Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

watermelonThere was always a lot of crying around our home come Halloween night. I come from a long line of Harrowing Halloween Haters, so my disdain is justifiably genetic.

Two weeks in advance, my own mother would buy the mandatory bag of Hershey’s fun size bars only to partake in a little too much fun. She would then need to replenish the bag before All Hallows’ Eve arrived. Six different times. When we’d run out of candy by 7 p.m. on the night of the actual festivities, mom simply tacked a sign on our front door stating, “At store buying Snickers.” And then another notice beneath it, “Please don’t egg our house … haven’t you heard of binge eating?”

Now that I have children of my own, there’s always the same conversation regarding this holiday and it always goes off in some bizarre tangent.  Listen . . .

Daughter: Can we decorate the outside of our house for the holiday?

Me: Why certainly.

Feeling organized, I proceed to put up exactly one pumpkin, one gobble/gobble turkey, and a token Santa Claus. Why not? Stores do it.

Daughter: But we wanted scary and evil looking things on the front door.

Me:  Sorry, Halloween was originally a Paganist celebration.  We’re not into Pagans.

Youngest Son: But I love Madagascar and Happy Feet! They’re so cute when they waddle their black and white bodies.


And don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course. I think the holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!”

We're DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

We’re DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

Costumes are also quite costly. I’m as creative as the next Martha, but shelling out $120 at Party City for a cowgirl outfit (with six-inch stiletto heeled boots, mind you!) or spending major money at Michaels craft store for supplies to make an iPhone costume is ridiculous. Anyone can do that. As far as I’m concerned, the real “Trick” in “Trick or Treating” is convincing your child they already own a fantastic costume. In their closet. And it’s free.

Last year, I had my children shove heavy textbooks inside their backpacks, announcing they were dressed-up as Straight-A Students. This season I’m trying a different tactic.

Me: Hey son, wear your black and white striped shirt to the party and be a referee. And as for you sweet girl, remember that white flower-girl dress? You’ll be a perfect Angel.

Daughter: (stamping feet) I want an Elsa costume from Frozen and I want it now.

Me: Oh good, it’s settled. You’ll go as Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka, you spoiled little brat!

As for me?  My lovely sister-in-law throws an annual (and elaborate!) costume party, refusing to let me in if I just wear a tee shirt proclaiming, “This IS my costume.” She insists on something different each and every year. Seven years ago, I bought a frilly (and versatile) little pink dress and so far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright a stuffed lamb) BUT then I gave it new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride. This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. I love repurposing.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you're trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you’re trying to be Little Bo Peep.

What a difference a veil can make - - instant Child Bride!

What a difference a veil can make – – instant Child Bride!

But next year (In keeping with my true feelings for Halloween) I’m going as a mash-up of Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch and uh….Gretel.  Why Gretel? Because I love alliteration and it works with my “Gr” theme.  But I’ll be a sultry, sexy Gretel with mini skirted, low cut bodice rags.  Watch out Hansel!

Happy Halloween.  What’s been your most creative costume?

29 thoughts on “Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

  1. The seven year repurposed costume was sheer genius in thriftiness and creativity. Laughed out loud as you described its “history.” As for next year’s get up rent or watch “Hansel And Gretel – Witch Hunters.” Make sure the kids look elsewhere while it’s on but that Gretel will help inspire both your costume design and attitude to take no prisoners come next Halloween. Enjoyed the read!


  2. Sounds very creative to me. A few bandages and you could be a mummy with six kids. No one can argue you can get quite a bit of mileage out of your costumes. One year one of the boys glued scraps and things such as eye balls, lizards ete. to a large brown paper bag and went as a bag of Grosseries. Another year two of the them were thing 1 and thing 2 and then of course dressed up as the Cat in the Hat.


  3. I am doing completely home made even down to the belt I was going to be in search of all morning on the day I am to attend a Halloween party. A suggestion was made for me and it is the perfect answer to the problem. I am going as a version of Jem (great movie despite bad reviews). I also prefer to call the Holleyday (Holleyween) for hopefully obvious reasons. Enjoyed the article and I agree why do witches need to dress sexy anyway. Opps I was a sexy witch and got an award for it. OH well maybe witches are supposed to be sexy but the good news is I made the costume out of things I already have. HAPPY HOLLEYWEEN


  4. I’m so over dressing up for Halloween. It’s fine for my kids, but enough is enough. Last year I told everyone I was going as a mom for Halloween. No points for originality these. This year I’m going to be an adverb for Halloween. Panicky, maybe. I’ll freak out while I’m passing out candy.


  5. It is so tricky trying to find an outfit for Halloween. If i do dress up, I dig out the same old witch costume I have had for years! The cobweb coat is getting a bit tatty now, and I am needing les and less makeup to look old and haggard!


  6. I’m so relieved with this post! I was beginning to think I was the only one hating on Halloween on the blogosphere and was getting concerned someone might egg my site after my recent post! Whew! This is why I adore you, Stephanie! And thanks for that Oscar the Grouch or Grinch ideas. I may just try that next year. Mwahahahha!


  7. I just hate those store bought costumes. You always have to worry if they’re even going to hold up the handful of times your child has to wear them. We’ve also been searching closets and combing thrift stores for that perfect outfit. Fortunately, the kids don’t seem to mind.


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