way back playback: ghosts of hallowe’ens past

ok, technically, i never dressed up as a ghost when i was little. that would have been way too boring!

hallowe'en, age 22 months: first costume - a little witch!

from age four on, my costume ideas needed to include either makeup, jewellery, and wigs or fancy dresses in order to be considered as possibilities. while we never had hand-sewn costumes, we never ever had store-bought outfits purchased from zellers – you know, the plastic pull-on ones. rather, our costumes were a mix of dress-up box items, mom’s closet finds or stuff from our own wardrobe. i was always very happy with my final choices!

hallowe'en age two: a cat! remember how those plastic masks would make your face sweat?!

and boy oh boy, did i love hallowe’en! seriously, i would have been hard pressed to tell you which was better: hallowe’en or christmas.

hallowe'en, age three: a teddy bear! (mom had the costume from when she taught kindergarten!)

so many parts of hallowe’en were just too much fun: dressing up; parties and special activities at school; evening trick or treating traditions. i DID like getting all the treats, but to be honest, that was not the highlight of hallowe’en – i’d have to give that honour to dressing up.

hallowe'en, age four: an old lady. this is the first year i remember picking my own costume idea

here’s what went down at our place on hallowe’en evening (these memories come from the ages of five to about twelve, i’d say)…

hallowe'en age five: a witch! the obvious choice that year because i was missing a front tooth!

same year - this time the brother was the teddy!

my mom would stay at home and hand out the candy while dad took us out and about in the neighbourhood to collect our candy. the brother and i always went door-to-door with vfbf joanne, her sister, and their dad. we’d do quite a tour through our neighbourhood. hey – didn’t you always hate the years when it was chilly and you had to wear a coat over your costume?

hallowe'en age seven - mickey mouse (daytime for school)...

...and night-time for trick-or-treating!

we never went crazy-heads with the candy collecting. i remember gazing in astonishment at the kids who ran around – literally – with pillow cases. we were more moderate in style.

hallowe'en, age eight - a gypsy. FAVOURITE COSTUME EVER.

with joanne and wanda. we've always loved the orange squiggles emanating from the jack o'lantern in this photo!

so, after going door-to-door, we’d come home and the brother and i would dump our candy collections on the living room floor. honestly, this was the most fun to me – sorting through all the treats, and organizing them into categories: chips, chocolate bars, candies, crackerjack, miscellaneous [see, i’ve always been an organizer at heart!]. mom and dad would allow us to enjoy a couple of treats of our choice [i always picked a chocolate bar and sweet tart candies!], then we’d pile everything back into our bags and they’d be stored in our bedrooms.

hallowe'en, age nine: a scarecrow (did you collect for unicef, too?)

vfbf joanne was princess leia this year! love wanda's (genuine) dutch girl outfit

call me weird, but i never consumed treats on the sly, and we didn’t take sugary snacks for recess time. and i don’t believe that mom and dad ever snuck their favourites out of our collections, either! [now’s the time to ‘fess up, guys, if so…!]

hallowe'en, age ten - cowgirl!

the rule was that whatever was still left over by early december would be tossed out. all our favourites would be long gone by then, anyhow, and what was left would be stale. plus, by then, it was time to get ready for christmas goodies!

hallowe'en, age eleven - a queen (2nd fave idea, ever)

tonight i am working or else i would take a walk through the neighbourhood to see all the excited children. i still love hallowe’en!




what was your first hallowe’en costume OR your favourite hallowe’en costume OR did you dress up this year?…or answer all three! this year, i did not wear a costume, per se, but saturday, sunday and today to work, i DID wear my spider bracelet

sparkly spidey - and you can move his legs!

…and my jack o’ lantern earrings!

wish i had three pairs!

(you don't need a huge shot of my ear)


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  • Lisa  On November 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Great way back playback! I have lots of similar memories…never had the store bought costumes either! My mom made our costumes—I remember being a black cat, s bunny, tweety bird, a baby, a clown, a punk rocker, a witch…
    We had the same ritual with our candy too–sorting it and going through it. Although, we kept out candy up on top of the fridge….and I don’t know if my sister ever sneaked it, but I didn’t!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      wow, are we similar, lisa!! top of the fridge – that is a great storage spot! love the variety of your costume ideas! punk rocker is one i wish i had done!

  • Zo  On October 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I love the wallpaper (if that’s what it is), in the first witch shot!
    I do not remember a Halloween costume specifically. I know I took ballet and think I wore some of my recital costumes.
    I didn’t wear anything special today…I forgot it was halloween. I actually have several black cat necklaces, and even a cute bat necklace, so I’m annoyed I missed my chance (except I didn’t because I wear them throughout the year).
    Happy Halloween!

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 31, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      i know – i always get a good chuckle looking at these old photos and the ’70s decor and fashions! (one whole wall of our dining room was mirrored – it was very “in,” in that era!). dance recital outfits would be easy and cute costumes! i’m glad you can wear your black cat and bat accessories during the year – it would be too bad to have wait another 365 days!

  • Stephanie  On October 31, 2011 at 9:31 am

    My sister’s a year and a half younger than me, so we tended to trade costumes back and forth. My mom used to sew, and she made us an amazing black cape that was used by all three of us at different times. She also made cat and bunny costumes that were adorable. We never had a store-bought costume as kids. I only found out as an adult that my mom never really liked to sew, but she was trying to save money. I love dressing up!

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 31, 2011 at 9:38 am

      another mom who gets a big thumbs up for effort and creativity! those costumes sound super cute. and since each could be worn at least twice, they would be cost-saving, for sure. a black cape -bet that saw a lot of different looks, over the years i love dressing up, too! happy hallowe’en, stephanie!

  • Holly  On October 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I like your earrings but having that bracelet on would freak me out! We have some fake spider things at work and I was ringing up a lady last night and I seriously cringed the whole time — I have such a strange fear of spiders (and fake spiders!)

    I loved seeing your costumes!!! The teddy bear one is so adorable — and what a nice way to keep warm as you trick-or-treat!

    My first halloween costume — the first one I remember was being an alien with my sister — my mom made us outfits out of garbage bags and painted extra eyeballs on our faces and fixed our hair in tons of braids/ponytails.

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

      yes, you would understand well the combo of keeping warm and still trying to have a costume showing!! that is funny about your spider non-love – good for you for keeping a staight face at work yesterday!! aliens – now that is creative, too. i bet you and your sis looked super cute! hooray for creative moms!

  • Johanna B  On October 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

    New Orleans is a big costuming town. Halloween. Mardi Gras. Any old excuse. Yet, I don’t really remember too much what I wore. I remember what we did. I do remember my daughter’s costumes. Everyone of them. One year she was the Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She’s taking Ivan out this year. He’s going to be a pumpkin.

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 31, 2011 at 9:09 am

      the costumes for hallowe’en or mardi gras must be just dazzling! would love to see it. ivan is going to look adorable! i bet you have photos of every one of your daughter’s costumes, too!

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