How do You Halloween?

We got back after an epic night of trick-or-treating, pillow cases full of candy and nearly the entire town covered.  Dumping our cases revealed the proof of our night’s hard work.  But, and as if in unison, we all looked around at each other and realized there was still time for more.  Not enough time to go far, but enough time to hit up the nearby houses we knew had good candy.  Houses that also knew us and the costumes we had on.  We quickly searched the garage for anything that would pass as different.  Leftover face paint and fake blood from round 1 were put back into use, baseball gloves lying around were added into the mix, pieces of existing costumes were traded, re-purposed and recycled onto others, one of us obviously grabbed an old sheet and became a ghost and finally we were off to put the cap on a historic Halloween night.

That’s one of my favorite Halloween memories from when I was a kid.  A memory that is in serious jeopardy of being taken down more than just a few notches as these two boys grow up before my eyes.

One of my favorite things so far this year has been seeing my wife help our oldest, 5-year-old son make a shield for his Captain America costume.  The one at the store was ridiculously expensive (and sold separately), so my wife decided she was going to help him make one.  Really, the shield is one of the first homemade Halloween creations we have done with either of the boys.  We have always went with the convenience of store bought costumes so far, but all good things have to start somewhere.  I can’t recall any significant, costume-creating phase in my past, so it’s exciting to see my wife teach our son how to actually make something from scratch.

Large drawing paper, cardboard, markers, and some scissors.  That’s all it took.  I’ll definitely remember their shield creation for a long time and I imagine they both will too.

I’d like to think that this is the beginning of new age of Halloween in our household.  An age in which we defy high-priced, cheaply made costumes-in-a-bag that come off of a hook, and create our own.  Create our own with a pair of boys whose minds are always looking to be opened.  That’s how I like to think we now celebrate Halloween.

How do you Halloween?


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  1. Honestly, I have lasting memories of the first cheap, hard plastic-and-rubber-band, store-bought masks. When they broke, you had to watch for pinching and scraping, and the rubber bands would rip out near handfuls of hair if you took them off too quickly. Regardless, they were fun memories.
    Now, however, I find that the home-made styles are much more awesome. You can create, mix, match… the combinations are endless and the memories everlasting. About ten years ago we even started doing our own trick or treat bags again, just for the durability and cost.
    Bottom line—homemade is better by a mile and way more fun.

    • @BrandonPDuncan The memories you just brought back of that dang, little rubber band on the cheap plastic masks just made me cringe.  If you need me, I’ll be in the corner with my knees up to my chest, rocking back and forth.  Thanks.

  2. JPRennquist says:

    It is the preparation for Halloween that is the great joy in this holiday.  The mix/match costumes, the designing, the re-purposing of old ties and shoelaces.  The coffee grounds and vaseline beard.  The tinkering with batteries and old switchboxes to create magic in your pocket.  My kids largely have manufactured costumes, but we pick them up at second hand shops and rummage sales throughout the year.  When I was a kid they were all home made.  Everything was home made.  But like I said, the big fun of this holiday lies in the dreaming and creating, the actually trick-or-treating or party-going and the comparing and strutting that goes with that is very fun, but it still pales in comparison.

    • @JPRennquist Coffee grounds and vaseline? That’s a new one on me. I will certainly add that to my “bags of tricks” (pun very much intended.)

    • ManvDadhood says:

      @JPRennquist #Coffee grounds stick to your face with vaseline??? I think I’ve just found a new MOnday morning ritual! 😉

  3. ebuttscpa says:

    My kids have had homemade costumes from my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law. Not sure what that makers her to me…mother-in-law-in-law? I’m not talking about using a sheet as a ghost either. I’m talking about taking 6 months or more to make five kids costumes that can double as “dress-up” afterwards.
    On the candy front, my kids are so young we only go out for like an hour but they really like it. Personally, I didn’t really do Halloween growing up so this isn’t my specialty so my wife is the visionary here.
    I won’t be home for it this year so I’m hoping to see them on Skype before the festivities begin.

  4. ManvDadhood says:

    Recent traditions have been to walk a neighborhood with friends from their house to their parents with about 9 kids ages 12-3 in tow. The trouble with this year, is that we moved out of town, so I’m not sure if we are going to drive down and do something else or just find something new to do. It would be nice to go see old friends, but it usually ends up being such a late night.

  5. TwinBrick says:

    @readbradthedad Store-bought because of time constraints. Easy peasy but extra $. #RoundTableDiscussion #DadsRT #Halloween

    • readbradthedad says:

      @TwinBrick Same here. Especially made sense when kids were young, but now that older and can benefit from experience, I’m caving. #DadsRT

      • TwinBrick says:

        @readbradthedad Caving to making them or buying?

        • readbradthedad says:

          @TwinBrick Making them. Starting to seem like a really good way to teach them creativity with added bonus of bonding time.

        • TwinBrick says:

          @readbradthedad Totally. Enter FT working mom guilt. Lol #DadsRT

        • readbradthedad says:

          @TwinBrick D’oh! #DadsRT

  6. We have no traditions around here. When I was growing up there was a parade that the town would throw for all te kids to walk down Main Street. It was nice. I would make up my own costume out of things we had lying around the house. Unfortunately where we are today there are no parades an store bought is the way to go. Traditions are dying and I don’t think there is much that I can do to change them.

  7. Happylitlefeet says:

    @SaskaDad I would love to be 100% homemade but I stink at sewing. We mix it up. Try and reuse thing and change them.

  8. This will be our first year taking the kids out. My son is 3 and gets the idea, my daughter is 18mo and is just coming along for the cuteness factor to get us more candy. 🙂

    Growing up my mom always made us costumes and I’m hoping to do the same for our kids. This year they have store-bought hand-me-downs which are cute and fun. I’m making my own though and I’ll be sure to share the result when done. 😀

This is what I think...