Perhaps the greatest Halloween gift anyone can give a 40-year-old dad like myself is a porch full of trick-or-treaters wearing costumes that I feel a connection to.
That’s not to say that I don’t respect and admire the My Little Ponies and the DJ Lance Rocks and the Justin Biebers when they show up looking for their mini-Three Musketeers (I keep all of the Snickers and Hershey bars for myself), because I most certainly do.
They are always welcome over at our joint and quite frankly, I like trying to guess who the hell they are supposed to be, even when I have no clue.
“Are you Tom Wopat from the original Dukes of Hazzard, but out of his Duke Boy clothes and wearing his warm fall pajamas instead?” I’ll ask a six year-old kid who just wants to take his bit of candy and bolt. “That’s brilliant if that’s what you’re going for here, son!”
“Nooooo,” he’ll sigh back at the old man with wine breath. “I’m Iron Man.”
“Oh,” I’ll mumble.
“You suck,” he’ll say.
And he’s right, of course.
But it’s not my fault!
I’m older now!
I never dressed up as Iron Man and neither did my friends back in the day, and yes: I try and use that as an excuse, but it’s lame and I know it. It’s just that, well, I’m behind the times now; a slightly uncool expanding man with nary a pop cultured foot to stand on.
The list of the Top 10 kid’s Halloween costumes from The National Retail Federation’s 2012 Top Halloween Costumes survey is out and SURPRISE! Lots of the old standbys are hot hot hot once again!
Can you believe it?! Costumes that even I wore back in the late ’70s are leading the charge for Halloween kids of the modern era.
Call me crazy, but I swear I’m feeling younger just thinking about it.
Fact is, this Halloween I might just answer the banging on our front door to find a bunch of long lost friends standing there waiting for me.
And from where I’m standing, that’s something to look forward to.
10. Ghost 1 of 10Barely scraping into the top ten for 2012, but still a perennial favorite amongst kids everywhere is the always spooky ghost costume!
9. Zombie 2 of 10Over the last decade, zombies have been everywhere you look on TV and in the movies. So it makes perfect sense that they are now a favorite Halloween choice for kids with an eye for the macabre.
8. Vampire 3 of 10What can you say about vampires? It would almost seem that a Halloween without them would be a huge holiday fail, huh? Luckily, these fang-toothed Princes of Darkness remain an extremely popular costume choice for young people.
7. Pirate 4 of 10Even though the heyday of the modern pirates in the news the last few years has seemed to diminish quite a bit, the old swashbuckling eye-patched sort remain as cool as ever. I can remember being a pirate a few years in a row when I was young because I just didn't want to be anything else!
6. Action/Super Heroes 5 of 10I suppose this one covers a lot of ground, since there have been a LOT of popular action hero and super hero movies over the last few years. But, I think it's so cool that a character like The Incredible Hulk, who I loved as a boy, is still making a splash in Hollywood. And on Halloween.
5. Disney Princess 6 of 10Disney and princesses really do go hand-in-hand, don't they. From Cinderella and Snow White to Pocahontas and Aurora, little children have long been enchanted by the silver screen's animated royal lasses. So, it's only natural that a Disney princess remains an extremely popular pick for kids at Halloween.
4. Witch 7 of 10This is my all-time favorite Halloween costume, even as a forty year old man. There is just something so iconic and chilling about the sight of a witch that really does capture the whole Halloween spirit. I think every kid needs to be a witch at least one year. I was one last year, all green make-up and long flowing wig, and it was one of my favorite Halloweens ever!
3. Spiderman 8 of 10I can remember watching Spiderman every Saturday morning back in the mid-70's as if he were a religion. So seeing how the franchise has remained both successful AND creative has been something very cool to witness. Halloween brings out whole herds of the webbed one, and this year looks to be no different.
2. Batman 9 of 10No super hero has ever ,or will ever, wear the King of All Super Heroes crown quite as well as Batman has worn it for like the last 50 years or something. He is both the great savior of Gotham and the most brilliantly successful cinematic hero of his genre. Thus, most kids want to be him...and they often are come Halloween.
1. Princess 10 of 10And so we come to the top of the heap, the numero uno choice amongst children for Halloween 2012. And what's not to like, right? Princesses capture the imagination like no one else. Their stories are often tragic ones turned enchanted, their magic lives touched by the hopes and dreams that reside within us all. It's a fabulous choice to want to be on Halloween, or any other night of the year, because it means that little minds are imagining and dreaming ... and that, my friends, is what it's all about.