Monday, November 1, 2010

What Halloween Means to Me

I understand that Halloween is a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For me and my family, there are no ghosts, goblins or anything scary. For us, it is a time to reflect on the previous year and/or a day of fun pretend. A day that you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.

Each year Halloween commemorates something from the previous year. For example, when my son was 3, he loved Ratatouille, so I made a Ratatouille costume using a chef's costume, mouse ears and my eyeliner for his nose and whiskers. Whenever I see his Halloween pictures I remember him watching the movie over and over and then reenacting it during playtime.

When he was 4, he wanted to be an astronaut. He had his biggest birthday party ever and the theme was outer space/NASA. When I see the Halloween pictures of him dressed in his flight suit, I remember how excited he got whenever we talked or read books about outer space and his joy at his 4th birthday party.

This year, he went on his first helicopter ride and he also loved the
movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." At first he said he wanted to be Flint Lockwood, the scientist from the movie. But, I know that he changes his mind a lot. He's 5, that's what 5 year old's do. So, my strategy is to start asking what he wants to be about a month before Halloween. I ask once a week what he wants to be and if he says the same thing three times, that's what we go with. Week 1, he wanted Flint Lockwood. Weeks 2, 3 and 4 it was a helicopter, so a helicopter he was. I have to say, this is the first year we have made a costume completely from scratch. Using only materials found around the house, we made it at no cost. Not only was the costume original, it was economical! It also created memories. All of our family working together on this costume was so fun. Of course, hubby did most of the work. He's a carpenter, so that sort of thing is second nature to him. But we all did it together and making that memory helped make this Halloween so very special.

We also have a baby in our family this year. The baby is too young to really give us any feedback, so he went as a pilot for Nic's helicopter. I love costumes that aren't typical. I thought about making him a fluffy lion or mouse or something like that. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing cuter than a little baby in a fluffy costume, I love it! But, for us, we like to do things a little different and have unique costumes. There were no other baby pilots or helicopters walking or flying the streets on Halloween night, so mission accomplished!

The one thing I have learned is that I really do prefer the costumes that are home made or at least semi-homemade. Not something you just buy. Make a memory with your child, be creative with them and next year, Halloween will be even more special.....and you'll save money to boot!

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