As grandparents, many agree that some of the all-time best memories we have of our collective childhood and our childrens’ are of Halloween – the costumes, the parties, the silliness, the tricks, and of course the treats.
Today, more than ever, trying to find safe and creative Halloween costumes for our kids and grandchildren may be challenging, but it is achievable. One toddler’s dad proves that with a little ingenuity, it is possible, as shown in this YouTube video. Dad created an hysterical “stick figure” costume for his toddler. The video’s not only gone viral, but there are instructions all over the web on how to create your very own stick figure costume.
My, how times have changed!
Post-war Baby Boomers, ours was an age of innocence, if not denial. Our parents tried their darnedest to erase the sadness, squalor, and bad taste of wartime grief and make life idyllic for us – their offspring, the world’s saviors. Words were nicer, feelings gentler, and mores moral-based. Welcome to the peaceful, pastoral, nicer, safer world of their dreams -- and please watch your every miss-step.
Never mind the name-calling, the McCarthyism or the moral-based intolerance. The worst thing one could do at Halloween was a TRICK, God forbid. TP (toilet paper) or EGG (throw raw eggs) a house? Myths, lore, bubbe meissehs, preposterous foolishness. No one WE KNEW could possibly commit anything so immoral. No. We dressed up in simple yet creative and clever homemade costumes, like clowns, babyies, hobos, beatniks, sheeted-ghosts, and princesses, and we rang only neighborhood doorbells, recited the obligatory “trick or treat”, and continued to forage our way till our bags were filled. The occasional caramel or red-hot candied apple was the sweetest treat or score imaginable.
By the time our kids were trick-or-treating, the world had become slightly more cautious and calloused, alerting us to the possibility of poisoned candy and to the shock and horror of razors and needles that showed up in candy. Ne’er an unwrapped treat to keep.
Though some die-hard creatives took great joy and pride in fashioning home-made costumes (I admit to contributing a blue fur Cookie Monster with golf ball googly eyes, a multi-colored head-to-toe clown, and a Raggedy Ann with red yarn pigtails to the of many homemade contributions), store-bought costumes were no longer considered haute costume couture, but standard issue, and those awful molded plstic masks with punched-out eye holes, were the worst part of being de rigueur.
Fast forward 20-some years. Our children’s kids, our precious grandchildren, have been handed over the gavel and rights to Halloween. Gone are the days of simple masks, costumed princesses and simple caped and masked super heroes, humble bumble bees, funny (not scary) clowns, or dusty hobo. SuperHeroes and princesses are alive and well, though injected with alien-like qualities and technology. Okay. That’s fair. That’s progress. But have you seen the blood thirsty walking dead, werewolves, zombies, and every other type of gory ghoul, not to mention the Duck Dynasty wannabes? AAAArrrggghhh!. Makes one’s blood curdle. Add to that technologically enhanced costumes that activate freakish sound effects, movements, and other-worldly activities, costumes today are insanely creepy.
This Halloween, be safe and happy Trick or Treating with your grandchildren!
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