Ewoks and Cowboys

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween costumes are getting more elaborate. No, they're getting more expensive. More expensive and less creative.

Some of the children who came to our door this year wore costumes they (or their parents) put together. But many wore something their parents purchased off the rack. And where is the fun in that?

When I was a child, my brothers and I always dressed up and went trick-or-treating, but spending money on a costume was never an option. Instead, we looked at what we had lying around to see what we could create.

That's what my children experienced, too. Caroline was four months old on her first Halloween, so we passed that one up. But when she was a year old, she went as an Ewok from one of the Star Wars movies. The costume was very simple. Caroline had a stuffed Ewok toy, and we simply took the hood from the animal and put it on her. I made ears out of cardboard, and we dressed her in tan and brown clothing. That's my charming Ewok in the first picture.

The next year Caroline went as a policewoman. Wearing blue clothes, we decked her out with a whistle and handcuffs we already had, a cheap hat (probably cardboard) that we got from somewhere, and a tin sheriff's star.

Then there were two. Kids, I mean. Unlike Caroline, John "dressed up" and went trick-or-treating his first year. He got the short end of the deal, however, as we simply put him in a blue outfit and called him a sailor. (And no candy went into his toothless mouth.) I put most of my effort into Caroline's red hood, which I made from material I already had. Add a dress and an Easter basket, and she was the perfect Little Red Ridinghood.

Okay, I admit it. I did spend a little money on occasion. The last picture shows Caroline in a dragon costume I bought. But it wasn't a plastic costume off the rack. I went to a fabric store and purchased material with the pattern stamped on it. I still had to cut it out and sew it, though. And John's cowboy costume was our typical use-what-you-already-have-type, taking advantage of accessories (the horse and the hat) that we already owned.

I guess I can understand busy parents who rush out and buy something at the store, but half of the fun of Halloween is coming up with an idea and making it work. Creating a costume is a lot more time-consuming, but it's also a lot more fun (not to mention cheaper).

Don't you agree?

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