When I was a kid, my mom always handmade Halloween costumes for me and my brothers. Whether it was a lady bug, Peter Pan, or an angel, she worked her ass off those days leading up to Halloween to make awesome costumes for us. Now that I’m an adult, I realize what a huge undertaking that was. That’s pretty awesome.
These days I don’t dress up much for Halloween. It’s not that I don’t like the holiday (I do!), it’s more that I’m too cheap to spend money on that sort of thing. But, when I need to, I can rise to the occasion. And convince my husband to do the same (party on, Wayne).
So for this month’s ChitChat Panel, we’re talking Halloween costumes and favorite trick or treating memories. 🙂
Aubrey: As a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I suppose I liked it so much because it was a day in which outrageous and infelicitous behavior was generally encouraged – well, except at school. From Catholic grade school to high school, I was reprimanded and punished for costumes year after year. As Elvira in the third grade, I had to cover up my cleavage. When I was a baby in the 5th grade, the principal made me put pants over my diaper. When I dressed as my 10th grade Lit teacher (he had long gray hair and wore silver bracelets up to his elbow), the dean made me take everything off and gave me Saturday detention. As Pee-Wee Herman in the 11th grade, they tore up my “Keep Pulling for Me!” sign. I just couldn’t win.
Although I have a lot of great memories associated with various costumes, my favorite has to be the one I wore last year, because I got to introduce my daughter to Halloween. My wife dressed as Olive Oil, my daughter as Sweet Pea, and I was Popeye (see bottom of post). Now that I’m a little older, I’ve stopped trying to challenge institutions so much. I suppose I’ll have to leave that to my daughter someday.
Graham: I have a few personal favorites but for this particular question I wanted to choose a costume from my childhood, when the eerie mystique of Halloween was still very much intact, and so I decided to defer to my mom, Melissa, my official (and officially retired) Halloween seamstress-extraordinaire. Her favorite costume of mine, which to this day she reiterates every year in a suggestive tone, was Alfalfa from the Little Rascals (pictured at the bottom of post).
I don’t think I enjoyed the Alfalfa costume much at the time, but over the years I’ve come to love it for for being simple, comfortable, and yet distinctive, which is why I think my mother liked it to begin with. In fact, I appreciate it enough that I’ve recycled it since then. And even though Halloween these days has less eerie mystique than let’s-get-drunk-and-rub-up-against-each-other-ness, I still think this costume is just too good to overlook.
Chelley: My favorite Halloween costume was from high school. It is my favorite because it paved the way to who I would be as an adult.
As it were, a few friends called and wanted to go trick-or-treating. There was a Madonna, a police officer, a punk, a “sassy” cheerleader… but what would I be? I knew my friends wanted rides, so I put on jeans, my lacrosse jacket and donned my least fashionable sneakers and picked them up.
I was a soccer mom for Halloween.
As a mom now, I laugh about my off-the-cuff idea. Here I was, slightly distracted by everything else I needed to do for the week, shuttling around a bunch of kids who were hopped up on sugar. A glimpse.
I don’t love the costume for it’s creativity, but I love it for the symbolic aspect. I am, 13 years later, shuttling kids, worried about everything I have to get done… and loving every moment.
Elizabeth: Growing up with Canadian Halloweens, I have a lot of memories of wading through snow as I trick or treated, so that was a large consideration when it came to costume ideas. It had to be something that a snowsuit could fit under – Princess Jasmine was not gonna happen. My mom made matching clown costumes for me and my sister that I loved! Being the same thing as my big sister was THE coolest thing I could be for Halloween.
The neighborhood fathers would take us out while the moms handed out candy. Growing up I had best friends who lived just up the street from us and so every Halloween the three of us and our dads would go out and fill our pillowcases full of candy. When we were really young my best friends’ father died. So the next Halloween my dad took the three of us around the neighborhood, holding three pillowcases ready to switch with us when ours got full. It’s such a small memory, but I always think of it as such a great example of my dad’s character. It wasn’t even a question that he would take my friends out that year, it was his instinct to be there for someone who needed him.
Mike (not pictured): Halloween is arguably my favorite holiday, and I’ve had a few nice costumes over the years. I think my favorite so far is the costume i will be wearing this year. I’ll be Gene from Bob’s Burgers. I have a burger, his trademark yellow tee and jean shorts, and a pair of red Chuck Taylors. I am so like the character so this is gonna be a fun one!
Nancy: My favorite costume was a glow in the dark skeleton costume. I think I liked it because it because all you could see were the bones as we walked down the road. That costume stayed in my parents attic and was actually worn by one of my own kids. I am not sure, but I think the year that I wore it was the rainy Halloween. I had a big shopping bag and must have been dragging it on the ground, because when it was full and we were almost home, it broke and all the candy spilled.
My favorite memory of my kids is when my two boys, about 2 and 3 years old dressed liked clowns. They were so cute, but I didn’t connect that one of my sons was afraid of clowns and thus afraid of his brother.