October 21, 2011

Fantasy Hallowe'en Costumes

        Let me just say right up front that I have always loved dressing up, but that I have always believed that half the fun of costumes is making them.  I've got no problem with buying an accessory or a special hat or something, but grabbing a complete pre-made costume off the shelf really defeats the purpose.  I always made my own costumes as a child (with some help from my mother) and I've always made P and T's costumes…  until this year, when I've put them in charge of assembling their own.  I hate seeing so many kids coming to our door in boring, generic outfits, and I'm always delighted to see anyone displaying a bit of creativity.
        Naturally my taste in Hallowe'en costumes has tended toward fantasy.  The Wizard of Oz kept me in costume ideas for several years in elementary school: I particularly recall the Cowardly Lion, Ozma of Oz, and the Wicked Witch of the West.  Another year I was Artemis.  Freshman year in college a whole group of my friends and I went as characters from Alice in Wonderland.  (As the one with long blonde hair I was inevitably Alice.)
        P and T have been even more fantastical.  At age three they were dragons, and I was very happy that they could still fit in the same costumes when they wanted to be dragons again the following year.  (Those were a lot of work!)  At age five they were griffins (lion-headed griffins, to be specific).  At age seven P was a dragon again (necessitating the creation of a whole new dragon costume) and T was a fairy.  And last year P was a phoenix and T a "Hogwart's-style witch."
        Of course there are plenty of non-fantasy costumes I've made and admired over the years.  (One of the best ever was when T and P were salt and pepper shakers as toddlers.)  One could argue that any costume at all is a form of fantasy, since costumes allow you to pretend to be something completely different, for good or ill.  (There's also the "fantasy" aspect of the fact that so many female costumes
involve improbable quantities of cleavage, thigh, and shoe heel.  But that's a rant I won't go into today.)  Suffice it to say that Hallowe'en is a holiday with many pros and cons, but perhaps its most positive attribute is when it serves to empower children (or any age) to imagine something, create the costume representing their vision, and get out and show it off without embarrassment.  When it's child-directed and involves actual creativity, not just the wielding of a credit card, Hallowe'en is a fun, empowering, imaginative, wonderful holiday.  So let your creativity run wild!
        And now it's time to get busy for this year's costumes.  One of our jobs for the weekend will be helping P and T get to work on their costumes.  I hope you have fun with yours!

[Pictures:  T as a green dragon, 2005;
T and P as lion-headed griffins, 2007;
P as a phoenix, 2010, photos by AEGN.]


Pax said...

Wonderful! Kudos for being such a creative mother willing to put time and effort into creating such marvelous costumes. All I remember as a teenager was getting with my friends under a slipcover and going as a couch. Some people thought we were a caterpillar. Sigh. Will we be able to get an update on T and P's creations?

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Ha ha! I would have loved to have seen that couch/caterpillar costume! Sounds a little like my attempt to be a carrot that nobody seemed to recognize! =)

Nan said...

Great costumes! You are a whiz with wings. My most challenging year was when J decided to be an oak tree complete with squirrel. Life became easier in her Wood Sprite phase.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

An oak tree with squirrel? - Nice! And I'm sensing a theme with that and wood sprites... I like it!