Everyone who knows me knows that October is my favorite time of year. It’s not because of the nice brisk air, the smell of the leaves or the beautiful colors that fall brings that makes me partial to October. It is Halloween. I am that that big kid who is thinking about what next year’s Halloween costume will be the day after I finish making the costume (notice I said finish making, NOT after I have even worn it yet). Making costume seems so archival anymore with fewer and fewer people making their costumes. This is by far my favorite part. It comes from my household growing up. Our house was a huge Victorian house; every inch of this home was decorated with cobwebs (Mostly man made cobwebs and probably a few spider made once too) and ever year my mother made my costume. We had the most thrilling Halloween parties; I still hear about these parties to this day and that was from my grade school days-which I promise you were a long time ago. I have not carried on the tradition of the parties but I do still make the costumes.
A couple of years ago when my son was still an infant, my kids went as Carman Miranda topped and a Banana. Both costumes were home-made. My daughter had a dress with ruffles that was equipped with sequences galore and topped off with a fruit basket on her head. My son was a half peeled banana which I sculpted out of foam. It was our neighborhoods night to trick or treat. The big homes had pathways with stairs lit up to the lit up porch waiting for all the ghouls and goblins. My daughter would walk up the stairs ring the door bell and I would be holding my son who, let me remind you, was in giant banana. Tybee adjusted her basket and we went to the next house. About the sixteen time of this same scenario, my daughter walks up the stairs, rings the door bell, gets enough candy for both her brother and herself (so she says-even though her brother was 5 months old). The difference is this time, instead of going gracefully down the steps to the next house lit up on the block, Tybee falls down the stairs. This wasn’t just a trip this was a head first kind of thing and all because her mother made her a fruit basket hat. Of course after that the night was then over and when the tears began to flow I began to feel like a big fruit cake myself.
So with that being said, this holiday season I wanted to express the importance of costume safety for you mothers who still have the ambition to make Halloween unique.
· Make sure your child’s costume are short enough. We wouldn’t want your little ones to tumble like mine did.
· Make sure Hats and scarves (or fruit baskets) are secure so that they don’t fall off or hide the child’s eyes-which is the alternative way to tumble down (or up) the stairs.
· If you can get away with it use make up instead of a mask (hypoallergenic and non-toxic, of course).
· If you chose to use a mask make sure the eye holes fit properly.
· Make sure that your child’s costume is Colorfast so that it doesn’t ruin their clothes underneath if it rains. What a mess!
· Child’s shoes should be well fitting and comfortable. Bring Band-Aids just in case those princesses get blisters!
· To prevent melt downs, bring a spare candy bag just in case the most awful thing happens and your Goblin’s bag breaks.
· Incorporate a glow stick or flashlight into your costume somehow. Fun and safe
· If possible wear brighter clothing, if it just does not go with your outfit try to incorporate reflective materials.
· Remember to keep those little Fairies warm No matter what, it always seems to be cold on the Halloween that your daughter wants to be Tinker Bell.
Even after our little “fall out” Halloween holds strong as our favorite holiday. The costumes are home-made with love. We get to be creative and pretend. Our imaginations get to run wild that one spooky night. The night my pirate gets to be in full character and to top it off he gets candy, which in my house is as good as gold. ;)