This year, instead of encouraging my children's natural creativity I decided to put together a family costume theme. I'm not sure how it works out for other families, but let me give you a rundown on how it works for ours, and then you too, can sell your soul for one day that turns into 5 days of dressing up for a holiday that you loved when you were a child, but now hate.
- Wait until the children already have decided what to be for Halloween (September 1 for my children), then bring up some absolutely adorable idea you are sure will be easy to pull together and cheap.
- That one child of yours that is a rigid thinker? Well, try to placate her by telling her she can be "Bat Agnes," because she wants to fit in with the theme, but really likes her own idea too.
- Mediate a few almost-slap fights as your children duke out who will get to be what in the theme.
- Spend a ridiculous amount of time at thrift stores trying to find the perfect accessories and clothes that match a cartoon character's clothing.
- Pretend you have craft skills, because this costume is going to be waaaaaaaaaay cheaper than one you could buy at the store. Plan to make wigs and special accessories.
- Spend more money than you ever intended and lots of time making wigs and accessories that really you should have just bought because they are "Pinterest Fail" poster children that you hot glue instead of sew because OHMYGOSHITSTIMETOLEAVEFORTHEPARTYANDNOONEISREADY.
- Bribe the three-year-old with whatever she wants if she'll just wear the costume you spent a few hours pulling together with awesome accessories such as a purple minion goggle eye.
- Endure the worries of your oldest children that no one will know who they are in the dang school costume parade (because if everyone in the family isn't together, the theme doesn't make sense).
- For Halloween go as "Zombie ____________________" (fill in the blank with your chosen theme) because by the time your family has dressed up for the city party, the church party, the school party and the family party, the costumes are stained (they're unwashable because you hot glued all the details on at the last minute), the wigs are ruined and all the accessories are lost.
Yes, I'm giving up on family themes. Until I get distracted next year by some really tantalizing idea and forget that really, I am not that awesome.