Friday, October 23, 2009

Where I Admit I Never Intended to Be the Halloween Family

Some of our family traditions are holdovers from my youth, while others were purposely introduced and tweaked to fit our family. But there are other traditions, too. Just as important are the the accidental traditions (and also the every day, barely realized traditions, but that is a whole other post).

We were once a normal family.  Well, at least we were normal as far as our Halloween celebration.  We threw something together sometime before Halloween either buying something new, making something, or recycling previous costumes.  Just like everyone else.  I even have some photo proof:

But then we unwittingly became some other type of family.  The first year past Peter's residency we I decided to have some fun with Halloween.  After all, we could finally afford it.  Star Wars was big that year, so we all dressed up as different Star Wars characters.  I didn't account that this was our first year in North Carolina, so no one had seen our more regular costuming traditions.  We were suddenly THE over the top Halloween family.  It wasn't just in the neighborhood and church.  Peter worked Halloween evening and somehow I convinced him to go in costume.  We came up to show his coworkers all our costumes.

The next year people started asking Peter and me in September what our theme would be.

Accidental traditions are often born this way.  Something done on a whim finds a comfortable fit and becomes a permanent fixture in a family's fabric.  It turns out Peter and I enjoy dressing up.  Even the kids like going with a theme.  They start coming up with ideas in November.  By August we've decided on a theme and in September final individual costumes are decided.  Then I think, shop, sew, glue, tape, paint, and google.

I was worried Elise might be getting a little old to think dressing in a family theme was cool.  I  was wrong.  This year she has convinced several friends to dress up and come to the elementary Halloween festival with their younger siblings. 

Anyway, this is why I disappeared from the cybersphere this week.  I knew what everyone was going to be and had bought most of the supplies, but hadn't started putting everything together yet.  Monday I realized the school party was Saturday and it took a solid 5 days to make the costumes.  I finished this afternoon (a whole day early!) and will have pictures tomorrow.


  1. I love the almond joy and mounds.

    You are a little crazy in the completely awesome way. I thought we were whacky for our pumpkin parties.

  2. So, so awesome. Where do you find all the stuff? Like the Mounds fabric?

  3. Steph- Pumpkin parties? That just sounds cool. I am trying for crazy in an awesome way, but don't always pull off the "awesome way" part.

    Natasha- I made the candy bar fabric. Bought felt and wonder under, hand drew everything, cut it out, and adhesived it. Then used fabric paint for the accents and smaller writing.

  4. Yeah for Halloween! I can't wait to see all of your costumes in full splendor! Glad they all got finished in time!

  5. I can't wait to see your costumes this year. I love it!! I love the themes, the creativity and the talent! I had NO cohesion this year with a theme...very frustrating. I just let them all choose, not something I like to do where Halloween costumes are concerned. But wouldn't you know it, in letting them choose somehow we ended up with only one princess.
    I should have asked you for suggestions months ago. However, I AM all set with next year's plans.

  6. I am impressed with your mad guys rock. I think we'll just put foil on our heads and go as UFO chasers...

  7. Can't wait to see the costumes this year....somehow you and I decided to become "the" halloween family probably the same year (same person? I think so) Ours was just a fun idea once and now everyone waits to see what we do, we are disappointing this year though, as my kids vetoed my theme idea :( oh well.

  8. That is so cute! I love that whole idea!

  9. Yeah! Another Halloween freak Mom like me! Except that the Hubs and I haven't dressed up much. I have to make costumes for my kids.

    This year I've helped our neighbor with his Michael Jackson costume. It took us 8 hours just to sew the arm brace but, like you guys, he's known for his costumes every year and so he musn't disappoint everyone. Lots of pressure!

    I can't wait to see your costumes!

  10. Kim- ditto on your costumes. Thanks for the advice on Ryan's costume.

    Emma Jo- We are a loosely connected theme this year.

    East of Eden- You mean people don't always wear aluminum hats in your state?

  11. Davis Family- Yes, we are the same person. I will be sad when my kids ever veto the theme idea, so far they think it is cool. I saw a whole group of people dressed as crayons today and thought about your poor discarded plan.

    the Laters- Did you ever find the costumes you wanted?

    Cynthia- Sometimes the extra mile is just required. That is how I ended up sewing a suit coat for my 5 year old this week. I was thrilled to see you all dressed up on your blog. Here's to all the Halloween freaks out there!

  12. OMG!! Yall are SOOOOOO cute!! I SO want to be "THAT FAMILY" haha! I think it's great! We never did that growing up, but I hope to make it a tradition when I have kids! :)

    Thanks for stopping my today! ...And I'm so with your hubby on the shirt thing, haha!

  13. Wow Wow Wow best costumes ever!!

    vanessa from

  14. Oh crud. Halloween is in six days and I still need to figure out costumes for my kids. Sadly for me, they have to wear curriculum-themed costumes to school, and then they each want a different trick-or-treating costume. Sadly for them, this is very low on my priority list. Plus, two of my kids are studying plants and agriculture. What am I supposed to do with that? I guess I'll be finding another crazy Halloween mom to borrow past costumes from.

    I have to ask. On the Hershey's costume for the themed year, did you reuse the one from an earlier year?

  15. I love your family!! I can't wait to see this year's costumes.

  16. Future Mama- I must admit that we were that family growing up. I'll have to see if anyone has the photo of our Wizard of Oz year.

    Vanessa- Thanks!

    Mary- Green sweats and cardboard cut into the shape of a flower?

    I tried to get one of the kids to wear the old Hershey bar costume, but no takers. So I have 9 candy bar costumes now.

    Bikmans- Thanks. I think they turned out pretty cool this year.

  17. I love this! Halloween is my favorite, so anyone who goes over the top I automatically love! :) Can't wait to see your costumes for this year.

  18. Ever since I found your blog and learned of your family's Halloween theme costumes I mention it to Troy when I try to convince him to dress-up. I tell him even his uncle Peter joins in on the fun. He has yet to be convinced that this won't impact his cool status, but I have had hope ever since I found your blog... even if he is a stick-in-the-mud! Can't wait to see what you've done for this year!

  19. I