Making Things "Just Right" at Halloween
By Julia H.
Recently, my dad sent me an old book of my mom's, copyright 1975, titled "Easy Costumes You Don't Have to Sew." Most of the costumes are made with some combination of old sheets, paper grocery bags, and cereal boxes, and range in complexity from a simple red sheet gathered at the neck to make a rough tomato costume to a "monster lobster" costume complete with hand-held cereal box lobster claws. I don't think any of the costumes uses more than a dollar or two worth of materials. All of them could easily accommodate children working to make the costumes with adults as "helpers." Probably none of them would be deemed "Pinterest-worthy,"...but, really, does that matter? As we approach Halloween, (as with many other prominent holidays that involve decorating, hosting parties, etc.), it's easy to get caught up in the unspoken competitiveness of the celebration. And for some people, elaborately decorating their homes, making gorgeous, detailed costumes, or cooking up beautiful, healthy, and thematically appropriate treats is something they really enjoy - and that's okay! For some people, it's just not how they want to spend their time...and that's equally okay! The flip side to developing family traditions around a holiday is making sure that your family actually enjoys those traditions, even if that means doing things differently from what is "expected" around that holiday. It also means finding ways to include everyone (even the little kids!), and recognizing when things are good enough - even if they are not perfect - so that everyone is still enjoying themselves. In our house, that looks like minimal decoration of the house, but lots of working together on homemade costumes. Halloween snacks are (sorry for the pun) not even on the menu. What does your family's "just right" Halloween look like?
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