I just uploaded some pictures of my kids from Halloween onto my personal Facebook page. As I looked at the pictures, I was feeling so proud of the girls, I just had to share.
Here is the one particular picture I uploaded that got me thinking…
The reason this picture got me thinking is this: it may sound terrible, but we won’t go out and buy Halloween costumes. We outright refuse. Our reason is that our kids all take dance and have for ten years, eight years and five years, respectively. That means we have A TON of costumes in our basement, very beautiful but very expensive costumes. We average about six costumes per dance year, one year I think we had eight or nine. We also have costumes from dress-up clothes (we have several of the princess costumes) and costumes that people have handed down to us (and no we don’t have a costume bin, if you read my prior post about our bins!) Basically our basement could be a costume shop itself. So a few years ago, we decided that we would no longer spend money in the fall on costumes. They had to be whatever they could be with whatever we already had down there. One year my oldest daughter, Caroline, made her jazz costume into a poodle skirt. Last year, Elizabeth was a ballerina in a gorgeous dress combined with the bright blue Airbender mask and matching blue swords, an interesting combination, but she liked it, while Alex was something different every Halloween party or event we went to. Each time, she’d just pick something off the hook down there and put it on.
This year, Caroline decided she didn’t want to wear something we had, and in all fairness to her, a lot of what we have down there no longer fits her since it was already hers in the past. She’d already done the witch costume a couple of times, and nothing from dance this year appealed to her. But, she didn’t ask for something new. She didn’t even tell us she wasn’t wearing something we had. She went on- line, Googled “Homemade Halloween Costumes,” saw the Face Book costume on a website that came up, and she was off and running. Between her and Don, they got the materials they needed and he helped her make the costume. I loved it!
She wore the costume to the “Lock In” at dance earlier this month and she was absolutely beaming when she came home with “Most Creative” out of all the costumes there. I was nervous that she might not want to wear her costume, being that it was homemade, (and I have to admit that although we stay strong on this, I was in fact, feeling guilty) but she brought it and won. I was so proud of her!
Times are hard and we tell our kids all the time that they will be older and remember these days when people were losing their houses and their jobs, when restaurants and stores were closing and empty, and I know that some day they will be telling their kids, “My parents wouldn’t buy us costumes for Halloween,” but hopefully when they do, there will be some good memories and life lessons learned, attached to that sentence.