Growing up, I adored Halloween. I’m sure my appreciation of the holiday plays a large part in the fact that I simply love a good theme. Costume parties, playing princess dress-up with my daughter, flying around the house in a superhero cape with my son — dressing up just makes life more joyful. Who can be sad dressed up like a hotdog? No one, that’s who.
So it’s a surprise to no one that I love this time of year. Halloween envelopes many of my favorite childhood memories, and there are many burned in my mind. My sister and I would make it our absolute goal to get to every house in our neighborhood (leave no candy behind!), and after visiting dozens of homes, there was never anything quite so thirst quenching as the juice my mother would pour out of the large thermos she would always carry with her. At the end of those long nights, we would ready ourselves for the next thrill: Lugging our impossibly heavy sacks, splitting at the seams with candy, onto our living room floor. Remembering those evenings brings me right back to that familiar smell of every candy mixed together with the sound of us spilling out a waterfall of treats onto our carpet, ready to sort and barter as if it was our job! Our usual bedtime would vanish, my father would swipe some of his favorite candies under the guise of quality control, and we would trade our spoils for what seemed like hours. I loved every second of it.
Years later, when my first child was born, I was excited to start helping him cultivate similar memories. But why does the costume side of Halloween have to die once we become parents? It was fun going through the motions and carrying my son door to door on his first Halloween, but I realized then that I wanted back in on the dress-up fun, too! After his first year as a solo turtle, I vowed that the following year we would be “that family” who dresses up with their kids for Halloween. And ohmygosh, it is the literal best!
Ironically, a couple years later, my daughter was born eight days late on (you guessed it) Halloween! Fate? Clearly. Now I’ve fully embraced that this is my lot in life. Bring on the family themes!
We’ve done classic costumes, and we’ve done creative ones. We’ve done store bought and we’ve done homemade. And they’re seriously all fun! If you can’t think of a theme that links your entire family, you can work in pairs. This year, my husband is dressing up with our son, and I’m dressing up with our daughter — the year of mismatch! You don’t have to plan anything expensive or even put a ton of effort into family costumes. The one year where I hot glued felt triangles to a Goodwill sweatshirt and called myself a dinosaur was one of my favorites.
Consider thinking outside the box this year and making Halloween a family affair. I promise there is nothing like the sheer joy that will spread across your kids’ faces when they see how ridiculous you look. This year will mark my fifth year dressing up with my kids, and it’s already been their number one dinner topic. Their heads are swirling with ideas!
What are your Halloween traditions? Do you have any great family Halloween costume ideas from years’ past?