. The costumes of mine that I remember well are those of when I was a bit older. I remember one year, my friend Sarah and I were a Two Headed/Three Legged Conjoined Twins: we put on my Dad’s green Army coat together (thus joining our upper bodies together) and tied our right/left legs together, giving us three legs. What in the world we were thinking, I do not know. This was one of those “two hour planning” type of costumes I’m sure, and it was quite the experience walking around all night with a leg tied together with your friends! Ha ha ha! Another year, we decided to be “Punk Rockers”. This one cracks me up because somehow, I decided that gluing shiny foil circles to my forehead (in the shape of an eagle’s profile mind you) would somehow constitute a Punk Rocker outfit and that EVERYONE would know what I was. Sarah wore a puple wig for her punk rocker outfit. Here is a picture from that year and you can see us in the back row. Sarah looks more like a clown and I look like….I don’t even KNOW what I look like! But you know what, it didn’t matter because we were creative and we had FUN!!! One of my brothers in as ARMY dude, one is Superman I think, and my little sister looks like Strawberry Shortcake maybe. The rest of the kids are some of our neighborhood friends that we walked with every year.
I don’t recall Trick-or-Treating with Chrissy too many of our early years, as I think we ended up with different groups of kids in our neighborhood. I do know I’d pass her in the streets and we’d compare bags of loot and be so excited!! We did, however, have a grown-up Halloween party experience during our college years. We both dressed up in some very retro outfits. Chrissy was Nancy Sinatra (those boots are made for walkin’!) and I was a Woodstock Hippie. I think we dad a smashing job on our costumes, and they were homemade to boot! Those are some good memories right there!
It is because of memories like that, I was tempted to be all Suzy Homemaker this year and sew the kids’ costumes myself. They are both going to be characters from the Harry Potter series: Harrison will be “Harry Potter” and Madalynne will be “Hermione Granger” (Harry’s good friend and fellow witch). I figured, I can sew a cape and we can snap a few branches off of the tree for their wands! Well, between my busy schedule and those weird looks I got again, I opted for some bargain hunting on the internet. I managed to get some smashingly great deals on all of the accessories I would need for their costumes. I told Harrison “NO” to the face paint for his scar…my eye liner will work wonders for that! (Again, what is with the silly faces?!) Madalynne is very happy to wear braids in her hair for school that day so we can have wavy and ratted out hair on Halloween night. I drew the line at dying her hair brown….
There is something special about a day when you don’t have to be YOU and can be whatever you want to be, even if it is just for a few hours. I think that it shouldn’t matter what age you are, if you want to have fun with a costume, let go of your worries and have fun with it! I am so happy that we are making such fun memories with our kids and I hope they are at least HALF as awesome as the memories my parents gave us as kids. Remember, your kids are only young once and you only live once, so seize the moment and have some fun!! Happy Halloween! Boo!