I think that is the part of modern day Halloween that depresses me the most. It feels like we plan and plot so much earlier for Halloween, and yet we use a fraction of the imagination and ingenuity that I remember from childhood. It's all store bought. It's not so much that people didn't plan for Halloween this early when I was younger, it's that they worked hard for the reactions they got. Peeling grapes for fake eyeballs is a labor of love, no doubt about it.
My mom was never a big Halloween fan, and yet she came up with some great ideas - usually on the fly and costing very little money. My younger sister went as a gangster one year - Al Capone style - in our brother's suit, an old felt hat, and some artfully applied make up for a mustache and five o'clock shadow. The baby in the family (there are 19 cousins on mom's side, and most of us wore this at least once) wore the green sleeper pajamas with pom poms sewn on the front and a goofy clown wig to keep their head warm. The plastic bowler hat got passed around too, to be worn with a white sheet and painted white face. What's wrong with being a ghost?
|Freakin' loved these costumes|
My family is not the only people that I remember being inventive with costumes. One mom made herself into a Hersey's Kiss with some wire and aluminum foil. A high school buddy wore a dark ankle length robe with a hood. He'd be at the front of the line as a monk, then pull the hood up as he went to the back of the pack, grab his scythe from a friend and take up the rear guard as Death. (Ah, Darbro, you will forever be my Halloween Hero.) What happened to that kind of adventure?
When did Halloween become about pimping your kid's favorite tv show? Or dressing like you have a pimp? I like to dress up, I like to look sexy, but seriously, can we please have some women's costumes that don't look they belong at Hef's house? October in Chicago is not the time to be wandering around half naked.
My sister is the Halloween fanatic of the family, and she plans the outfits every year. They are always fabulous, even if most of them are store bought. She finds ways to make them unique. I acknowledge that the days of strictly homemade costumes are gone. However, this is the first year we have done anything affiliated with anything famous. In honor of my oldest finally discovering that books are better than movies, we are doing a Harry Potter theme.
|Can't you just see her poppin' Draco in the face?|
|Just started yesterday. Any bets on if I'll finish in time?|