My parents created some pretty great Halloween costumes back in the day — sewing gauze bandages onto long johns to make me into a mummy, or stuffing me full of hay when I went trick or treating as a scarecrow. My mom usually handled the clothes while my dad was the makeup man, until at some point in middle school I took over the operation. I made a mean Joker, and one year in high school I went as a character from Monty Python’s “Find the Fish” sketch.
That’s right, I was one of those teens who went trick-or-treating in high school. I love making things, dressing up, and theater, and so Halloween has always ranked as one of my favorite holidays. Sure, I dig chocolate as much as the next guy, but the spectacle and the celebration of creativity have always appealed to me more than the candy.
Since Felix came on the scene four years ago, my wife and I have gotten into themed costumes. Themes give us the opportunity to make things together, and then, when we accompany Felix on his trick-or-treating rounds, we feel a sense of family pride. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
Well, all but one year — at two, Felix said he wanted to be “blue,” which really meant he wanted to wear a red cape, if you can figure that one out. Toddlers! He didn’t quite get the concept of Halloween. So my wife and I went as Elvis Costello and Patti Smith circa 1977 (from the covers of This Year’s Model and Horses, respectively), and Felix was none the wiser.
At four, Felix is pretty excited for Halloween. We’re going as characters from Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. My wife will be Kiki, the witch, Felix her black cat companion, and I’m going to go as the broomstick. We don’t have pictures of that yet, but I do have pictures of our costumes from previous years, and I’ve scoured the Internet to find some of the best family themed costumes out there. Here’s hoping they provide some inspiration!