What I Learned From My Halloween Costume
October 30, 2015
Looking through some old photos at my parents' house, I found old memories . . . and remembered that long ago I learned a valuable lesson from my Halloween costume.
My mother used to make costumes (photo above) for my sister and me from crêpe paper because at the time it was very inexpensive and it could be sewn using a sewing machine like fabric. Above I am wearing one of those costumes. (I am on the right side, my sister stands behind me to the left.)
One year . . . (succumbing to peer pressure conformist tendencies) I begged for a purchased costume like all the other kids had for Halloween. I wanted one of those costumes that came in a cardboard box -- with a mask inside. The lid of the box even had cellophane so you could see inside the box without opening it. I can still see it clearly to this day.
My mother caved in and the (somewhat out of focus) photo below shows me (on the right again) as some kind of princess. My sister (left) was a clown.
These photos also caused me to remember a profound lesson that I learned that day.
My realization at 8 years old was that a store-bought costume was not as good as home made. In fact it was a flimsy, generic copy that wasn't unique or special in any way. I was so embarrassed that I had coveted this item so highly and then found out it was such a poorly made piece of junk and that anyone could just purchase and wear it without any creative thought or imagination. There was nothing unique or special about this costume.
Halloweens have been magical ever since. I learned that home made and hand made are better even with imperfections and mistakes. Anyone can buy a look-alike costume. But when it is your idea and you make it yourself, it becomes a memorable experience and expresses your unique character.
This lesson I learned at the age of 8 has taken me a long way. Perhaps makers are makers because they have had a similar experience. Imagine . . . and make it your own.
Jen is wearing one of my past Halloween costumes. The hairy spider costume was intended to be good for exercising, but proved to be very hot.
MORE COSTUMES FROM THE PAST (in no particular order)
Dalmatian Dog (me) with two pint size firefighters 1991
Pumpkin plant....my son actually walked around with his head inside the pumpkin.
Everyone ready to Trick or Treat includes Pumpkin plant, butterfly and scarecrow.
Butterfly costumes on another day.
This post was updated on December 10th, 2021.