New Castle News

Kali-Davies Anderson

October 22, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: Homemade Halloween costumes hold special memories

NEW CASTLE — Halloween is quickly approaching and I have yet to come up with costumes for my kids.

Violet is only 2 and not really into the dress-up thing yet so I can essentially make her whatever I want her to be. Last year she was almost a baby Sasquatch (my husband and I were pretty big fans of the “Finding Bigfoot” TV series), but in the end a cute and warm monkey costume won over.

Because we live in a cooler climate, the cutesy costumes almost never get my vote. After all, a Disney princess dress hardly looks authentic with a Blue Starter jogging suit underneath it.

Nowadays, with all of the Halloween themed stores and endless selection of costumes at regular department stores, the idea of making your own costume seems almost obsolete. However, when I was a kid we never got our Halloween digs at the store. My grandma made almost all of my costumes and the ones she did not make were made from things we had around the house.

Today, I would like to reflect on my favorite (and in some cases, most creative) Halloween get-ups:

My all-time favorite costume was the brainchild of my mother. I was a backward person with a monster mask. I don’t know why this seemed like a good idea at the time, but something about seeing a person with a very prominent backside, Herman Munster shoes, suspenders and a monster face walking backward was just really the bee’s knees for me.

In 1995, I begged my mom for a princess or fairy costume. I settled for a surgeon. When the day came I confidently donned surgical gloves, blue scrubs and a net for my hair, but had no mask. This was very upsetting to me, because as everyone knows a good surgeon ALWAYS wears a mask. So, in a moment of panic my mother came up with a solution: she cut the crotch — Yes, I said CROTCH! — out of a pair of my dad’s old underwear that thankfully had been used as a dusting rag for the past few years. I believe New Castle News writer Dan Irwin may have a photo of this from a column I wrote years ago. Traumatizing.

When I was a senior in high school I decided not to go trick-or-treating. None of my friends were going and I felt like I was just too old. But, in a last minute and quite rash decision on the eve of the occasion I gathered a pair of spandex tights, a black turtle neck, boots, a deflated cloth pumpkin costume and a ski mask and perused the neighborhood in search of chocolates. I looked a little bit like a demented bank robber, but I did get record-breaking amounts of candy that year.

Coincidence? I think not.

Last, but not least, one of my most memorable Halloween costumes was that of beauty, grace and pure elegance. I was only 2 or 3 years old but I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful pink tulle (probably more like vinyl, but let me have my moment) princess dress that flowed to my ankles, complete with a very authentic looking sparkly crown (which was, in all actuality, a few pieces of construction paper colored silver, sprinkled with glitter and cut to look like a crown) and a WAND. I felt like a real princess that day, even if I probably did not look like one, and isn’t that kind of fairytale imagery what Halloween is all about?

I have no idea what costumes my children will wear over the years, but if they are really lucky they will occasionally involve old underwear, arts and crafts supplies and a good sense of humor.


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Kali-Davies Anderson
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