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15 Years of Halloween: A Look Back in Pictures

A few weeks ago, the girls were discussing Halloween and planning their costumes — for next year. This year’s costumes were decided long ago. That’s how my girls are. They decide on something and stick with it, which is awesome for this frugal mom.

I have been able to purchase Halloween costumes on clearance an entire year before. I also have a full year to prep for any DIY that may be required. I was laughing with them about how often that has actually worked, when Lorelai asked me to name all of her costumes.

She’s had 6, so far, so it wasn’t that challenging. Then, the teen dared me to name all of hers. She’s had a few more costumes so it was quite a challenge. I only forgot one, but it really made me nostalgic, especially when I realized this was her 15th Halloween.

She’ll be 15 in just a few months, and this was probably the last year I’ll have all 3 of my girls home for the evening. The teen made noises about hanging with friends tonight, but I convinced her it was a bad idea on a school night. Next year, though, I’m probably in for more of a discussion.

Until then, here’s a look back at our 15 years of Halloween — 15 years, 3 girls, and 32 costumes.


  • Duck! 1 of 15
    Duck!
    The hubby chose her very 1st costume. He thought it would be hilarious to yell, "Duck!" when people opened the door. He was not wrong.
  • Queen Amidala 2 of 15
    Queen Amidala
    The very next year, little miss had her own opinions. She was going to be "Keen Dala" for Halloween. To our dismay, this would be her one and only year in the Star Wars stage.
  • Cinderella 3 of 15
    Cinderella
    This was the 1st of 3 Cinderellas we would have. Oh, yes. They have each donned this classic princess dress for Halloween.
  • Peanut M&M 4 of 15
    Peanut M&M
    Um, I don't even know what to say about this one. She wanted to go shop for her costume that year, and this caught her eye.
  • Evil Witch 5 of 15
    Evil Witch
    This is not just any witch. Not my kid! She was the Evil Witch of Evilness. The dress was the very same one I wore as a 4-year-old witch. The cape was newly made by Grandma.
  • Swan Lake Barbie & Her Pegasus 6 of 15
    Swan Lake Barbie & Her Pegasus
    The Pegasus costume was purchased on clearance while I was still pregnant. The Swan Lake costume was actually a very expensive dance costume that would have gone completely unworn due to a certain little girl who ended ballet before the recital. With Swan Lake Barbie super popular that year, I had the brilliant idea to pair the two for one completely free Halloween!
  • Bird & Lady Bug 7 of 15
    Bird & Lady Bug
    The lady bug was also purchased on clearance the year before. The hideous bird was hand selected by my then-6-year-old because they would match. Mostly, though, it was because the ugly bird costume chirped when you pressed a button.
  • The Mismatched Year 8 of 15
    The Mismatched Year
    This was the year of the princess for our middle daughter. It was the year she announced that she would only wear dresses, because princesses do not wear pants. It took me 4 years to get her into a pair of jeans. The oldest was uninterested in matching, for the first time, and was insistent on being an unraveling mummy. Which is good as that's the only kind I know how to make.
  • The Princess Year 9 of 15
    The Princess Year
    I got another match out of them this year, but only by coincidence. The middle child was definitely going to be a princess, so when the oldest also chose a princess, the baby's costume was a no-brainer.
  • Classic Halloween 10 of 15
    Classic Halloween
    This is not a great picture, due to the tired, fussy baby who would not let go of the pacifier. Which is okay because both of her sisters also had pacifiers. They were a baby vampire, baby witch, and a baby ghost. Whatever.
  • Angelic But Not 11 of 15
    Angelic But Not
    The youngest found a pumpkin fairy costume on clearance the year before — and was still madly in love with it by Halloween. B was — what else? — a princess. This time she went with Ariel. The oldest couldn't find anything she liked, so I devised a way to revamp her jr. bridesmaid dress as an devilish angel.
  • Zombie Hippie, Vampire Princess, and the Butterfly 12 of 15
    Zombie Hippie, Vampire Princess, and the Butterfly
    The oldest, once again all about the very specfific, ridiculous costumes, went as a zombie hippie. We pretty much had all of that already. The middle wanted to be a vampire princess (duh) so we reused our previous vampire dress and added a crown. I only bought one costume that year — a tutu and butterfly wings.
  • The Disney Year 13 of 15
    The Disney Year
    I put my foot down and insisted upon Disney-related costumes for our trip to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. So, so worth it. The tween was, naturally, a princess. Belle is one of the few she hadn't tried yet. The little one couldn't wait to be Tinkerbelle. It was only the almost-teen who struggled with an idea. Until she found the very expensive, I-swear-I'll-wear-it-more-than-once Mad Hatter costume in a catalog. (Spoiler Alert: she doesn't)
  • Prisoner, Zombie, Fancy Nancy 14 of 15
    Prisoner, Zombie, Fancy Nancy
    This was another inexpensive year. The teen bought her own costume after the Mad Hatter lost it's appeal — a black & white striped dress she has worn many time since, along with a few prisoner's accessories. The tween went as a zombie princess by dirtying up a few things we had lying around. The youngest had one of our most fun costumes. Grandma made her the Fancy Nancy dress, and we seriously fancied it up. She wore it again for her Fancy Nancy tea party on her birthday.
  • The Final Year 15 of 15
    The Final Year
    This year everyone surprised me! The teen really did wear a costume again. This time, her black and white dress (now a shirt &mdash ;oh my!) worked well as a referree. Well, a replacement ref, since she doesn't know the rules either. The youngest dug out her butterfly tutu (a little worse for wear!) and insisted she would be a ballerina. (For the record, she also insisted on doing her own hair.) And, the tween did a complete 180 — that's no princess. She's pure hobo. Please note the grammatically correct sign. I love my geeks!

I believe the tween still has a few more princesses to go, but next year she plans to be Smurfette. I’ll be anxiously waiting the little one’s decision. She should have hers all picked out by tomorrow morning.

Follow Heather on Twitter, Pinterest, and her blogs.

More from Heather:
The One Where I — Gasp! — Buy Halloween Costumes

More on Babble.com:
Kids’ Finance Lessons from Your Halloween Candy
The Halloween Candy Tax

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