I saw an article in the newspaper about cute Halloween costumes people were making for their kids. Projects with glue guns and sewing machines and multiple trips to JoAnn Fabric. They were rated easy, moderate and advanced. My immediate reaction was “Thank God my kid wants to buy a costume!”
She had recently found the “perfect” Tween Little Red Riding Hood online, which meant that it was actually gothic/punk little red riding hood with fishnets. Through random chance I found the exact same costume while browsing in a resale shop for teens. For half price. Life is good.
I am not crafty, so those younger years when she wanted me to create her costume out of this, that and the other were stressful on us all. The pressure to perform was intense. When she was 6, armed with a roll of Sewing Tape and a hot iron, I managed to “make” her Purim costume. Since then I have purchased costumes whenever I can.
When I was a kid that purchased Halloween costume was the dream. They sold them at the drugstore so you spent a good month coveting and plotting how you might get one. The costumes were so crappy back then. A thin plastic sack with a super hero or witch printed on the front, and a mask that you couldn’t see or breathe through. Most kids wore the mask on the top of their heads after about ten minutes.
My mother didn’t believe in store bought costumes. There were two choices for Halloween. You could be 1) a bum or 2) a gypsy. I always picked gypsy because then at least you got to wear lipstick and eyeshadow. These costumes consisted of whatever dress or skirt you could pull out of your closet, any and all available costume jewelry and my mother tying a scarf around your head. And the lipstick.
Most the kids around had a similar version of homemade costume. I remember my brother wearing his scouting uniform one year and making out like a bandit. People have a soft spot for military. People gave out dum dums and smarties, and a lot of pennies. One lady, Mrs. Wurtz, gave everyone one pretzel rod each out of the Charles Chips can. The amount of chocolate we got trick or treating in those days was pretty small. I know this because I counted my candy bars. Which were quickly lifted in a matter of days by my older brothers despite the careful numbering.
We hand out almost all chocolate at our house on Halloween and my daughters treat bag lasts her almost until Easter each year. It’s good to live in the suburbs.
Another Halloween and another costume/crafting bullet dodged.