Happy Halloween! What are you & yours going as this year?

My memories of childhood Halloweens are so simple and happy, with none of the intensity (both positive and negative) that I associate with the bigger super-family-oriented holidays. My grandmother would take me trick-or-treating in her neighborhood, sometimes with my brother, sometimes with some of my friends. She could even be convinced to wear a costume. In later years, I’d go to a friend’s house and seek candy from there; one year, Grandma let us dye a bunch of clothes in her washing machine and sew hats in her basement so that we could go as Smurfs. And then we’d eat candy until we were totally high.

No complex family dynamics, no stressful preparations, no giving and receiving of gifts, no dirty dishes, no early rising. Just light fun, craftiness, companionship, and a good autumn walk. My kind of tradition.

This year, although I’m far away from my grandma, I did get to see her just a few weeks ago. She’ll see photos of my family on Halloween and compliment the costumes I helped make. Noah and Eric are both going as wizards. We made the costumes out of thrift-store-acquired black graduation gowns, sticks, felt (Noah really wanted a long beard), construction paper, and copious safety pins. As far as I’m concerned, if it doesn’t involve shit-tons of visible safety pins, it’s not a Halloween costume.

As for myself, the idea of designing a cold-weather-friendly, breastfeeding-friendly costume when I hardly even own clothes that fit me … well, that sounded unduly stressful. I was going to stick a tiara on my head and go as ‘me wearing a tiara and a baby’ (or perhaps ‘ensuring the royal succession’–get it? huh?), but then I forgot and couldn’t get the tiara attached to my shortish hair on the way out the door for our weekend Halloween outing, so oh well, I was just me. Last year at this time I was so, so sick; this year, I’m constantly relieved not to be nauseated. Happy Halloween to me!

What are you and yours ‘being’ for Halloween this year?

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  1. ruth
    Posted 31 October 2012 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    We have a Halloween Birthday Girl dressing up as a Pink Flower with green leggings, green leotard, green tutu (because tutus take every outfit to the next level of awesomeness) and a headband with pink felt petals wired to it thanks to the help of a crafty lady in my office. Baby Dos is a pumpkin, as chosen by her older sister. Husband and I are dressing up as ourselves this year.

    We did eat a ridiculous amount of candy, didn’t we? Good times, Smurfette, good times.
    Papa Smurf

  2. Lara
    Posted 1 November 2012 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Our Halloween is still coming up! In NJ, we’re all having Halloween this coming Monday. Second year in a row with a catastrophic storm just before Halloween; this year I’m lucky enough to be the person with power, hosting friends and relatives, rather than dropping my kids with friends and trying to figure out if we can still sleep at home. My kids have been picking video game characters the last couple of years (Sonic and Baby Sonic last year), and started thinking along those lines again this year, so I steered them toward an Ipod game I think is nice, called Dragonvale. Kind of like Farmville, but you are a wizard who raises dragons. I think of Halloween costumes as an opportunity for some free-form creativity, so we ordered wire and tulle and feathers from Joanne, and made Blazing Dragon wings. I add (cloth) claws to some cheap gloves from target, they’ll wear their red and orange raincoats with the hoods up, and voila! Blazing dragons. My husband and I will be the wizards. That’s pretty easy — swaths of cloth from Joanne for the cloaks, I made one hat from paper covered with cloth, and converted last year’s witch’s hat with some gold wrapping paper starts and moons. I love working without a pattern, and seeing what emerges. And I feel like it’s good for my kids to see me do this kind of project once in a while. It involves lots of wrong turns, finding a different approach, turning a mistake into a costume feature, etc.

  3. Orchid
    Posted 1 November 2012 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    When I moved to New Zealand 5 years ago, I was surprised to learn that Halloween is considered an American holiday. Few neighbourhoods get trick-or-treaters and Halloween parties are scarce. I miss it a lot as I feel similarly: it’s the best, least fraught holiday. No religion, no questionable patriotism, no obligatory family gatherings. Halloween is about playing dress up, it’s about creativity. And candy, of course. Lots and lots of candy.

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