Surprisingly, I am not a big "Halloween person." One might think that the opportunity to costume would thrill me (and it does) but the whole scary thing is not for me. When my kids were growing up, though, I embraced Halloween wholeheartedly. The yard was decorated, I was a volunteer party mom and I toiled to created the perfect costumes from scratch every year.
My daughter was easy. Most years she was some variation of a princess, a Disney, butterfly or even tooth-fairy princess. I became quite skilled with yards and yards of tulle and satin. My son was easy, before he formed an opinion. His first few costumes were carefully crafted, a bag of donuts, a devil, an eight-limbed spider. But as he got older he would beg, "can I please buy a costume?"
Buy a costume? Me? I don't think so. Anything you can buy, I can make better. My children wear handmade costumes. We tried taking him to the store so he could select a character. Then I would recreate said character adding all imaginable bells and whistles (and even sound effects.) Halloween would draw near and he would become sullen, yearning for a cheap, store-bought costume. We finally relented one year and my son was over the moon when my husband took him to the costume store on Halloween afternoon to find the final cheap,nylon ninja suit available. The edges were not finished and the material so thin that I thought it would tear apart. My son was never so happy on a Halloween.
Going forward, we allowed him to choose any costume, cheap store-bought, thrown together, or whatever he chose. I had to let go of the worry that the neighbors would think I had gone soft, or photos would suggest in the future that I had become lazy. This is the kids' day and they should wear what they like.
Fine. Fast forward several years and my daughter is now celebrating Halloween with her son. Having learned my lesson, I told her to take him to the store and let him pick. But no ... not her son! She will handcraft his costume! And she did. Last year he was an awesome pirate and this year a colorful dinosaur. The costumes are beautiful but I have a feeling there will come a day when he, too, will want the cheap ninja suit.