Halloween costume evolution from witches to whaaaat?

Here we are one day before Halloween, and it has me kind of nostalgic about years past. I have four teenagers now and one of them is away at college. My sister, who has one fourth grader, asked me the other day if my kids are still into Halloween.

“My kids are weird, so yes,” was my reply.

While it’s true that I’m still scrambling around for something to be ready for halloween (the year it is a pair of fingerless gloves) things have changed so much since they were little.

When they were very small, I chose the costumes for them. My oldest wore an adorable lion cub costume as a two-month old. When her brother came along a little over two years later, he was also in that costume, though it was pretty roomy because he was only one week old. My twins, named after flowers, didn’t have their first Halloween costumes until they were almost a year old. Of course I dressed them as little flowers, their faces surrounded by brightly colored petals. For a few years, it seemed some little girl was always a witch, kind of like this:


There was the period when costumes were worn on a regular basis, or at least certain elements of them. Who doesn’t feel like donning a cape some mornings? And there was a time when a certain superhero sidekick costume stayed in the way back of our mini-van, at least once being donned when a kid sized Batman showed up at the playground.

I thought at first that the arrival of Halloween catalogues in August was too early. The begging for a particular page’s contents would start early and in earnest. But I could never actually order anything too early, because a candy witch sometimes turns in to the perfect pirate lass between August and October. It was a little torturous for a few halloweens.

That was alleviated when they began to dream of costumes that weren’t on the pages of those catalogs. My kids were never in the groups who worked out who would wear which color in an array of crayon costumes which Sesame Street character to ironically dress as. It was an early signal of just how weird they were that they wanted to dress as things no one else would think of. The costumes made me proud; my old clown costume, made by my mom circa 1980; Alice Cooper with a white suit we found at the consignment store; Priss from Blade Runner, a really scary home-made Scarecrow from a Batman video game complete with syringes for fingers. Maybe the weirdness is inherited?

Now there is a pride in either not dressing up at all for some of my kids or dressing up as something really elaborate from a favorite tv show or movie. This year it’s all about Anime, and even our pumpkin has been painted like the back of Canada’s jacket from Akira. Which I really still don’t understand even though I watched that seminal Japanese animated post apocalyptic film (from 1988) just a few weeks ago. I dint get it but it seems cool, which is probably the point.

I don’t get it either.

I don’t get it either.