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I Have Never Been a Ghost for Halloween

That's right – never. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I've dressed up for every year for as long as I can remember. Yet never have I donned that ethereal white sheet to become one of Halloween's biggest staples. I have a downright aversion to it. Why? you might ask. I blame:


As you can see, even at five years old, I took Halloween Very Seriously. It was an occasion to shine. I had on a most lovely gown, my hair was curled, and it was the one day a year that I got to wear make-up. The...gall of some people! No matter how much you dress it up with smoky eyes and come-hither lips, cutting a few holes in a piece of fabric does not a costume make.

It was something his momma probably threw together that morning, yet no one gave that ghost a hard time. I had fretted for days over my costume, and people kept calling me a princess. A princess! Cripes, grown-ups, I was so obviously a fairy godmother.

I solved this dilemma the next year by doing something the masses seemed to understand: pop culture icon.

2princess 1michael_jackson

Some years I had to bow to the whims of my mother &/or her pocketbook. There was the year, for instance, that she worked at a fabric shop. We all got Halloween-print smocks and gaudy make-up and went as ghouls:


I have no idea who the clown was. That was another stereotype I avoided, although I did take a turn as a witch, vampire, and my personal favorite, Death:


Once I got into my teens, I continued the costume-snobbery. The only real way to do costumes was to make them yourself. My first year – and the last I went Trick-or-Treating – I made a Dorothy costume. I hand-sewed a cute little blue gingham apron, did some pig-tails and red shoes, and carried a basket for my candy bag. I finished sewing it in the van during our first two stops, and I had to tuck the needle and thread into my bra so I could keep sewing my costume back together all night.

I originally had this hard-core mentality that Halloween costumes had to be scary. Those teen years, I realized the benefit of cuteness. Especially when I was forced to quit Trick-or-Treating, but I still longed for attention and sweets. With my long dark hair, Cleopatra became a recurring favorite:

That was also the year I did my first joint-costume. There beside me you see Achaiah as a pup. She went as yellow. Everyone knows how much Cleopatra liked yellow.

Once I got a mate and family of my own, I got better at the joint-costuming. This is our first attempt. We were pirates, even though Eden insisted on being a faerie instead.


By the time we had Ivy, I managed to talk her into the joys of a group effort. Our favorite Halloween yet was the Labyrinth year:


Last year we were in a tight spot and I pulled my mom's “ghoul” trick. (Eden had horns. Ivy wore her spotted 101 Dalmation outfit and got a black nose.) I've made up for it this year. This is the first time we're able to actually go out and buy costumes. The girls wanted a cat theme, which I couldn't quite sell Josh on. So Josh and I are reprising our pirate roles. The reason is two-fold: 1) The first time, everyone seemed to think I was a one-eyed gypsy, & 2) I wanted something practical that I can use all year round.

Pirate 2

Happy Halloween!

This is my entry for therealljidol. If you like it, please remember me when the polls go up this weekend.


( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 31st, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
I agree.
Ghosts = COP OUT!!!!
We're really into Halloween so I loved this post with all the photos. You should check out my Halloween tag and look at my entry from last year with all the girls' costumes over the past few years.
Oct. 31st, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Halloween has always been a favorite. Then again, I'd probably dress up year-round if folks would let me.

I'll go take a look! I'm sure I'll put up the girls' pictures tonight. Next year we're going back to making our own costumes. Too much happened this year, but we've already started planning for next. :D We're hoping to beat our Labyrinth fun. That's probably my favorite with the family...I wish I'd gotten pictures the year I was pregnant with Ivy. I was Santa, and that was loads of fun. Kids actually thought I was him! I felt bad for not bringing candy along to pass out, and I'm totally doing that again if I ever get the chance.

Edited at 2008-10-31 12:24 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - pinkslit - Oct. 31st, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Oct. 31st, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lahermite - Oct. 31st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Oct. 31st, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lahermite - Oct. 31st, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zarhooie - Oct. 31st, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Oct. 31st, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zarhooie - Oct. 31st, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Oct. 31st, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zarhooie - Oct. 31st, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elderwoodpixie - Nov. 1st, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 31st, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *blows a kiss*

Do it anyway. I bet it'd be more fun that way.
Oct. 31st, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
Halloween is my fave!!! :) It's also our anniversary. :) Though I haven't gotten a new costume in years. :(

However, I've got to say, you can do more with a sheet than be a ghost! I made a Nun's Habit one year! I think I was about 22. It was like sheet origami! ;)

I will always be proud of the beautiful fairy princess outfit I made for Megan one year. *sniff* :)
Oct. 31st, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
That must be a very cool anniversary!

I didn't mean to imply that it was sheets themselves that I find appalling. My Cleo outfit up there wasn't much more than a silver sheet sown together. It's the slack-ass, cut-some-eye-holes-and-go mentality that is an affront to Halloween. Even artful toga-draping is better.
(no subject) - alice_bunnie - Oct. 31st, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
You make one damn hot pirate!

Those are some awesome costume, I love the Labyrinth ones.
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! I really wanted to make 'hot pirate' over 'fat pirate', which is what I felt the first time. :P
(no subject) - specieszero - Oct. 31st, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Oct. 31st, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
The most fun costumes for me were group efforts when I was in college. One year we went as a salad (I was the carrot). And another year we went as a pack of Fruit Stripe Gum. hahah
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! I usually have to badger my loved ones into costuming with me, and I never have enough to do a whole big ensemble. (Hrm...yet another reason to have more kids!)
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Love the costumes! What a great post! :D
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you so much!
Oct. 31st, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
! I love this. Very cool way of looking at the topic. : )
Oct. 31st, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it.
Oct. 31st, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
what fun! :-)

i'm such a sucker for old-pics (i feel trapped!!!!) ;-)

as for dressing-up i have such a fetish for historical-costume that i used to have fantasies of working at "Colonial Williamsburg" when i was a little girl ;-)

Oct. 31st, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
I got to go there once, and I wanted to work there too!

I like old pics. I hardly had any from my childhood, so I was glad my sister gave me a box full not too long ago.
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
*grin* Great post... made me smile all the way!
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
My daughter loved the photos! She said they were all "so cute!"

My son has chosen to be a ghost this year. We have been invited to a fancy dress party tomorrow - the little boy's birthday was the 31st, so it's Hallowe'en themed and that was the only thing he was interested in being. Hallowe'en isn't really understood in NZ and since he's gluten/dairy free, I decided not to take him trick or treating this year and now I really wish I had - he was gutted when the trick or treaters came to the door (count them - ONE lot!) and he couldn't go out and do the same.

Next year...
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yikes! No offense to your son's ghost. I'm sure he makes an awesome one. That must be fun having a Halloween birthday...or maybe not if no one else really celebrates.

Happy Birthday!
(no subject) - theafaye - Oct. 31st, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
Nicely done! I wish I could have seen the pictures.
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Thank you! I tried to figure it out so that they had descriptive tags. I hope it worked!
Nov. 1st, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Hope you enjoyed it!
Nov. 1st, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
Cute! I'm the same way, mostly because of my mom. She insisted on finding creative costumes, and if we needed help she came up with suggestions (Dress as a witch and carry a bucket of sand. You're a sandwich!)

I still remember the time she insisted on arriving at the community party separately from the rest of the family. She was going as a backwards person and was trying to fool everyone about her identity. She had people talking to the back of her head all night, where she'd placed a mask. The hardest part? She couldn't sit, because her knees wouldn't go the right way!
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Your mom sounds fun! I may have to snag the backwards idea. I think my kids would have fun with that. Of course, I could see how that'd get awfully confusing.

Nobody noticed her hands? Or did she have backwards gloves on or something?
(no subject) - alycewilson - Nov. 1st, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
You make a terrific pirate :)
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! It's actually been one of my highest aspirations, so I'm glad to know I made it.
(no subject) - agirlnamedluna - Nov. 1st, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 1st, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm with you, a costume is best when it's home-made. I lovew costuming, too.
Nov. 1st, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
I do too, I just wish I was better at it!
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