One of my favourite holidays is just around the corner. It’s more than just the candy and the chocolate (although I’m not complaining about either). It’s about the spirits of the season.
The ghosts, the ghouls, the goblins. The witches and werewolves. The scary stories. The ghoulish food.
Hallowe’en is a special time of year for me. I feel more connected in October than at any other time of the year. Perhaps it’s that the veil that separates our universe from other dimensions grows thinner at this time of year. Perhaps it’s just the plain fun of it. I’m not sure why, but Hallowe’en is a favourite for me.
My first child’s due date was even October 31st. (That’s not when she was born though. She was nine days late. It kind of set the tone for her life in this world. She rarely gets anywhere on time.)
Growing up, my mom would help my sisters and I decorate the front windows of our house with Hallowe’en decorations. Now that I’m a mom, I’m doing the same thing with my kids. We make pumpkins and ghosts, witches and grave stones, and stick them up in the front window for our neighbours to enjoy.
One thing I have never been good at is creating a costume. I don’t feel that I live up to my mother’s sewing or creative abilities. She usually made our costumes from scratch. We were clowns, cats, scarecrows. I was even a black crow one Hallowe’en. (I’m not sure where I got that idea from, but my mother humoured me and created a costume complete with beak.)
For my kids, we have been lucky to receive hand-me-downs from cousins and friends. And to this point, my daughter and son have not objected to what was given to us. (But I’m waiting for the day when the costumes I have on hand will not be what they want.)
This year, I have no hand-me-downs for my daughter. And besides, she has a specific idea in mind, so this may be the year that the hand-me-down costume doesn’t work anyway. She wants to be a blue fairy princess (or the toothfairy, depending on the day of the week).
So, at the end of the summer we stumbled upon some blue fairy wings at the Dollar Store. I had visions of myself putting together a beautiful fairy costume complete with sparkly wings and raising the costume design bar set by my mother.
Who am I kidding? I work full time. My kids have full extra-curricular schedules so we’re not home most evenings. And I don’t have a creative bone in my body.
But guess what? This past weekend our local Superstore had fairy costumes on sale and they were exactly what my daughter wanted.
Did I feel bad for buying a costume that will be worn for about two hours? Yes.
Was I relieved that, for an embarrassingly small amount of money, I purchased a solution to my problem of having to hunt through the racks at Value Village trying to find something that I could turn into a toothfairy/blue fairy princess costume even though I had no idea how to go about doing that? YES.
And then I found out about the Canadian National Costume Swap Day coming up on Saturday, October 13.
My feelings of guilt for buying a costume are erased. Next year, I just might host my own swap party and trade all those hand-me-down and new/gently used costumes we have for new-to-us costumes (whether my kids want what’s up for trade or not).
This year, if you’re still looking for costumes for your kids and you lack the creative talent or skills to make one yourself, why not check out a swap in your area on National Costume Swap Day? Save some money. Save the planet.