Tangled Yarns

Tangled Yarns

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How soon is too soon for Halloween?

Does anyone else remember the days when we didn't start shopping for a holiday until the month it was in? School supplies were pulled the first week of September, and the Halloween candy has been taunting me ever since. (Damn you, candy corn!) We still have more than a month until the day actually arrives! Do you really think I could keep a bag of candy in the house until then? Pfft. Even if I didn't have kids, that would take an act of God. And who needs to buy those flimsy pre-made pieces of crap costumes this early?

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?
 Abby girl will make a perfect Hermione - she's got the wavy hair and know-it-all attitude down to a T. John is excited to don the glasses and scar of Harry. We may even darken his hair for the day. We are buying robes, but sewing on the patches. I'm knitting the scarves, thanks to Charmed Knits. I'm also making some really awesome wand cozies for them to carry their wands around. If I can find the time.what was I saying about it being too early to plan for Halloween...
Just started yesterday. Any bets on if I'll finish in time?


  1. I still love the costumes J and Abby will be wearing, especially the scarves/

    When I was growing up, we usually wore store-bought costumes but there were a couple of oddish homemade ones :D

  2. I think my mom had to get a bit more creative with the 5 of us. Some of the pieces were store bought, but it was fun to see what she could come up with on the smallest budget possible.

  3. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Thanks for the post..
    kandy Halloween

  4. Thank for post of your family information and wish you happy your family life...

    Kandy Halloween

  5. To be honest its not something I have to worry about. Being in the UK, it's not such a big thing (or rather in my area it isn't I should say.)

    Best cossies are the ones that don't cost a fortune, have plenty of wear and the ability to suit either gender. Great to hear of the inventivenss within the family though as it must take a lot to produce them.

    As to the chocs, I don't buy them in for that very reason. If they're here I'll eat them. (Unless my other half beats me to them of course.)

  6. My mom is an amazing seamstress. W'ed get excited around Late Sept. because my mom would go to Hancock fabrics and we'd help her pick out the fabrics she'd use for our costumes. Velvety velour for a cat, shiny pink gossamer for a genie, etc. Now that fabric is too expensive, I can't make costumes for my kids like my mom did for us. We just can't afford it. Plus my mom STILL won't give back my sewing machine. (grr)