Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Semi-Recycled Halloween

We are having a semi-recycled Halloween. We have always liked making our own costumes out of bits and pieces. All year long we watch for potential costume pieces at yard sales.

Last year, DD12 wore a Gone-With-the-Wind gown I found for $1 at a church rummage - a lovely pale yellow dotted-swiss gown from someone's long-ago. Then she found a broad straw hat and white gloves, and her sister bought her a vintage parasol to complete the ensemble. She looked like she was an extra in a movie.

DD12 decided to be a doctor this year, using a lab coat at a yard sale. I often buy oddball pieces of clothing for future costumes. We got scrubs at the Goodwill for $6.

The stethoscope was an issue. I couldn't find a toy one anywhere I looked. The Halloween accessory aisles in stores have very limited supplies. Apparently, no matter what your age or gender, you can only be a Sexy Vampire, a Sexy Witch, a Sexy Pirate, or a Monster. You cannot be a doctor, a lawyer, or a Native American Tribal Leader.

We ended up buying a real stethoscop at a drug store, with a blood pressure cuff for $17. I am sorta justifying that as an addition to our medical supplies. Now someone has to learn how to take blood pressure readings!

DD12 wore the costume to a birthday costume part for a soccer teammate last weekend, and will wear it to trick-or-treat on Friday. Sunday, it will be re-used by a small-framed boy at chruch for the Haunted Basement. Not bad, in terms of costume mileage.

DD15 bought fangs at the dollar store and is making fake blood. Vampires in casual street clothes are very popular with teens. We are going trick-or-treating at a friend's house, as we have for the past few years - we parents sit in their driveway and give out candy, while the kids go around the neighborhood together. It's an area with lots of kids, so lots of families give out candy; I combine my bags of candy with our friends' bags, saving us both money. DD12 is thinking of this as her last trick-or-treat year. Darn! Now I have to buy my own Mary Janes, instead of snitching them from the kids.

Not a lot houses do candy in our own neighborhood - some people consider it too pagan, and I think it has become too expensive for some families. I find the "Harvest Festival" they do at school to be far more pagan-themed than costumes and candy were, which are merely commercial. Apparently, the evangelical Christian parents that pressured the school board to stop celebrating Halloween, just don't realize that Harvest worship is the oldest pagan theme there is. Tee hee!

On Sunday,
we will have a Day of the Dead celebration at church, and remember our loved ones that have died. I think I will take a photo of my grandmother. Our city has lots of Hispanic families that celebrate Dia De los Muertos on All Souls' Day, so our annual service feels nicely connected to that. Then we have a bake sale Haunted Basement fundraiser afterward at Coffee Hour, to benefit UNICEF. The teen group puts on the haunted basement each year, and they have a lot of fun with it. This year's theme is Bedlam (the London insane asylum of yore).

It will be interesting to see how the celebration of Halloween progresses over the next decade or so, as the economy, energy crisis, and climate change take us all for a ride.

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