No one is in the mood for much celebrating
this year. However, as President Bush has said, we must get back to our regular
Many children have been severely affected
by the terrorist attacks in the United States and the resulting aftermath. As we
have left our televisions on, they have seen numerous replays of the planes
hitting the World Trade Towers, and the following disturbing events.
Some of our younger do not understand
replays, and every time they see things, they think they are happening again.
Those that understand are old enough to understand know the gravity of the
I live in Seattle, and am a big baseball
fan. When the Mariners clinched the American League Championship this last week,
there was no celebration, at least in the normal way. They had champagne ready a
few weeks ago, but this is no time to be popping corks. Instead, they got on
their knees and said a prayer for the victims of this terrible attack on our
country. Then they walked around the field waving the American flag, while the
song "Iím proud to be an American" was playing on the speaker. It was very
emotional, and goes to show how deeply this tragedy has affected the people of
Another incident occurred at a hockey
game, when the game was called due to the spectators demanding to watch
President Bush address our nation.
Having said this, our children need a
diversion from the grief and sorrow around them. They need to something to look
forward to and get excited about.
Most children love Halloween. I encourage
you to take the opportunity to celebrate this holiday with them and relieve some
of the stress and tension they must be feeling.
Anticipation is part of the fun. Start
making plans with them now for a fun time you can have together. Be mindful that
Halloween can be a scary and spooky holiday, which is something no one needs
Direct your activities to fun, light
activities. This is no time for haunted houses and scary costumes that may
further frighten your children. This is a time for princesses and cowboys. I
think there will also be a lot of fireman and policeman costumes, as well as
other patriotic ones, such as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty. These seem
very appropriate to me, and should inspire instead of scare our children.
I know some people donít celebrate
Halloween, so this advice is not appropriate to you. I hope that you will find
other activities to strengthen your children.
Having said all this, here are some ideas
for frugal costumes for Halloween that would be appropriate this year. These are
foundation ideas. Use what you have or can find to augment these suggestions.
Firefighters, Policeman & Construction
These are undoubtedly going to be favorite
costumes this year. All wear hats. Add badges, whistles, boots, and other
accessories. No need to look for a picture for inspiration. The images are
ingrained in our minds. You can probably use a lot of what you have. Iím sure
there will be no lack of accessories out this year.
Uncle Sam and other Patriotic Costumes
For Uncle Sam, lots of red, white and
blue; lots of stars and stripes, and wear a big hat again decorated in patriotic
colors. For the Statue of Liberty, just drape a fabric around the body, make a
crown and a torch.
Bunnies and other Animals
Start with a pair of pajamas with feet.
Bunnies are the easiest, as any solid color will do. For a tiger use a leopard
print. Add a hood with ears, a tail and some face paint and whiskers. If you
make the costume yourself with flame retardant fabric, take off the tail, and
you have a new pair of pajamas for after Halloween.
Princess and other Royalty
Satin, lace, netting and a tiara make a
Princess. Use a big crown, more jewelry, and a long robe for a king or queen.
Use all the metallic trim that you have. Just baste it on so it is easily remove
afterwards. For Christmas pageants Iíve let my boys use my robes. Just hem them
up and let them down afterwards.
For boys, slick back the hair and darken
it. Use lots of black clothing, and wear sunglasses. Girls can wear bobby socks
and poodle skirts.
Pirates and Cowboys
The signature of a pirate is an eye patch,
a big belt, and a sword. Eye patches can be made from black fabric and a piece
of elastic. A sword can be easily made from aluminum covered cardboard. Augment
the look with gold jewelry. Cowboys need a bandana, a large hat and big boots.
Anything weird can be worn. The more
aluminum, the better. Add antennae. Add big ears, a stand up collar, and the
appropriate pin for the Star Trek look. Leprechauns Use lots of green clothing,
shorts, and a pointed cap. A saw tooth hem on the shirt looks good. If you can
find an old green top, just cut the bottom in a wide zigzag cut. You might
consider buying some inexpensive used clothing, and dyeing it all green.