Most of my best costumes as a kid were a result of thrifting, borrowing, and/or my Dad making something for us. My sister and I had a few masks and accessories that came from the store, but for the most part our costumes were homemade.
In grade one I was a red crayon for Halloween. My Dad had made the costume and I remember it being very popular at school. What I also remember is that because the crayon tube went passed my butt, it was really difficult to sit down or walk up stairs. For trick-or-treating my Dad cut openings in the side of the costume so that it was easier to move my legs. As is sometimes the case, the best looking costumes are also the most uncomfortable.
The paper bag wasn't a Halloween costume - that's a bit too homemade. I included it here though because it reminded me of how in university my go-to costume became a garbage bag. I literally just wore a stuffed garbage bag with a bow tied around my neck. While it wasn't particularly clever, it was entirely practical as I could spill on myself without issue (which on certain nights out was always an issue). I'm sure this image proves that I had had that idea in my subconscious for years.
Pumpkin carving was a yearly ritual (along with roasting the seeds) before I even knew what we were doing. It's probably why I still feel compelled to do it now.
Other memorable costumes included an ice cream cone, that my Mom and Dad also made larger versions of for a Halloween party they were going to. Another year I was a ninja turtle, and wore the Donatello mask in the picture above. The TMNT and Dick Tracy sweats are a nice combo too though.
I was really proud the year that I came up with the idea to be Edward Scissorhands. I was nine. I found a box of tongue depressers and wrapped them in tin foil and taped them to my fingers. I remember the costume being incredibly cumbersome when I kept having to open and close my trick-or-treating bag. Remember what I said about cool costumes though? It was worth it.
When I was six I dressed as Zorro, and I remember that the hat was made out of cardboard and the sword was a wooden rod wrapped in tin foil. I had a lot of fun slashing Z's into things that year.
My sister and I also dressed as Halloween classics. I was Dracula in 1991 and she was a sad clown apparently. The pictures show us in a very familiar Canadian situation, with our costumes modified to fit over our snowsuits. Remember those giant unicef boxes for charity? I was also a skeleton one year and she was a princess.
The picture of me as a cat makes me laugh, because I'm pretty sure this wasn't Halloween and we were just playing, but my sister looks like she's dressed as my Grandma. Ah, good times.
Halloween is a pretty subdued affair for me these days, but that's only because since university Christmas has always started at my place the first weekend of November. With a limited amount of energy you have to pick and choose your holidays (especially when you dedicate 2 months to one of them). It's good to have traditions though, especially when they continue to produce so many good memories.