It’s Halloween, and in my opinion, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. The decorations! The candy! The weird front yard art installations that border on psychotic! Who doesn’t love a green lit, approval stamped opportunity to dress up and bring on your weird? But like all festive holidays, there is always something that has the potential to threaten the joy in one’s celebratory heart. Anyone who has had to sit on the knee of a Santa in a plastic suit knows exactly what I mean.
Listen, I’m not suggesting that purchased costumes are going to destroy Halloween but more that they… you know… kind of suck.
Okay, HOLD ON, I hear you. Your baby is 11 weeks old and you’ve been given 8 hand-me-down baby costumes. You’re tired, and frankly, your stitches haven’t healed. Am I suggesting you pull out your sewing machine and MAKE a costume? Absolutely not, you do whatever you need to do because as I’ve said in many other blog posts, the universe should be circling around you and your needs. Stick that baby in a felt hotdog and be on your way (Or do nothing but watch another episode of Scandal, your call).
Parents with older kids? Let’s discuss.
Please ponder the following enthusiastic statements and consider which is more enticing:
1. “I’ve ordered my costume and it’s supposed to arrive any day now!”
2. “I came up with an awesome costume idea and I’m almost finished making it!”
Clearly #2 relies on creativity and sweat, while option #1 relies quite heavily on FedEx. As we all know, both are not 100% reliable but at least one of them feels earned.
So in my attempt to convince the world that making costumes is good for humanity, I’ve come up with this list of my top 10 reasons why you should seriously consider making your halloween costumes:
1. Because you can’t actually shop on-line for a costume idea for a kid without seeing the “sexy” version. Please try it and be annoyed for the rest of the day. Honestly, this is exactly what it looks like:
2. Last year I saw a 5 year old girl decked out in a dirty face, overalls and carrying a broom. When I asked her what she was she told me she was a chimney sweep… with a FAKE ENGLISH ACCENT. BRILLIANT.
3. When I was 12, my hometown BFF and I went as Peanut Butter and Jam. For what seemed like weeks, we spent countless hours drawing handmade peanuts and strawberries on construction paper and stapling our jars made of, well, more construction paper. The second we walked out the door the wind literally tore the costumes right off us and we were stuck Trick or Treating as a banana and a sad clown. It was a sad day indeed, but the hours we spent together bonded us as friends and decades later we still laugh over it. If we had purchased these costumes we wouldn’t have this great story to re-tell at least once a year (to each other, no one else cares). Yes, our failed homemade costumes were terrible. But I also learned two other things that night: That borrowed last minute clown wigs are frightening and a yellow track suit does not a banana make.
4. Because when you fall down (or are pushed down) people will help you up. One year I turned a paper box into the coolest looking TV set ever. My inventive cardboard (yes a pattern) costume had painted wood moldings and creative knobs. Only problem was if I fell over which I seemed to do every few minutes I could not get up: Just two little legs panicking like an upside down lady bug. My friends kept me upright (awww!!!) and helped me destroy my costume at the end of the night. A creative knob indeed.
5. Watching your husband use a sewing machine is super hot. Full disclosure: I don’t sew, but my husband does. I also recommend cranking up the heat so he has to sew topless:
6. Once you get creative with your kids’ costumes you’ll want to start making your own, or better yet go as a “family costume.” This is the sixth year we’ve all gone in costume together and it’s lovely. I especially loved Pageant Parents, which was a great compromise since my girls were begging to be Princesses. Princesses who had too much makeup on, but good times had by all.
7. You’ll save $$$. You can only really go one way with a purchased costume and that is going to cost you. If you’re going to purchase something plastic and hideous then please opt for the chimney sweep idea and have your child go as Dick Van Dyke with a terrible cockney accent. I love you Dick. I love you even more, Mary Poppins:
8. Because we live in a world where this can be purchased:
9. Because being creative increases your endorphine levels and in turn makes you live longer. Okay, I’m no scientist and I may be stretching it with this one but enjoying your costume must have health benefits… especially if you had to make it AND if you dressed as Siegfried from Siegfried and Roy and made your two year old jump through a hoop for candy:
10. And lastly, have you ever noticed your child would rather play with the cardboard box than the actual toy? Trust me, they’ve been preparing themselves to make a cardboard costume their entire life. You can do it!
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