10.31.2009

Halloween Scrooge

This should come as no surprise to you.

Because after all, I'm the one who hates birthday parties, dresses my child in girl pants, and was guilty of actually forgetting one of the rascals' birthdays.  (I'm as proud of my mad parenting skillz as you are.)

But...I don't like Halloween.

I'll be honest with you....

It does have a bit to do with the historical aspects of Halloween that have given me the initial sour tastes in my mouth.  I just don't like it.  But, I have come to the point of realizing that dressing up in a superhero costume and begging candy off your neighbor isn't really that big of a deal.  We do, however, stay away from all things scary and haunted and gross.

I so wish that I could just take hold of that whole "We Don't Do Halloween" thing and run with it.  But, then I'd be lying to everyone.

Because really what it boils down to is that I just despise the whole costume THING.  And the fact that our town STINKS like skunk when it comes to Halloween-alternative activities also makes me just want to go to sleep on October 30 and not wake up until November.

Here's my take on the costume thing.  When I was growing up, my parents let me participate in Halloween activities like trick-or-treating and such, but we always, always, always MADE our costumes.  I was a gypsy and a hobo for years on end...because we scrounged around for stuff at home.  I'd get into my mama's makeup and doll up in my grandma's jewelry.  It's just what we did.

But now everything is so commercialized.  The racks and racks of neatly packaged costumes that cost $19.99 for cheap polyester hypnotize my children and put these weird voo-doo spells on them.  And it isn't that I can't say "no."  Because I can say "no."  It is the whining and perpetual asking for polyester that just makes me want to pull my hair out one blessed strand at a time. 

AND....

$19.99 x 3 = $59.97 for paper costumes

Do you know what we can do with $59.97??????  But the children don't tend to think in terms of $59.97.  They only think in terms of what's hanging on those racks.  (Do you know that one of my boys actually wanted to be a guy from KISS this year?  Why?  Not because they know who KISS is...but because it was hanging there.  Case in point.)

So this year (actually just yesterday...because I procrastinate), I put my foot down.

Each kid got $5.00 to spend on Halloween costumes.  They could use it to buy supplies to MAKE something (wahoo!!) or they could buy makeup or they could buy something to go with a costume that we already had at home.

.....let me interject here with the fact that we have a costume/dress-up cabinet at home that has no less than 48,397,342 costumes in it of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Masks.  Hats.  Shoes.  You name it.  But, of course, none of those were "good enough".....

And I'm pleased to report that after much whining and crying over not getting to buy the prepackaged Obi Wan Kenobi or Gene Simmons or Michael Jackson (yes, MJ) costume, we came out successful. 

And today the children are excited about their costumes.

Tate found an army guy hat that he desperately wanted, and when he remembered that we had a soldier costume in the dress-up cabinet...he was thrilled.  $2.99 for army guy hat -- Score.

Keaton decided that he wanted to be a book.  Yes.  A book.  So today we are turning him into a book about whales (his choice), and he is going to end up looking relatively like one of those "The End Is Near" guys from New York City.  But he's happy, so I'm happy.  $3.29 for foam board. $1.29 for elastic. -- Score.

And then there was Sawyer.  He was dead set on being a ninja.  And making a ninja costume would be easy IF you owned a black sweatsuit.  We don't.  (Well...we do, but it has red paint all over it from when one of the boys painted the dog house.  And last time I checked....ninjas don't do paint stains.)  So, we priced everything at the store and GASP! it was going to come out cheaper to just buy the polyester get-up in the package then to buy a hoodie and britches and red material to make all the masks and ties and stuff that he was sure he needed to be an authentic ninja.

So we hatched a deal.  I'd put my $5 towards a ninja costume.  But he'd have to foot the rest if he wanted it that badly.  Smart kid spotted a $12 ninja costume (which was nowhere near as elaborate as the $19.99 one that he was eyeing) and decided that it was just fine.  And he decided that $7 was worth being able to hi-yah his way around the streets tonight.   $12 for a ninja costume. -- Kinda score.  (Because I put the $7 back in his piggy bank without him knowing it...I'm a sucker like that.)

Ah....Halloween.  My least favorite of all the holidays.

But I'm putting on my big girl britches tonight and making the most of it.  I'll parade my soldier, book, and ninja up and down the streets, and I'll come home and fish all the good candy out of their buckets.  I'll tell them that I need to "inspect" those pieces, and then I'll eat them.

And then we'll wake up tomorrow and it will be November.

And it will be time to get ready for my two favorite holidays.  Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Now those I can get excited about.

14 comments:

Carpool Queen said...

Hello, twinkie. This year I put my foot down and said "Y'all are 10 years old now and special things happen when you're ten like being creative with your costumes."

I also caved and gave them $7 to spend.

T bought a stethoscope, J bought 2 yards of black polyester for a cape, and the other T is pocketing his moolah, thank you very much, and filching stuff out of Dad's closet.

PS - I inspect as well. Those Take 5 bars are hazardous to their health.

Andrea said...

I don't love the trick-or-treating aspect of Halloween. I got very scared as a young child and have not loved it since. Plus I always felt a little rude demanding that people give me candy. I don't like the gore of Halloween, but do like the cute stuff.

I was secretly hoping the kids would magically tell me they didn't want to go trick-or-treating. My husband said I was mean.

So, trick-or-treating we will go tonight. They will love it and I will smile because they love it.

And then, it's inspection time!

I do the same thing with the money. I tell the kids they have to help pay for something then sneak the money back to them. Sometimes just their willingness to put forth the funds is enough for me ~ so they don't grow up spoiled or act entitled.

Cathy said...

OH, I SO hear ya on this one. I do it for the kids. Period. And MAYBE for the candy I'll steal...er I mean borrow from them.

I spent ZILCH on costumes this year and I'm so proud! Will's borrowing Darth Vader from a friend to go with his eleventy hundred light sabers, found a costume for free on the side of the road for Emma, add my blonde wig, and we have Sharpay from HSM, and I'm using Linc's from last year cause he doesn't have an opinion yet.:) SCORE!

And thankfully our church is having a family friendly, non-bloody Harvest Party we can go to with them.

We will survive and then we'll move on to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yay!


...and I'm with CPQ about those Take 5s...

Tiffani said...

I'm not sure how this turned in to such an affair at my house but we still don't do anything spooky and gory...ain't havin' it...

It's a GREAT thing to be creative w/ costumes...and I LOATHE the "fancy" stuff at WM, I was like you, I don't even remember having much of a purchased costume except maybe twice, I was a hobo, clown, cat, etc...so, I'm with ya on that...I spend 8.00 for Connor this year but he can actually wear his "costume" as an actual outfit..SCORE.

Happy Halloween, Scrooge! I love you! :)

Jessica said...

I heart homemade costumes! I was a cat more than times than i can count, and i think my mom still has the wired cat tail that was safety pinned to my behind!This year I made Ave the cutest little spider costume! then she saw all the "walmart costumes" and decided she was being a princess. so her costume cost $395. well that's what i paid for the bridesmaid dress i bought 6 years ago. After some cutting and a little sewing, it made a beautiful princess costume for her. and the dog. =)

Alison said...

Yeah - we've borrowed costumes the last two years. If I were savvy enough with the sewing machine, I'd try my hand at making something. But I'm not. So I don't. But the difference is my kid is too young to know that she's not getting her own costume. Zoe's borrowed Stephanie's "Bob" costume this year. She's stoked and been wearing the giant tomato costume all over the house for the last two days. Hilarious.

Kendra said...

I have Sam convinced from birth that he is allergic to chocolate. And grape juice, because that stuff stains. You should seriously have tried my brain-washing technique early on.

I always had homemade costumes and thanks to the popularity of Underoos, red cowboy boots, and the use of my brother's devil cape, I was a super hero many years.

I am a sucker for cute costumes that cost $$$, but I don't do any of the boy costumes at Walmart or Target. Too scary to see a wolfman in a size 2T! We only do innocent costumes, in desperation of keeing our child as young and innocent to the world as long as we can!

Jim said...

Amb,
Spook-hurrah for you! The trunk-a-treats and harvest festivals do a wonderful work of "converting" a devil's delight into more "heavenly harvesting" and I'm all for it. We're wondering what's up - up our country road tonight.

Well, your mom just called me in - said we had our first visitors. Back yard - awfully realistic deer costumes - two does (that's two female deer types) taking a treat off of our clover. Got some shots off (that's camera talk). Now, that's halloween treating I can handle. We did get some Jim-Dad friendly treats (choc/peanut butter) I tested one - protein and heart good stuff - so we're ready.

Love you,
Jim-Dad

New Every Morning said...

I'd say the costume industry took a dive this year. We, also, did not purchase anything for our costumes. My Queen Susan (from Narnia) borrowed a dress. King Edmund created his own with sword, helmet, shield, and Starwars pants from the dress up box. My favorite was the "artist." She created her outfit using a beret, vest, and a posterboard paint palette made by moi! Total cost: $0
Digging thru the kids candy tonight: priceless

Jessica said...

After watching umpteen black and red ninjas, Supermario Bros., and Hannah Montanas march up and down the halls of our school and again through the parking lot of our church tonight, I am SO glad I made Justus's Cat in the Hat costume. It cost me a whopping $15, I think, but $5 of that was on a black turtleneck that can be worn again because I used safety pins to attach everything. Polyester costumes just look cheap and yucky to me. Kudos to you for insisting on creativity! And if you ever need to how-to on creating the coconut tree from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, I'm your gal.

Lori Motl said...

My post was similar (well the beginning anyway) yesterday. Not a fan...for many of the same reasons. I knew we were kindred spirits. We never have had our Sonic date. We need to do that!

Jennifer said...

My dearest...
I had no idea you were a communist.

Love you anyway.
Jen

Gretchen said...

We live in the best neighborhood for Halloween adn Christmas in terms of yard art and participation (with Halloween treats, that is). I just don't focus on the voodoo stuff and enjoy the Linus aspect of the whole thing. :) But of course my very favorite Linus video is about to be shown. "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

You are a very creative mom.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Ha! Jen's comment made me snort. 'Cuz you know I'm all about snide remarks about communism.

I am so impressed with your foot-putting-down and creative-costuming self. And you also taught the rascals the value of a dollar and how to shop for bargains. What a homeschool mom! You rock!!!!