We had a do-it-yourself Halloween this year. Now, your probably thinking I mean one of those Halloweens where the mother gets all crafty with Martha Stewart hand made decorations and tailored costumes for each child that perfectly fit their current obsessions. That’s not what I mean.
When I say we had a do-it-yourself Halloween I mean that the kids did it themselves. October has been a blur around here and when I realized how quickly Halloween was approaching and how many things I had on my plate I just sort of let Halloween come. I really didn’t do a thing. No fancy costumes, no fancy decorations. I bought three pumpkins and two bags of candy and dragged out the Halloween box from the basement. That’s it. The kids took over from there.
They put out the spooky snake wreath and smothered our dead mums with cotton cobwebs and fake spiders. They even cleaned and carved and decorated their own pumpkins without any supervision. I was sad not to do it as a family, but Halloween really crept up on us this year and boy that carving provided me with a whole afternoon of quiet time to get things done.
Charlie spent a whole day making his costume. He was a space squid. His costume consisted of his old astronaut suit from last year, a trader joes bag, a tomato box, some other cardboard from the recycle bin and all the scotch tape in the house. He looks a little more like some kind of space recycling activist or something. We got some funny looks out trick or treating, but he was pleased as punch with is creation. He went around the house singing, “Who you gonna call? SPACE SQUID!!!”Hazel dressed as Anne of Green Gables (with suspiciously brown hair). We recently listened to the book on tape and Hazel has found her bosom friend. She and Anne are the most kindred of sprits. So, she felt it was only natural to dress like her for Halloween. She knew exactly what she wanted to wear (this Sunday outfit that I bought her in London last year). I guess it does kind of look like something Anne Shirley would wear (before Mathew was so kind to get her her puffed sleeves). The fact that I never got around to finding some red hair dye and a straw hat didn’t seem to bother her one bit. She thought the dress would do the trick and everyone would know what she was going for. And it did. Most people didn’t ask who she was, but those kind souls who did responded with such recognition and delight when she revealed her identity that she wasn’t one bit self conscious about her costume. After being Rapunzel for the ward party, Emmeline resurrected Hazel’s old Lady Bug costume from the costume box. She knew she was the cutest lady bug around and strutted her stuff all over the neighborhood gathering candy.
After a dinner of black bean soup (thanks Saren for the nifty and easy peasy Halloween dinner idea) we met up with Hazel’s other bosom friend Penelope and went in search of candy. I love this little Penelope. She was so friendly and polite and talkative at every house (she probably should have been dressed like Anne!). She gave my kids just the push they needed to really get into Trick-or-Treating this year.
So, I feel a little bit lame that I was so hands off this year with Halloween. I could have at least helped Charlie find some better materials to make his costume. I could have spent some time finding a hat for Hazel. I could have researched some fun ways to carve our pumpkins. I could have helped them make our house all spooky and festive. Hazel would be over the moon if I had sat down with her to help her design her dream costume. She loves that kind of stuff. But, this year it just wasn’t in the cards. And you know what? I’m ok with that. Halloween was a hit. The kids had some serious ownership over the holiday and because I wasn’t stressed out of my mind trying to pull something elaborate off I was able to really enjoy it all creeping in.
One of these years I’ll delight my children and have a do it myself Halloween. I promise. But, I can’t promise I can improve on that space squid.