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  • Halloween

    September 22, 2007

    Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween?  Apparently not according to retailers. But if you go by the retailers, I should probably be putting up my Christmas tree.

    Anyway, back to Halloween.  Halloween is not a big thing for me, I could take it or leave it frankly, but for several months now, Sean has been saying he wants to dress up as a pirate for Halloween.  So being the over-involved, over-engaged mother that I am, I have been looking at pirate costumes at said local retailers and oh my goodness! – $30! No way people.  And it’s not just the money, it’s the principal.  You know whenever someone says it’s the principal, it’s the money.  Only cheap people stand on principal. And that would be me. Not that there is anything wrong with it. Disclaimer, etc.

    When I was growing up, and given that was a few years back, we made our own costumes and that was half the fun.  We’d go through the Goodwill bag (which was ironic since most of our stuff came from Goodwill) and cobble together an outfit of sorts and then we’d crowd around the bathroom mirror and draw blood on our face with a tube of mom’s old lipstick. No matter what you were going as, it required a trickle of lipstick blood — and there is nothing more frightening than Raggedy Ann with a facial flesh wound. 

    So I’m undecided on the pirate costume – to make or to buy. To make one would require a substantial amount of effort on my part that could be better spent sitting.  To buy one would mean spending $30 that could be better spent on me. 

    Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, do you make or buy costumes for you/your kids? What did you go as when you were a kid? Did you buy or make your costume? What’s your favorite Halloween candy?  Or just make up your own Halloween question and answer it.  I’m flexible.  

    69 Comments »

    1. Julie says:

      So many questions!!

      We don’t really celebrate Halloween, but we usually attend a Fall Festival or two. Don’t want the kids feeling too left out.

      I usually make costumes for the kids. Not only do I sew, but I am obnoxiously crafty. I really get into doing things like that. I make my princess of a daughter costumes to wear to the grocery store all year long – as much for her as to embarrass my older son.

      When I was a kid I was everything from a witch to a bunny to a lemon. Yes, one year I actually wore all yellow and claimed to be a lemon. Not feeling particularly creative that year, I guess.

      As for my favorite Halloween candy, I’m going with the 16 piece Halloween Gift Box from Godiva.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 11:00 am

    2. bonniebeth says:

      Buy it.
      With my first three children, I was SuperMom who designed great costumes out of whatever we had at home or crafted (I don’t sew) out of sweat suits with paints,etc – made a great dalmation costume one year.
      With these last two, my grandchildren that I am raising , I don’t have time (patience) for any of the crafting anymore – so I buy them whatever costume they want (within reason). To my surprise these costumes have become some of their favorite items of play year round. Be it Woody or Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman or Batman, I have more than got my money’s worth out of these costumes. Their imaginations come alive when they puton a costume and it keeps them entertained for hours.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 11:22 am

    3. Terri says:

      Last year we went to a couple of Fall Festivals where the kids could dress up. My oldest wanted to be an ice princess and my youngest wanted to be a mermaid. I opted to make the costumes which did require a sizable time investment, but it was cheaper and the costumes turned out to the girls satisfaction. I usually avoid buying a full price costume before Halloween, but I will buy them when they go on clearance after Halloween. I’ve gotten some cute costumes for dress-up that way and the girls have used some of them for the following years Halloween, provided they still fit.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 11:30 am

    4. liz says:

      My son and the neighbor kid came home every day after school for probably three years and changed into a costume so I’d definitely spend the money. Their favorites were pirates, Batman and Power Rangers. I couldn’t save them for my future grandchildren because they were literally shredded. I ended up with a pile of laundry for the neighbor every time I washed because they had heard that pirates don’t wear underwear so they’d strip them off before putting on a costume. My son loved pirates so much that we decorated his room with pirate wallpaper. That was a sad day when he got too old for pirates and I had to strip it off.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 11:41 am

    5. motomom says:

      Be creative… it’s much more fun. When the kids were too young to object(even in utero) I shopped the Hawlloween clearance racks for the next year. As they got older we used what they had – at 3 and 5 they had western boots and my daughter had a westernish skirt and top, my son jeans and a westerinsh shirt add a dollar tree cowboy hat and voile a one dollar costume. I keep my eye out year round for items that can be used for dress-up. My kids are both in middle school this year attending a school focusing on the arts which means we need a variety of costumes available for classes such as theatre and filmaking – my daughter also has had to dress up in character (an englishman and an Italian immigrant) for social studies presentations a quick trip to my closet and Goodwill and she was in character. I also have a box filled with capes, hats, makeup they will never be allowed to wear in public, and anything else that could be turned into a costume. I keep an eye out year round for items to be added – the dollar store is my favorite place to pick up hats and bags and boas.
      Back to your pirate dilema – take an old t-shirt of yours or your husbands and cut the bottom to make it sort of fringed, add a black belt, a bandana on Alex’s head, an eye patch, fake moustache, cut off pants and sandals. You could easily make a vest out of felt.
      Good luck and post pictures!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 11:51 am

    6. where the boys are says:

      Ooo – I love Halloween. I love a holiday that requires putting on a costume and begging for and/or giving away candy. My boys have always enjoyed the dressing up aspect. Costumes are very important in our house. When they were young I usually bought costumes – the Barney costume was actually used by all three boys so we really got our money’s worth out of that one. As they have gotten older, they enjoy creating and making their own. A couple of years ago I provided them with some discounted, remnant fabric from Wal*Mart, a stapler and a glue gun (I don’t sew!) and they all made
      costumes for “Lord of the Ring” characters. We added a few plastic swords and accessories and they looked great! It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to use their imaginations. Our only rule about costumes is that they can’t be anything from the occult. Otherwise, they can go where ever their imaginations can take them. Have fun with the pirate costume. Arggh, matey!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    7. Veronica says:

      Aw, c’mon. A bandana on the head, an eye-patch, old jeans and boots and voila! He’s a pirate! Throw in a hook or a sword and it’s perfect.

      My favorite costume when I was a kid was a black sack with eye-holes, and an axe. I was an executioner. It was my mother’s idea. We were an unusual household.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    8. france59 says:

      I don’t have any children…but I live vicariously through you. So, I have never had to make the decision you are now wrestling with. However, I had a mother who made all of our costumes. And I look back on those wonderful forays through magical worlds with fondness. I sashayed my way through trick-or-treating as a southern belle with a coat-hanger hoop skirt tucked under a wonderful floral and lace gown. I cackled as a wicked witch and my brother was the devil (I thought that was his most appropriate costume when I was younger). Each costume she made was such a work of art. Now, as an adult, each year I dress up to give out candy. I think my costume days will continue to my retirement!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    9. Mattie says:

      I don’t like halloween…that said, we do a fun game at church for the kids and they dress up. One year I bought all the stuff and a good seamstress friend made the costume. But my real suggestion is this: go to the goodwill or local second-hand store for kids clothes. They will have costumes that have only been worn once for a very reasonable price. I have actually bought handmade costumes for a couple of dollars before. So, you get the creative, cheap, very little time spent solution.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    10. TammyM. says:

      It kills me to pay for halloween costumes….but it is the best play dollars spent, because all of my kids would wear their costumes until they outgrew them for dress up. The sizes normally span a couple of years wear like 4-6. 6-8, I would never know if I would be seeing a power ranger, batman, spidey, a pirate around the corner in my house. My kids LOVE to dress up, and what better way for them to use their imaginations long after halloween (or fall festival time) is over.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    11. Sarah S. says:

      I’m all over the cut up t-shirt idea, though one time I made the cutest Captain Hook outfit EVER. But you would easily spend $30 on supplies to MAKE a precious costume, especially if you require a pattern, like I always do. Card and Party always has make-up, patches, and any other costume accessories you may need/ want.

      My kids “celebrate” if you call dressing up and mooching candy from our church function celebrating! But (THANKFULLY) they are getting too old for that. The past few years we’re pretty much anything we can find around here — basketball player, cowgirl, etc. However, I whole-heartedly agree that a store-bought costume would get donned again and again!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    12. Susan J. says:

      I don’t really like Halloween, but the boys do. They love dressing up as their favorite characters. When they were younger, it was worth it to spend a little extra money on a costume because they would wear it many times through the year. Like to the grocery store or where ever we happened to be going.

      That said, our VBS had a pirate theme this year and on the last night the kids all dressed as pirates. I cut off some old jeans and frayed the legs. They wore t-shirts and bandana “dew rags” on their heads.

      Unless he specifically wants to be Jack Sparrow, you probably caould pull together a pirate costume.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    13. Magi says:

      This is our first Halloween with our daughter. She, of course, has no clue, but we’re looking forward to it. I ended up buying her two costumes. The one I really wanted, and a backup. The reason I ended up with two is because I bought them on Ebay, and my second favorite was ending first. I ended up spending about $20 total for both.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    14. chilihead says:

      Oh, girl, this one deserves its own post at my site. You know how I get about Halloween. We brought down the moving boxes of stuff last night and we’re unpacking today. We may even have enough time to decorate if we’re efficient.

      Costumes: make. Especially a pirate one. I have stuff I can send to help you out. Seriously. Pirates were/are HUGE around here.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    15. Amanda says:

      As a kid my grandmother would make my costume. She would always start early too because she had several to make!!!

      I do not make my son’s costumes. I buy them! After Halloween, costumes go on tremendous sales. Sometimes you can buy them for 75% off… and that is what I do. I buy several at that price and throw them in my son’s toybox… and he plays dress up ALL year long! I buy one size larger than he is in now and usually by the next Halloween, he will have one that isn’t too messed up to use.. that’s my trick.

      Also, go to ebay! (especially after Halloween) because people will sale there costumes cheap just to get rid of them!

      Amanda 🙂

      September 22nd, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    16. Jen says:

      Make it:

      Cut the ends off an old pair of sweats: black, blue, brown… doesn’t matter. Just make them raggedy at the ends

      Get a red bandanna, an eyepatch, and some sort of sword accessory, (I guess this is buying)

      Put him in one of your plain white T’s and blouse it out around the pants with one of your brown belts.

      Really, if you have him going door to door saying, “Rrrr MATEY! Me wants some treats!” He’ll be a hit no matter what.

      But then again, I totally understand buying. Be glad he’s asking to be a pirate. I asked, (begged), to be a toothbrush one year. Yeah, it was a GREAT costume, but I know it caused my mom some grief.

      Good luck!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    17. jane says:

      Our Dollar Tree has pirate costumes for (yep you guessed it)$1. What could that cheap pirate costume possibly be comprised of, you might ask. Well, for instance, it contains, pants (made of a paper like product, but it is cute tied with a belt worn over black shorts), a vest (made of the same paper like product, and once again it is adorable over a white T-shirt), a red bandana, and an eye patch. Pretty clever if you ask me. You can also purchase a plastic sword for, once again $1.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    18. aggiema says:

      Since he wants to be a pirate I would definitely make the costume. Shred the legs of some jeans, an old t-shirt and a bandanna. Then you can add accessories like a plastic sword, fake jewelry, etc… If he wanted to be something complicated like a transformer or spiderman, then by all means buy it! Definitely check out the dollar store but go early! Some of my best costumes were homemade but I had some great store bought ones too. Rest assured whatever way you go, Sean will love his costume!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    19. Robbie says:

      Money spent on costumes has been the best money spent hands down at our house. Costumes get daily use!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    20. kittyhox says:

      When I was little my mother made all my costumes. And matching costumes for my four Cabbage Patch dolls, too.

      So I have high standards.

      Last year, my son’s first Halloween, I was going to make a costume. I have one of her old sewing machines which, keep in mind, I had not ever used up to that point.

      So imagine my surprise when she came waltzing through the door with a beautiful storebought pumpkin costume! She said that, believe her, it would be a lot more trouble than it was worth and I couldn’t make anything cuter, with my non-existant sewing skills.

      So I say buy a costume. The one I’m buying for my 16 month old son is $40-something dollars. Yikes!

      But if you’re a great seamstress and creative, love sewing, etc… Make something.

      Robbie’s right. He’ll probably wear that pirate costume all year!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    21. Skip says:

      Last year two of our grandchildren (ages 5 and 9) visited us during Halloween. As an activity, my wife helped them make their own costumes.

      Nine-year old Hope made a witch’s costume out of some old black clothes and scarves in Grammy’s closet and drawers. She liberally applied Grammy’s makeup to her face. Her pointed hat was made out of black paper and Scotch tape. No effort was made to hide the tape. There were several gaps between the brim and the cone.

      During the Fall Festival at a local church, she took first place in her age group beating out all the “bought” stuff. Hers was original.

      First prize? All the candy she wanted from a wash tub full of candy. Needless to say, there was a sugar high for weeks back at home.

      Hope, being Hope, volunteered to share her candy generously with her 7-year-old brother recovering from an eye injury at home. He couldn’t go out.

      Sean will learn to buy stuff soon enough. He won’t learn from a fine artist to do things for himself much longer. They grow up fast.

      The costume doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be his.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    22. Tracy says:

      I made the pirate costume last year (because of that darn pirate movie costumes in the store were so much)! I took one of my husbands white oxfords and used one of my belts at my four year old’s waist. I used hair ties at his elbows so I could bunch up the sleeves (think Seinfeld puffy shirt!) and then cut a jagged triangle pattern off the bottom of some of his old sweatpants. All I bought was the kit that had a hat, patch, and hook! I’m going to throw together costumes as long as I can (as long as it takes for him to notice)!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    23. Beck says:

      We do Halloween in a BIG way at our place – we decorate our house, we throw a party, we eye up pumpkins for MONTHS, we do crafts and oh YEAH we make our own costumes! But my husband was a costume designer for a long time, so I have a bit of a head-up in that department.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    24. Babystepper says:

      I still don’t know what to do about Halloween. I just know I’m very annoyed with our local Wal-mart for their nasty man-ripping-his-head-off toy that greets unwary young toddlers and their mothers as they enter.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    25. Misslionheart says:

      Buy! Not cheap, but easy and used time and time again.

      My 6yr old found a witches outfit in the attic and was wearing it during the Summer holidays!

      We go out twice on Hallowe’en night. We do the houses on our estate then down to Grandmas in Dublin (40 mins away) and do it again, there. The kids *love* it!

      I decorate the window with cobwebs, spiders, a big pumpkin, bats drawn on the glass in black paint (washable of course) and fill a basket of goodies to leave by the door for our goulish visitors. Even the light bulb above the front door changes to orange!

      I think I enjoy Hallowe’en more than the little ones. Can’t wait!

      September 22nd, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    26. Teri says:

      Babystepper….me too!! My three year old foster son was a total basket case yesterday after seeing that. I kept telling him it wasn’t real but it was real to him & that turned him into a clingy, wailing, OCDing little sugar booger. Not a fun way to shop for groceries.
      The costume thing…….Thrift stores. Salvation Army, Once Upon A Child, Church thrifts….all great places to get costumes. Don’t forget garage sales either. I bought what I thought was every possible Disney Princess Costume from one last summer for a $1.50 each. My little Princess has had a ball. Now this year she wants to be Tinkerbelle. The one costume they didn’t have.
      Our church doesn’t promote Halloween but we have a Angel Safe night. We have Trunk & Treating, where the adults sit in the parking lot & pass out candy from our trunks to the kids. It was wonderful last year.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    27. pam says:

      Halloween is a favourite holiday around our home. We decorate inside and out. I make ‘special’ treat bags for our children’s neighbourhood friends.(Spending around $15 on each treat bag) I know thats nuts. It is VERY important to me that my kids have the most adorable costumes. I’ve bought my son’s already, on EBay, a racecar driver suit. For my one year old daughter I’ve been eying up a fairy costume at The Childrens Place. For my older daughter I just don’t know yet. What ever you decide ~~ have fun!!(and post pictures)

      September 22nd, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    28. Jeana says:

      We don’t do Halloween, but we have gone to Fall Festivals some years and I’ve been known to pick up costumes on clearance to give as Christmas gifts, for dress up. (For some reason toy manufacturers seem to think that only little girls who wear a 3T like to play dress up.) So many of the costumes are so cheaply made now, that I wouldn’t want to pay $30 for one. If you think he will use it to play dress up in the future, it might be worth your time to make a more durable one that will last him.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    29. The Small Scribbler says:

      Once I was a flute. Wrapped head to toe in chicken wire covered over generously with rolls and rolls of tin foil. All of the keys drawn on with permanent marker. I wore a tape recorder around my waist that played flute music. The two little eye holes didn’t really do the trick though.

      My own children are not quite so classy on Halloween but their vision is 20/20. This does a bit to ease mother guilt.

      Kate

      September 22nd, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    30. Marie says:

      I bet you can get some pirate-esque stuff at the dollar store… I’d just put something together. Nothing fancy! Kids are easy.

      So far, I’ve made out with garage sale costumes. This will be our second year in the Pooh suit. I’m hoping it still fits! And it hasn’t dawned on my son yet (3 1/2) that he can tell me what he wants to be. (shhh!) He has been asking about trick-or-treaters since last Halloween though!

      I remember being a gypsy, a hobo… and there was the awesome witch costume that my sisters and I all wore. And there was a pilgrim suit that made the rounds too (the only one I remember my mother sewing).

      Candy? Anything with chocolate. And DOWN with MaryJanes! Those things should be outlawed.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    31. helenel says:

      Ugh! It absolutely kills me that I don’t have the time or the skill to make my three-year-old twins’ Halloween costumes! My mother made ALL of mine and I cherish them so much. I did actually splurge on a Captain Hook costume for my son this year, without the sword or hook (but he ROCKS the hat!) and I did Sleeping Beauty (Princess Aurora) for my daughter. I feel like such a sell-out, and I hate that the princess costumes have a picture of the princess on it – although I guess not everyone knows Sleeping Beauty is the pink one. The Jasmine one for this year is gorgeous, but they don’t make the smallest sizes because of choking hazards (lots of coin/dangly things).

      September 22nd, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    32. Dawn says:

      We do celebrate Halloween. I love it. I have bought all my kids’ costumes except one. I’m not very crafty, but I saw a scarecrow costume in a magazine that was really easy to make (except sewing the hat) and it was the best costume out of any my kids have worn. I got a lot of compliments on it. I will not pay over $15 for a costume. I like my kids to be something different each year, no repeats, but last year my second wanted to be what my first was the year before, so that saved some money, and this year my third might be what my second was two years ago, again, another savings. I would prefer her to be something pretty like a princess, but she is scared of any costume except a pumpkin, so a pumpkin she may be. I sometimes buy the costumes really early, or really late when they are on sale. You do risk them being sold out, but we’ve never had a problem. My favorite Halloween candy is anything chocolate. Unfortunately my kids’ favorite candy is chocolate, too, so it makes sneaking it and having them not notice somewhat difficult.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    33. Jill says:

      I see everyone else has left a paragraph of answers. I am just going to share with you my key to Halloween costumes. Ebay, Ebay, Ebay. Also, garage sales, garage sales, garage sales. I never pay full price. This year I may try and make my own, but I am a little scared.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    34. Nancy says:

      I did pirate with my boys often….just do a cheap eye patch…a scarf around the head (since Pirates of the Carribean, you can find skull caps) and a toy sword through the belt. done. easy. fun. By the way I love Halloween…I think it is great fun and innocent, a great chance to use imaginations. Have fun and if all else fails, throw money to the wind! 🙂

      September 22nd, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    35. Lilly says:

      I agree with Nancy above. Pirate is easy to do yourself. Just buy the cheap eye patch and sword. (Just saw a pirate sword at ToysRUs for $2.99) and the rest can be old clothes torn and tied etc. Paint a good scar on his face and teach ’em to say ‘Arggggh.’

      September 22nd, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    36. MrsJLW says:

      From one who stands on priciple to another, we prefer the term “frugal” over “cheap.”

      😉

      Don’t do halloween here.

      September 22nd, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    37. Shannon says:

      This is our son’s 3rd Halloween and while we don’t do the trick or treating thing, we do go to our church’s Fall Festival. It seems to work out that we have switched off years as to what we do about the costume. The first year, I was one of those silly moms who drug their just months old child out in a pumpkin costume. Paid full price, but couldn’t help to cuteness! Last year, son wanted to be Bob the Builder. We spent little to nothing as we had a flannel shirt and enough tools to sink/build a boat. This year, I will fork over the $25 for the Veggie Tales costume he can’t stop talking about. I feel like, if it saves you time and you can afford it, go for it!
      I am partial to those pumpkins that taste like candy corn…

      September 22nd, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    38. Etta says:

      We try not to mention the H-word at our house, but when the neighbors have giant blow up pumpkins and ghosts on their lawn, it’s hard to ignore. So we just say, we don’t celebrate Halloween, we celebrate Fall. By dressing up and going to our church’s Fall Festival. I think my 4-year old might be catching onto the similarities, though. But he hasn’t mentioned trick-or-treating yet, thank goodness.

      I try to make my kids’ costumes, but I am such a perfectionist/details person that it usually ends up costing more than if I bought one. But making it is part of the fun. I try to encourage my son to be something that no one else will be. So instead of being Spiderman as he originally said, he’s going to be Leo from Little Einsteins or Superwhy from PBS. Both fairly easy costumes to make, but I doubt I’ll get out for less than $30.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 12:04 am

    39. Moira says:

      I’m cheating this year. My 2 year old son and 3 year old daughter will be in a wedding next weekend. I’m making her dress and I spent $35 on a tux for my son. Halloween: A Princess and James Bond! Woo!

      September 23rd, 2007 at 1:51 am

    40. Allan F says:

      ARRRR! Some ideas from a veteran pirate …

      A pirate costume is relatively easy to make from scratch since there is no exact right-or-wrong, as there is when modeling a TV/movie character. Other readers have given specific ideas for pants and shirt.

      Remember that a pirate should NOT be “handsome” while he comandeers an unsuspecting merchant ship. This is Sean’s chance to be Ugly And Proud! (A Pretty Pirate is a Wussy Pirate … and he shall be made walk the plank!)

      The plastic sword/eyepatch/hook-hand/earring are a dollar each, or even less as a set. A bandana or a cloth sash can be had for even less than that. (You must have a clip-on “hoop” earring to loan the boy, as well a scarlet-red sash.)

      As an adult I dress up as a pirate once every few years. I have a stuffed-toy parrot whom I secure onto my shoulder. A few eyars back I found a wooden jewelry box that’s in the shape of a Treaure Chest. One Halloween I bought a pound of chocolate “gold coins” and placed the chest in the lobby at work. (And since I handle payroll, I enclosed a gold coin with each paycheck!) The treasure chest is now my everyday jewelry box, holding my tie-tacks/cuff-links/watches … a couple of clip-on hoop earrings, of course!

      I can’t wait to see a photo of Pirate Sean and his stolen (begged-from-the-neighbors) booty!

      September 23rd, 2007 at 3:10 am

    41. Kacey says:

      When my children were young, I went all out with my sewing machine and made wonderful things — even made a huge H.R. Puffinstuff costume out of chickenwire and paper-mache. My daughter continued the tradition with very eloaborate costumes. What bothers me is that the world now celebrates Halloweeen with as much importance as Christmas — and it is in honor of witches and warlocks. We all know what the Bible says about that sort of thing, but I hate it that it is mixed in with the fun little kids have going door to door for treats.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 9:33 am

    42. Antique Mommy says:

      We don’t ascribe to Halloween any association with the underworld or the occult. We enjoy Halloween as a fun and innocent time to dress up and visit your neigbors and exchange candy — exactly as I did growing up and there is certainly nothing bad about that. Holidays are inbued with whatever power and meaning you choose to given them. Case in point, you can celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus or you can celebrate it as a glittery gift-giving extravaganza or you can celebrate it as a winter festival or not at all.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 9:39 am

    43. Melinda says:

      You will not believe me, but I went to Wal-Mart Friday night (Sept. 21). They were putting up Christmas lights and tree decorations. I kid you not.

      Hugs,
      Melinda

      September 23rd, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    44. SG says:

      Halloween for me has nothing to do with the scary demonic festivals of the underworld. It has everything to do with fall festivals, carving pumpkins, dressing up, trick ot treating, seeing all the neighbors and having a great time! It’s one of my favorite times of the year! I’ve blogged about this alot in the past. And yes I buy costumes becasue the first couple of years I thought I would make them but ended up spending coutless hours and more money making than buying and they were not as cute. Some of my favortie pictures of my kids are the ones in their Halloween costumes… You know those fun “dress up” years don’t last much past 10 or 12. Then they are way too cool for dress up. So yes we dress up, go to fall festivals and have our porch light lit the night of Halloween. Any kid who comes to my door in a costume gets free candy! Now how could you not enjoy that!

      September 23rd, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    45. Mommy, the Human Napkin says:

      Well, we don’t celebrate Halloween, but I did buy a bag of those candy corns with the pumpkins in it last week. Now, we just have a bag of candy corn. That is the extent of our Halloween involvement.

      However…

      As a teenager, I went to a “fall” festival at church dressed as my mother. She made her own wedding dress and was married in 1973, so I wore her very short, very trendy, very 60’s-style dress and went as her. I’m sure she was so proud.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    46. jen says:

      We buy our costumes…..I’m not real creative. We go around the neighborhood then to church to our fall festival. We eat chili at home early and have a great time.
      The best costume I had growing up was the clown costume my mom sewed on her machine for me….I was so proud of that costume.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    47. Angela says:

      I think my daughter likes to dress of a cat, she dress like that before and took it really seriously. Also her name is Catarina and we got a cat called Nina… when anyone asks my daughter her name she says: “CatNina”
      LOL
      x

      September 23rd, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    48. Kim says:

      We don’t buy a “complete” costume. We take a few minutes to shop the holiday section in each store during the month of October. Look for key pieces! Pirates need a hat and sword. The rest can be old or oversized clothes that are cut ragged across the bottom. Yarn braids tied with rags can be hot glued to the hat, for a Johnny Depp look. Have fun with it!

      This year my daughter wants to be a cowgirl. So we have a hat, pink cowboy boots and bandana. We are going to buy a toy cap gun belt. We will wear a jean skirt or pants and we are ready to go!

      Keep in mind that these costumes will be loved and worn over and over. So invest in the main necessities and be creative with the rest.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    49. GranMarty says:

      Made up costumes make for MUCH better photos twenty years from now. My (way)grown sons love looking at old pictures and talking about the crazy costumes we made up.(We always took the photos in the same spot by the front door every year.) And made-up didn’t translate to elaborate sewing. I only did that one time. Learned my lesson. Pirates are really, really easy. A woman’s shirt with full sleeves makes a great shirt. My son never questioned whether pirates wore paisley.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    50. Laurel says:

      So far we have skipped Halloween and that is our plan for future years but as our eldest (3 now) gets older, we might have a fight on our hands. But we enjoy costumes all year round. He wears his firefighter outfit to the store if he feels like it.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    51. Tammy/Photography for Fun says:

      Funny you should ask because I very recently posted a story and pictures on this very subject on my blog:
      http://photosbytammy.blogspot.com/2007/09/costumes.html

      September 23rd, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    52. Annie says:

      We never celebrated Halloween growing up. We don’t have children and so I have no idea. I will most probably buy if in the future we have kids. I can’t sew to save my life and I am not crafty.

      But, I wanted to confirm something…Is it American to say “It is the principal of the thing”? Where I am from we say “It is the principle of the thing.” Or was it just a pun on the word principle as principal means money (as in principal, interest)? I am sorry, I think I need to get a life.

      September 23rd, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    53. Julia says:

      I prefer they be homemade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean by me. ;o) I don’t know how to use my sewing machine, so any sewing I do is by hand. I made my daughter’s mermaid costume last year and it turned out wonderfully! My son wanted to be a pirate, but I didn’t think I could handle that task on top of the mermaid outfit, so I went to ebay. I may have paid a little more than a cheap little store-bought costume, but it was original and well made. I wanted him to be a “nice” pirate..no skulls and crossbones at a Christian preschool. The one we found was PERFECT and since I made a point to purchase it on the larger side, it continues to be a favorite dress-up outfit. :o) I considered it an investment.

      September 24th, 2007 at 12:13 am

    54. Poppy says:

      When my kids were young enough to participate in Halloween we usually made their costumes. I remember one year my one son was a Xmas present…that was a pretty cool and easy costume to make. For some reason my boys like doing the hobo or clown thing the best. My daughter however preferred store bought costumes.

      When I was a kid we also always made our own costumes. My grandmother is an excellent seamstress and she used to make them as well as most of our clothes. Now she had terrible arthritis and hasn’t sown in years.

      My favorite candy…wow, tough one cause I’m not much of a sweet eater…but I do have a fondness for Black Jacks (Licorice flavored taffy)

      We live in the country now, have for the last 11 yrs. so we get no trick or treaters. I really miss that. We used to get so many that I finally had to make a cut off of 24 bags of candy…and we ALWAYS ran out!! Crazy. But it sure was a fun night.

      Now the kids are grown and having kids of their own (too little for Halloween just yet) and Halloween has become just another night. BOO!

      September 24th, 2007 at 12:18 am

    55. Therese says:

      I took an old plain black T-shirt, cut off the sleeves and made the bottom fringed. The pants were something old that I cut off and fringed the bottom. He wore a white dress shirt underneath the tee, a large belt around the middle and black dress shoes with buckles made out of cardboard and aluminum foil. An eye patch, a bandana around his head, and black face paint made the beard. AARRGH!!! It was possibly the best Halloween costume I’d ever done and it took about five minutes!

      September 24th, 2007 at 9:33 am

    56. Shalee says:

      We make ours… because we stand on the same principles.

      September 24th, 2007 at 10:44 am

    57. BooMom says:

      I was all prepared to drop $$$ for a Lightning McQueen costume for BooRat – but he said he wants to wear his Thomas costume from last year !

      HUH?!?

      Who are you and what have you done with my boy ?

      September 24th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    58. zoom says:

      Hey AM. Glad you are back I missed you. We were either a gypsy, Hobo, or princess, and our costumes were a mix of old shirts, skirts and mom’s make- up.

      My next door neighbor’s mom dressed up as a witch and gave out candy from a big cast iron pot.

      I can confirm that there is not a witch or warlock in our neighborhood group. There are a couple of attorneys… does that count??

      September 24th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    59. Suzanne says:

      Halloween is fun for kids. They are too young to read anything else into it. I always felt sorry for the kids at school whose parent’s wouldn’t allow them to dress up or take part in the parties. It’s just all about candy and dressing up to kids. I would probably buy the costume. My daughter played dress up with all her costumes for years. She would probably still put them on if she could fit into them! But if you have the stuff to make it yourself, there is nothing wrong with that. I just agree with whoever said it above, you can sometimes spend as much trying to make it your self.

      September 24th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    60. Jason of Kim & Jason says:

      I think the homemade costumes are more fun, but as I get older, time becomes more and more valuable…I remember the old ones that came in a box, complete with a cheap plastic mask that you attached to your head with an even cheaper rubber band.

      I love Halloween and am frankly quite confused by the folks who try to take the fun out of it. I wrote a blog post a while back about it: Adults Are Ruining Everything

      Keep up the great work — I love your writing!

      September 24th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    61. momhuebert says:

      Wow, all these ideas sound like fun. Kinda makes me sorry we ignored Halloween when my kids were little.

      September 24th, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    62. Dianne says:

      We don’t do a whole lot for Halloween, but when the boys were littler, we went to the Harvest Festival at our church. Big carnival type of deal replete with LOADS o’candy. I made costumes most of the time and bought one or two. For one pirate, though? I’d probably just make it. But I guess you have to decide which is the higher priority – the money or the time.

      Can’t wait to see the pix whatever direction you take. I’m sure Sean will make the cutest lil’ pirate ever!

      September 24th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    63. MamaLady says:

      We don’t do Halloween. We plan on going to a Reformation Day party at a friend’s church.

      September 25th, 2007 at 12:51 am

    64. ches says:

      FYI.. while browsing the Gymboree website, I noticed that they have their Halloween costumes on sale online, and there is a pirate. I think it’s marked down to $21.59. Sure homeade costumes are great, but my time is worth at least $21.00! However, last year I think I spent $85 on my 1 year olds costume… gasp! What was I thinking?! He loved it, actually wore the toes out of it, but I was hoping to be able to sell it on ebay this year, so if anyone wants a monkey costume with holes in the toes, let me know.

      September 25th, 2007 at 11:27 am

    65. ches says:

      Gymboree has a pirate costume on sale of $21.59. Homeade costumes are great if you have lots of spare time, but frankly I don’t. I think I spent $85 on my 1 year old’s costume last year… gasp! I was hoping to be able to sell it on ebay this year, but he wore it so much that it now has holes in the toes. Oh well! This year, we opted for a premade for about $22.00 and who cares if it has toes after Halloween or not!

      September 25th, 2007 at 11:29 am

    66. SG says:

      Well that sounds fun.

      AM~ You inspired me to post pictures of our costumes for this year! I am so excited. I love this time of year.
      PS Gymboree or Childrens Place had a good sale on a pirate costume. And Oriental Trading has costumes this year that are very thrifty!

      September 25th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    67. Mrinz says:

      Hehe, we don’t celebrate Halloween in our country!(New Zealand) Some children decide that they will dress up and try trick or treating around the neighbourhood but they generally don’t get much response.

      Actually there is a sort of resistance to it with most adults saying – ‘it is not part of our culture – its an American custom’..

      September 26th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    68. Michelle says:

      Joann’s 40% off coupons make Halloween costumes a whole lot cheaper. That, or waiting until the last minute when things are marked down, then hoping you can find something that a)fits and b)is even the tiniest bit appealing.

      Deep in my heart, I believe that good mommies make the Halloween costumes and bake the birthday cakes. We won’t discuss how long it’s been since I managed either.

      September 28th, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    69. Qtpies7 says:

      We don’t celebrate halloween. Our kids do dress up days for school, though, and they have a lot of fun picking out all the right accessories from thrift stores. But this year there is a superhero day or something and one of my teen boys bought a spiderman costume for more than $30 and the other is making his own and parts of his friend’s costume. Drew is already “Super Drew” and had a cape custom made for himself for his alter ego, and now he is making a mask. But for his friend who is the flash, he is making gloves out of yellow duct tape. Seriously. They are freaky wierd! They boys, not the gloves. Oh, I mean the gloves, not the boys.
      Super Drew even has his own blog, “Behind the Cape” on blogger, lol.

      September 30th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

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